December 2010 - It's been a week now since we adopted Betty and we have been learning lots about her and her about us! The most impressive thing so far is what a wonderful dog she is!
She seems to have adopted us and our lifestyle with no hesitation. The cat and Betty have come to some sort of mutual détente although the cat is still somewhat wary. Betty will let us know when she wants to go outside to the pen and has not tried to escape. We've gone on walks up the hill without the leash and she stays right with me.
Occasionally she'll sniff off into the brush but comes back immediately. She has yet to stray out onto the road and it will be a while before we go for walks there. I want her to be used to being on the leash outside our property.
I have enrolled her in the same socialization/training program that I had my last dog in. We went to our first class on Wednesday and the trainers were very impressed with what Betty and I had accomplished so far. Even though Betty has completed one level of training, I feel that it’s important that we start again from the beginning so she realizes that I am now the leader! She did bark at some of the other dogs but seemed eager to make friends. She loved the car ride to and from the lesson!
We've had company over to the house and she has been excellent with everyone. She hasn't been exuberant with anyone and so far keeps all four paws on the floor when greeting people. We've left her alone in the house on several occasions and she seems comfortable being on her own although she is very happy to see us return. On both occasions there was a very warm spot on the couch where she had being sleeping during our absence! She certainly has the "sneaky shepherd" gene in her as she snuck a leg of chicken off my plate when I wasn't looking the other day. I sternly told her "NO" and she let me take it from her with no problems. I wonder if she's getting a mixed message that we can take or play with her food but she can't take ours!
Once again, I want to thank you very much for bringing Betty into our lives and we both look forward to many years of a happy relationship. I think you would need a shotgun and army to take Betty away from Nadine now. They've really bonded well and Betty is very gentle with her.
I know from our conversations and what I've read that SCARS puts a lot of time, energy and money into your adoptees. At some point soon you should let me know what we owe SCARS. I think you know how much we owe you!
Steve and Nadine