Hi there! I know we're not ready to post Annette yet, but I thought I would send you my notes on her both for reference and so you can start thinking about how to describe her when the time comes. :) Here's her key info
- High energy, puppyish and smart, Annette is an active little dog who loves to run and play with toys, other dogs and (given enough time) her people.
- Dog-friendly and cat-friendly, she would like a home with one or more other dogs who will play with her and be role models for her as she learns the rules of the house and learns to trust people. Bonds most quickly with small dogs but given a little time, enthusiastically plays with large dogs as well.
- Before being rescued, Annette seems to have been confined to a cage and only handled roughly by people. Because of her scary start in life, she is terrified of new people, being reached for and general handling--but with a few months' time, patience and kindness, bonds and becomes joyful and playful with her humans. She likes to cuddle in bed, get tummy rubs and play-fight with hands, and will jump up on your legs and give your hands happy kisses when you come home.
- Food-oriented, she enjoys puzzle toys that have treats in them, Kongs with peanut butter and other items that combine food and play. She squeals in delight and races around the kitchen at dinnertime.
- With her puppyish energy, she needs exercise, toys and stimulation to stay happy and reduce her anxiety. She loves having a large variety of toys to play with, and will sometimes collect and pile up her stuffed toys next to her when she sleeps.
- Like most puppies, she enjoys chewing, and will enthusiastically chew on shoes, pillows and other items if they're left unattended. Toys with food in them are especially useful to keep her occupied when she's not being supervised. She also enjoys hard chew toys like antlers and stuffed toys that squeak and can be pulled apart.
Things we are currently working on: Desensitizing her to being touched, reached for and handled in general. Progress is s.l.o.w. but we are definitely making progress.
Things we will work on next:
- Recall. Annette knows her name, but doesn't necessarily know to come when we call it. Since we've just gotten past the point of her being really scared to approach us, I think we'll be able to start work on this soon.
- Meeting new people. This will be the tough one. My mom was over last night, and since Annette has seen/met my mom several times before, she seemed to be doing pretty well. She was cautious and keeping to the corners of the room/behind the other dogs (while giving my mom the large, suspicious eyes), but seemed to walk around and move in and out of the room without too much fuss. But after my mom left I discovered two piles of nervious diarhhea at the end of the hall. So that's where we're currently at with people who aren't me or John: either fleeing in terror or seeming to keep her wits about her but secretly pooping in terror :(
I really do see a light at the end of the tunnel for Annette, but it's going to take a long time and eventually a patient home that is willing to wait her out until her happy, playful side comes out. We've started her on an herbal supplement that will hopefully help to calm her, and John will talk to the vet about getting a prescription for something like Prozac when he takes her to the vet this week. We've had a good breakthrough over the last week with her finally letting us handle and touch her without trying to run away (mostly), so hopefully some meds will help her break through to the next level of terror reduction. Paws crossed. :)