Emily is losing her fear of strangers, and now jumps in the car eagerly to go to the park. She is accustomed to bicycles, motorcycles, and big noises. She would prefer to sniff out gophers and follow scent tracks all over the park, but will walk slowly and heel, practice turning, and keep focus on her human with some effort and lots of treats. She has a new command: belly rub. When cued, Emily will roll over and present herself for a rub, with a big smile on her face. She is barky when excited, or when she wants attention right now. When I am doing kitchen work or just being in the house, Emily is content to hang out with me. When she gets bored, she finds a ball and pokes it on my leg repeatedly until I toss it for her. Emily has come to appreciate affection and likes to cuddle up, but all that is secondary to play. She is great at playing fetch, and brings the ball to put directly in my hand. Her Frisbee skills are improving. She will catch it or chase it instead of wanting it for a tug toy. She plays appropriately with our calm dog Jack, and takes turns when called by name. However, she offends him with poor dog manners and barks in his face when he has a toy she wants, like a rude little sister. Emily is a very active dog, and really needs several play sessions and a couple of walks a day. Her impulse control has come a long way, but Emily would still rather do what she wants to do. She loves her new life here, and lives with great enthusiasm and vigor.
Emily says: You can all see how hard I have worked to learn not to jump on people and to walk on the leash. Well sure, I do pull but not nearly as much as I used to. And you know I don’t like most dogs, but some are ok. I don’t mind working so hard to learn to be a good dog because I get really good treats, especially when I have to learn hard things like being quiet and not being upset by things that I don’t know yet that scare me. Mom doesn’t like for me to get agitated, and she says “knock it off.” So now I know “belly rub” and “knock it off.” I learn new words really fast. When Mom says “that’ll do” that means play time is done and we have to go in. What do you all think? Am I ready for my very own home?
Emily is a happy dog, and is meeting new people with much less anxiety. She needs ball chasing and running a few times daily, as a substitute for her long walks in the woods because the mosquitos have been keeping us in the yard. She is still unhappy to see shrieking children running around, but is able to turn to her own people and move away without throwing a fit of barking. What improvement! Emily also jumps in the car willingly and doesn’t expect a car ride to always result in seeing the vet. She sleeps in her crate, but I often leave it open so she can get her water, and she has never damaged anything in the room. Emily loves to look out the window, follows me around as I do house chores, and plays with Jack dog without being a total ball hog. She knows to take her turn when her name is called, and knows which is her ball. Emily still jumps too much, pulls on her halter more than I like, and can be demanding of attention. Emily may react to disapproval by squirming on the floor, but this is no longer frequent. She is active, but also loves to cuddle up with her head on the laptop at the end of the day.
Emily reports: Mom takes me to a park a few times a week, and I practice walking, waiting, stopping and all those boring things. She has me turn one way and then another, and then I get to sniff around and explore. She was so proud that I walked by a family at a picnic table and did not even bark at them. I am supposed to look at her when she squeaks a little ball and then I get a treat. I really like the special park treats, so I am looking when I am supposed to. I saw a loud motorcycle and some cars honking, and I did not get scared. Mom says “What’s that?” and then we do a turn and look at something else. I am good with the turns, but I still want to lead where I want to go. But Mom thinks she should be the decider most of the time. I put my nose way down in a gopher hole and was sniffing and huffing, and all of a sudden a critter came and I jumped really high. Mom thought that was hilarious, but then it wasn’t her nose. We are going to go to a walking path soon where I will see some dogs and people. I know it will be hard, and my ears will go back and I will jump and bark, but Mom says that’s what life is like out there in the world, and I have to get used to different things. She says I am ready for this, but I am not so sure. I’ll let you know how it goes.
The bright and lively side of Emily includes her ability to make play in any moment. Her new ‘toys’ are blowing leaves or any random stick, all in abundance here. It is hilarious to watch her chase and pounce on a leaf in the wind. Emily loves to play fetch with balls, and she is good about bringing the ball back to be thrown. She beams with joy and enthusiasm. Emily often plays by herself by bouncing balls and chasing them. She has already learned to drop a ball on my keyboard when she wants attention. Emily has become affectionate, and has bonded quickly to people in our household. She plays well with two of our three dogs, and she is easy to have hanging out in the house. She is reliably house broken. Her leash manners have greatly improved, and she loves her walks in any weather. Emily knows all her basic commands, and has good recall. She needs a lot of chew toys, which is typical of young dogs. Emily is crate trained and goes willingly to her place to sleep and rest.
Emily is being fostered in a rural setting with minimal exposure to traffic with planful exposure to new people. She also has issues of trust and anxiety. Her previous experience with people resulted in a pattern of intense barking and resistance to being leashed, which have greatly improved. Once introduced properly, Emily is less reactive, and she does remember each person she has met. At this point, when strangers arrive, she expects them to throw treats to her, and she barks excitedly. Although she appears to anticipate punishment , this has become less frequent. Emily is afraid of children and does not react well to them. Given her discomfort with new people and some dogs, Emily will require a nurturing and patient home that is willing to support her learning that most people are kind and big dogs can be fun. In just a few months, Emily has come a long way in learning to trust her world. She is young, and will continue to blossom in just the right setting. Once she trusts you, she will love you forever.
For more information go to www.mwbcr.org or contact Kathryn at firstname.lastname@example.org
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