A foster Maggie update

It’s been a while since I provided you with a Maggie update. So how is she doing? Take a look!

Maggie is starting to seek out my touch. She often will approach me in the morning so I can pet her (like the picture below). She also is starting to enjoy belly rubs.

Look who came up for a pet! #Maggie #puppymilldog

Maggie stops beside me so she can get a pet or two.

She will do almost anything for cheese. Although we started working on hand targeting and “watch me” using cheese, she can now do them on cue (whether there is cheese available or not). She is also  learning “sit” which is HUGE for her since she can shut down if she feels too pressured (read more on pressure sensitive dogs). She gets rewarded for sitting every time she does it and I mark it by saying “yes”.


Maggie loves Babybels

Maggie has also learned that she gets “cheese” when she comes inside the house from her potty breaks. I am still leading her in with the long line, but she now does not resist coming in. She also knows the word “wait” (Thanks Debbie Jacobs!) and will come to a complete stop when she hears the word. It makes it easier to grab her long line and lead her inside now.

She is making eye contact more often too. In the past, she would look away, or give me a quick glance and look away, but now she will hold my gaze and seems almost interested in what I am saying to her. Maybe she is thinking I am saying “cheese”?

Cheese please! #Maggie #puppymilldog

Maggie waiting for me to bring her cheese as a reward for coming inside the house.

Maggie loves Daisy. She will sleep next to her whenever Daisy is on the couch, and when she is outside, she will run to Daisy with her tail wagging like crazy. It’s really cute.

Two former puppy mill girls all snug as a bug. #Daisy #Maggie

She loves chewing on small bully sticks or pre-chewed bully sticks. She will wait until Jasper gets up from the one he was chewing and then steals it. Smart girl!

The girls #Maggie #Daisy

In the evenings, Maggie dozes on the couch or on a dog bed, but when it is time for bed she will put herself to bed(in her kennel). As soon as I turn out the lights, she wakes up, jumps down off the couch and goes to her kennel and opens the door and goes inside. She even waits for me to latch it shut.  (I used to leave it open, but she jumps up on my bed and then back down over and over again because she is afraid of the shadows and sounds that come at night.

All pooped out. #Maggie

The one thing I have been waiting for her to do is bark. The only time I hear her bark is when I just arrive home and I am still in the garage. She always stops as soon as I open the door. But on Saturday morning, she heard me playing with Jasper and Cupcake in my bedroom and started barking! That was a first. And today, I swear I heard her bark outside. I suspect her true Sheltie personality is starting to come through. 🙂

Fluffy feet #Maggie

Maggie’s furry feet.


Now we just need some extra evening sunlight and warm weather and we can practice walking on a leash!

  1. February 2, 2015 at 5:23 AM

    Ah, sweet Maggie. What a smart, beautiful girl.


  2. February 2, 2015 at 5:42 AM

    It must be so rewarding to see her starting to feel comfortable and make progress.

    • Mel
      February 2, 2015 at 6:53 AM

      It is! I love seeing her progress.

  3. fredrieka
    February 2, 2015 at 6:36 AM

    awesome will Maggie have a set back once she gets adopted? Will that confuse her?

    • Mel
      February 2, 2015 at 6:53 AM

      She may have a slight one Fredrieka, but if she continues to make progress and her new owner understands how to work with her, then she will adjust quickly.

  4. February 2, 2015 at 8:20 AM

    I love reading about her progress! I have learned a lot from her story and been reminded that it takes so much patience and time, but eventually there is healing. Thank you!

  5. February 2, 2015 at 8:35 AM

    Awesome!! She is really starting to figure out the dog thing. Good job.

  6. February 2, 2015 at 9:11 AM

    That is so great that she has come such a long way! I’ve loved watching her come around! You have done a wonderful job Mel!

  7. jan
    February 2, 2015 at 11:40 AM

    I love how patient you are with her and it must really be rewarding. I too would do most anything for cheese.

  8. February 2, 2015 at 12:04 PM

    What a stunning soul lies behind her eyes, and what love you show through your patience. Thank you.

  9. sfratzke
    February 2, 2015 at 1:36 PM

    That is amazing progress! Those furry feet are so beautiful! I love hearing you describe how she feels about Daisy. Much love and thanks to you all for taking such good care of her!

    • Mel
      February 3, 2015 at 6:59 AM

      It is really cute how she is with Daisy Sabrina. I love that they get along so well. I love that she is starting to show her true personality. 🙂

  10. February 2, 2015 at 3:40 PM

    Aww!! Love reading about her progress and just how far she has come. Good girl Maggie … and who could resist the power of CHEESE!!!

  11. February 2, 2015 at 4:20 PM

    Such fantastic progress she’s making!! It’s amazing what some love and patience can accomplish, isn’t it? I’m impressed, Mel. Awesome job, and Yay, Maggie!!

  12. coniatthebeach
    February 2, 2015 at 6:58 PM

    It is wonderful to read about your progress and your patience with her. I just can’t imagine giving her up or having her adjust to a whole new home after building the trust with you and the attachment with Daisy.

  13. February 2, 2015 at 9:37 PM

    Oh Maggie girl, you are doing so well – thanks for the update. You know how I love to read about it. Interesting about the barking. It’s one thing that our Maggie won’t do either. She’s NEVER barked, not once. The only think close is when she’s asleep and she has little dream yips…I don’t think she ever will. If Jack was more of a barker she might, but he rarely ever barks either (yes, I count my lucky stars).

    • Mel
      February 3, 2015 at 6:57 AM

      Daisy has never barked either SlimDoggy. She used to cry in her sleep (like the yips you mentioned Maggie does), but that is all gone now. I think Maggie barking is so in sticking with her heritage and breed. These are dogs that just have to talk. 🙂
      The fact that she finally is talking is a great sign.

  14. February 3, 2015 at 6:40 AM

    I’m so happy to hear about Maggie’s progress. And was wonderfully skilled and patient as you are, I suspect Daisy also deserves a lot of credit for helping Maggie feel comfortable.

    You two make an excellent team.

    • Mel
      February 3, 2015 at 6:58 AM

      Daisy definitely deserves a lot of the credit. I think Maggie sees her as a calming force.

  15. G
    February 3, 2015 at 12:34 PM

    I enjoyed seeing the pics and reading about Maggie. I’ve had Shelties for 16 years now and absolutely love the breed….. I hope Maggie continues to do well and look forward to more updates.

    • Mel
      February 3, 2015 at 9:35 PM

      Thanks G. My first dog was a Sheltie and ever since then I knew I would have to have another one. I just love them. That you for your kind words. I love seeing her progress. Each time she steps out and explores and tries and moves forward is a moment I celebrate. I will share her progress as we work to get her adopted. 🙂

  16. February 3, 2015 at 7:30 PM

    It’s amazing how resilient dogs are when given some loving guidance and a place where they can feel safe.

  17. February 6, 2015 at 12:33 PM

    That’s so great. I’m following another gal who is documenting her mill dog’s story. It is so inspiring to see how well they are responding to kindness, patience and love. Great job!

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