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Less Adoptable Pet? I think that’s in the eye of the beholder. Meet Lady.

September 23, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

I had planned to do a post on less adoptable pets earlier this week, but I didn’t think I could do Lady justice in the short time I had available each weekday evening. An unadoptable pet that just happens to be your foster dog deserves more time and attention than just a quick blurb on your blog, don’t you think?

I began fostering Lady, a Shetland Sheepdog (i.e., Sheltie), a few weeks ago. I wasn’t sure what to expect when she and her former foster mom first arrived. Would she be afraid? Would she hide? Or, would she quickly adjust? I didn’t have a clue. What I did know was that she was very attached to her former foster mom. This became very evident when she left and Lady paced beside the back gate looking for an escape route. She couldn’t understand why she wasn’t going with her. It nearly broke my heart. She had already been through so much.

You see, Lady’s past is littered with puppies, lack of human contact, and little to no exposure to the things that most dogs experience they are puppies. People were scary things to her and not to be trusted. New places? Forget it. Too overwhelming.

But, that was a few years ago. Lady is a much different dog now. She LOVES attention (and when I say love, I do mean love!). She is extremely affectionate with “her person”. She loves belly rubs, a good scratch behind the ears or just dozing on the couch beside you, or on the floor at your feet. She also loves car rides, stuffed toys that squeak, Kongs stuffed with frozen peanut butter, belly rubs just before bed and a little sniff-n-stop on her walks, whether they be in the woods (as long as it’s fenced in like our dog park) or on a leash in the neighborhood. She’s a joy to have around.

So you say, what makes her less adoptable?

Well, I guess that’s in the eye of the beholder. If you prefer an exuberant, active and puppy-like dog, then Lady is not the dog for you. Oh don’t get me wrong! At 6 years of age, she still gets the zoomies sometimes, they just aren’t as frequent as the ones my dog Jasper gets. Lady prefers to run around the yard for a bit and then hang out on the grass or patio and watch the world go by. She’s actually a pretty mellow little girl.

If you are looking for a dog that doesn’t take medicine every day, then Lady isn’t your dog. Lady’s past left her with some internal scars, so she takes Clomipramine (a very inexpensive anti-anxiety drug) to help her to be less fearful. It has allowed her to be able to learn more about her world and people. As her foster mom, I have to admit it seems to have done wonders for her. She also is on Proin for spay incontinence. The Proin obviously works, because we have had no issues in this area at all.

Lady is also a shy girl. She needs someone who can be patient and give her a little space when she first arrives home. It only took her about a week to get acclimated in my home, but my dogs are pretty mellow and affectionate and I didn’t try to force my affections on her but waited for her to approach me on her own terms and when she felt comfortable in doing so. I’m also a pretty laid back and calm person when it comes to my dogs and my home. No chaos. No extreme moods or crazy schedules. Lady seems to thrive here. So, I believe she would do well in a calm home that doesn’t have a lot of chaos or crazy schedules. She loves consistency.

So is Lady less adoptable? I guess that’s in the eye of the beholder.
In my eyes, she is not only adoptable but a wonderfully, sweet dog.

If you’re interested in Lady, you can contact Minnesota Sheltie Rescue, one of the best rescues I have ever worked with. Or you can go here to learn more about their adoption process.

Minnesota Sheltie Rescue has several wonderful dogs also available for adoption (like Lady). Interested? Go here.


Welcome to the Saturday Pet Blogger Blog Hop. I encourage you to check out some of the other awesome bloggers out there. Much thanks to our most generous and interesting hosts, Life With Dogs, Two Little Cavaliers, and Confessions of the Plume!

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  1. September 24, 2011 at 12:17 AM

    Lady is beautiful. Her family is out there, they just haven’t found her yet.

    • Mel
      September 24, 2011 at 7:24 AM

      Thanks Terri! I think so too. Her family is out there. I believe it!

  2. September 24, 2011 at 8:20 AM

    In my experience, Lady is much like many of the rescues I have fostered, adopted or known. Each is an individual with unique needs just as we are as humans. Oliver, for instance, was a puppy mill rescue who had pneumonia and was not expected to survive. When we finally took him home from the “hospital” we were given a laundry list of do’s and don’ts despite the clearing of his lungs. Now, a healthy boy with only a minor throwback to his puppy mill days–liver displaysia–Oliver need other things from us. If I were to describe them all you’d be surprised, yet as I’ve grown to know him better with each year, I am finally gaining an understanding of him. It has taken a good bit of time to learn to read his communication which is largely by facial expressions. He doesn’t show me what he needs by scratching the door or chewing or any of the other things that many dogs do to burn off stress or tell their human what they require. His communication methods are odd compared to other dogs, yet he has been a joy to own and love. So, yes, Mel, I get your point about “in the eyes of the beholder”. Great article.

    • Mel
      September 24, 2011 at 2:56 PM

      Oh Carrie, you definitely get it. I did not realize your dog was a puppy mill rescue too. I have to say that you went through way more than I did with Daisy, but I completely get what you mean about communication through facial expressions. Daisy and Jasper are both that way. They also let me know what they need in different ways. Jasper lets me know he has to go to the bathroom by pacing and Daisy does the same when it’s dinner time. It’s amazing what you learn from a puppy mill dog isn’t it? You obviously have a very special boy yourself. So nice to meet someone else who gets what it’s like. 🙂
      Thank you for your wonderful comments and perspective.

  3. September 24, 2011 at 9:07 AM

    Lady sounds like a diamond in the rough, just waiting for the right people to come along for her! Some dogs are so easy going they could live with anybody, and some are a little more selective!

    • Mel
      September 24, 2011 at 2:52 PM

      What a great description! I think Lady would do so well with an older couple with a not so busy life.

  4. September 24, 2011 at 10:49 AM

    A mellow dog can be such a wonderful companion. And it’s great that medication has helped to calm Lady’s anxiety.

    She sounds like a perfect dog for a retired person thanks to the excellent fostering she has gotten (and continues to get with you).

    I hope Lady finds her forever home soon so she can start bonding with her new people.

    • Mel
      September 24, 2011 at 2:51 PM

      That’s what I thought too Pamela! I welcome mellow dogs. They are so nice to have in our lives.
      Funny, but I was thinking the same thing. Maybe an older couple who can adore her and spend time with her.

  5. September 24, 2011 at 11:53 AM

    We are a family of dogs and cats and by all rights this arrangement should NOT work- but somehow it does. She’s a great dog, a gorgeous dog, and I hope someone with a big heart will make her senior years wonderful ones.

    • Mel
      September 24, 2011 at 2:50 PM

      I can completely relate. Sometimes it just works.
      I’m hoping someone with a big heart gives her a wonderful home. 🙂

  6. September 24, 2011 at 12:14 PM

    What a beautiful and sweet dog Lady is. I am sure she will find a sweet forever family/home very soon – Will keep her in my thoughts.

    • Mel
      September 24, 2011 at 2:49 PM

      Thanks Molly! Good thoughts are always welcome!

  7. September 24, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    Lady sounds exactly like the kind of dog I was looking for before I ended up with the maniac. Calm, affectionate, likes to go for walks, quiet… Doesn’t sound very un-adoptable to me. I am so glad she found her way to you as I know you will help her find a permanent home full of love and understanding, where she will be free to be herself.

    • Mel
      September 24, 2011 at 2:48 PM

      LOL! What is it some people say Kristine? We get the dog we are meant to get? Perhaps that is why Shiva came into your lives. I wonder if we would have ever met if not for her? I certainly have learned a lot from you because of her.
      I am sure hoping that Lady finds the absolute perfect home for her. Thank you for your kind comments.

  8. September 25, 2011 at 1:00 AM

    What a beautiful girl!! So sad that she doesn’t have a furever home, she sounds lovely. So glad that your first foster dog has went so smoothly for you and so glad that Lady has you.

    • Mel
      September 25, 2011 at 8:35 PM

      Thanks 24 Paws! Lady is my 5th foster. My first one was Daisy (as you know I failed and kept her), then Pixel (now Clyde), then Jasper and his sister Jasmine (Jasmine found a new home and I kept Jasper) and now Lady. Now that I think about it, I’m beginning to see a pattern here. No more foster fails! I swear! 🙂

  9. September 25, 2011 at 8:28 AM

    Thanks to MN Sheltie rescue for your work. I am a fan in Pennsylvania. I currently have three shelties whom I have trained and shown in herding, tracking, agility and obedience. I have worked with many rescue dogs in the classes I teach.
    I wanted to give you that background so you might seriously consider what I am about to say.
    In my experience, something done in Lady’s re-home to a new foster family slowed her adjustment. I believe the past foster person should never “drop off” a dog to his or her new home. They spend too much time waiting for their family to come back for them. The two parties should meet and pass the dog to the new family in a neutral place or the new family should pick the dog up at dogs current home.

    • Mel
      September 25, 2011 at 8:34 PM

      Wow Lynn! Impressive! I would love to learn more from you! My Jasper seems to have a very strong drive when it comes to herding.

      Regarding Lady, I agree that there are probably better ways to do a hand off where a foster dog is concerned. I didn’t include that I met lady first in her own home (the former foster’s home) and then her foster mom brought her and her own dog to my home to meet my dogs and stayed for several hours to be sure Lady would do well here. She actually adjusted much quicker than I expected. She was seeking my attention within the week and claimed me as her own in that time too. I’m pretty experienced with shy and fearful dogs, so I gave her some space and time to adjust.

      • September 26, 2011 at 7:27 AM

        Thanks Mel. I really love training shelties. Herding is fun once you learn to read the stock. Early on it is about you being in the right place so the dog feels the balance with you and the sheep.
        The idea about not dropping off a rescue isn’t an original thought but one I heard from a rescue person and it made a lot of sense.
        I got interested in your rescue group when my son, who lives in MN adopted one of your dogs. His dog had issues with cars that looked like his foster family’s car when on his walks. His dog was also delivered to the new home. I wondered if he would have transitioned better had he not been dropped off.

      • Mel
        September 26, 2011 at 8:22 PM

        Thanks so much for coming back to share more Lynn. I had not heard about the importance of reading the stock or letting the dog feel the balance between you and the sheep. So very interesting. I guess it’s like agility – a lot more complicated than I thought. Now I want to do it even more!!! I know there’s a woman who teaches it north of here, but she doesn’t seem to do weekends. I think I should keep looking and see if I can’t find one closer and who does weekends. I just know he would love it.

        I also didn’t know your son had adopted a Sheltie too! I agree with you. Minnesota Sheltie Rescue is a phenomenal group. It’s why I chose it.
        I think there may be something to the car thing. One of my clients was an Australian Shepherd/Corgi mix and he would always stop and try to follow any vehicle that even remotely resembled his moms. Sometimes it becomes just a habit they pick up over time and keep it. Shelties are kind of funny dogs. Smart enough to figure out what gets them attention too. My last Sheltie hurt her paw and when she realized that it got her attention, she started limping on purpose for attention. Of course, she also would watch the kitchen window to make sure no one was watching before she would push aside a wood slat on the fence and escape. Smart, funny and beautiful dogs aren’t they?

  10. September 25, 2011 at 10:39 AM

    She is one of the most exquisite-looking girl I’ve ever seen. I can’t believe someone hasn’t snatched her up already. Unadoptable? I can imagine.

    • Mel
      September 25, 2011 at 8:19 PM

      I can’t believe someone hasn’t either Lori. I think people worry when there are meds involved. 😦

  11. September 25, 2011 at 6:54 PM

    What a beauty she is! I grew up around Shelties (my father has one now); they are such intelligent dogs. (I think they might be in the top five breeds for intelligence.) Anyway, for a dog who needs a job and a person on whom to rely, it’s no wonder Lady has issues with anxiety. 😦 I agree with you and others that she probably needs a calm, quiet home (retiree?) where the human can dote on her and keep her mind off of herself. Thanks for fostering her and best of luck to you (and Lady).

    • Mel
      September 25, 2011 at 8:21 PM

      Thanks Elizabeth! I grew up with a Sheltie and both my mother and I have one now. We’re definitely Sheltie people too. 🙂

      I was thinking a retired person too. Maybe one who likes to take walks with their dog. I think Lady would do well with someone who can give her the time and attention she deserves. She’s a very sweet girl and seems to really bond really quickly with people.

  12. September 25, 2011 at 7:25 PM

    She is a gorgeous girl and lucky to have such a wonderful foster mom! Hoping she finds her furever family soon!

    • Mel
      September 25, 2011 at 8:23 PM

      Thanks Julie! Me too! I’m hoping that just that right person will come along!

  1. October 28, 2011 at 11:18 PM
  2. January 8, 2012 at 2:41 PM

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