I do want to thank you for working with me through the process of adopting Blondie! I appreciate it so much and really love her being here with me. I thought Iíd let Blondie do the speaking in this update so here she is!
Hello! Itís been 4 weeks since I was adopted and Iím really starting to come out of my shell. My first day here was very scary. Everything was so new, and I had a 2 Ĺ hour ride to my new home! It was so much to take in...overwhelming you might say. I was so scared that I was actually staggering a few times and my tail was tucked. The first few days were a little rough as my new mom and I got to know each other but I greeted her each morning with little tail wags tentative kisses. I was not too sure but something told me that I would be okay with her. She was the only person that I knew at that point!
Mom has two cats that really didnít like me at first. They ran from me and mom put a gate at the bottom of the steps so I couldnít get to them. I had the run of the downstairs, and the cats had the upstairs. They are doing better with me and the little grey and white boy named Kit walks under my legs and rubs against me now. I give him kisses and paw at him on occasion. The girl named Stormy still doesnít like me much and hisses at me if I get to close to her. Sheís gotten better though and we can be in the same room at the same time if I keep my distance.
Mom takes me for walks each evening and sometimes early in the morning if she doesnít have to do that thing called ďwork.Ē I get to take walks next to a big creek and I see all kinds of ducks and geese along the creek. I donít pay them any mind and just walk by as if they were not even there.
I am timid around new people and new objects such as lawn tractors and shredded tires along the road. I will bark when people or dogs approach me. I am especially shy around some men. I donít mean to scare people, but I just am not comfortable when people and dogs come toward me and look at me. I also donít like when they lean over me or make sudden movements. That scares me and I shy away. I will go up to them as long as they donít pay me any mind. Mom is trying to work with me to get me over my shyness. She even takes me into pet stores and lets me explore. One day a little girl came up to me and grabbed my chin. My mom became alarmed and told the little girl not to grab me, but I didnít care. She was only about 4 years old and I liked her. Young people are not as scary as grown-ups are but I donít like more than one person or child around me at one time. I feel boxed in if too many people are around me and then I get uncomfortable and bark.I got to meet my grandma and her dog, Buddy, too. I will let Buddy lay close to me, but I donít like it when he comes to me and I will try to get away from him. Mom laughed at me when I tried to hide behind the couch when Buddy came over to me. She says that Buddy loves other people and dogs and wants to play, but I didnít think it was very funny. He may be half my size, old, blind and diabetic, but he still made me uncomfortable when he walked over to me. I like things to be on my terms so it would be okay if I came up to him.
Mom discovered that I LOVE to bite water as it comes out of the garden hose. She will let me chase and bite the water and I just have a great time! Iím glad she found out how much I love to do that. Even her neighbor played hose with me last evening. Her neighbor and his wife said something about buying biscuits for me so that I can get more comfortable with them. Mom also has a kiddie pool for me, but that lasted about 5 minutes before I peed in the pool! HAHAHAHA! It was fun to watch her have to empty to pool after she had just filled it part way.
Momís had me to the vet a few times now for my exam, stitch removal and distemper shot booster. The vet thinks Iím about 7 years old. She said that Iím at least 6 but, she said to be safe, she estimates 7 years old. She listened to my heart and said that I have a strong, slow heartbeat and that I have excellent muscle tone for my age. Iím physically younger than what my age is. She said that I was very good when she looked into my ears and that a lot of GSDís seem to not like their ears touched. She said that I had a good former home and that I was well taken care of there. Iím 75 pounds and have a lovely, hour-glass shape figure just like a girl should have! I was trembling a little bit during the exam, but they fed me biscuits and that helped make it better. WellÖ a little better. My mom had me micro-chipped, so she says if I ever get lost, that it will be easier for me to get home to her again. My next vet visit was to get my stitches removed from being spayed. I started to bark at people at the vetís office. One girl who works there has a white GSD as well and she knew how to approach me, but I still barked at her anyway. She gave mom some pointers on how to handle it when I do bark at people. I think I scared the technician a little and she got a muzzle out. She didnít need to use it, but she had it lying on the exam table. She only removed one or two stitches because I had taken care of the rest. They really were itchy!!!
My third visit to the vet was to get my distemper booster and mom had found a lump on my left inner thigh that she was worried about. I got all kinds of attention from the girls in the reception area. I barked at them when they came to me, but they gave me lots of biscuits and told me that Iíd get fat from visiting the vetís office. They distracted me with biscuits if I barked at other dogs and they blocked my view to help me stay calm. I kept trying to peek around them and through their legs to see the dogs, but they kept holding up biscuits for me. Mom waited to see the vet and he poked a needle into the lump two times! I just looked up to the sky and prayed that it would be over soon! Mom also suspected that I have hip dysplasia and had bought me some supplements called glucosamine. She says that it won't help the dysplasia, but it will help support my joints and any arthritis that comes on with the dysplasia. The vet confirmed that I do indeed have Hip Dysplasia as he tried to extend my back legs and felt the stiffness. My right hip is worse than the left and Iíve felt it if we went on too long of a walk. He prescribed regular exercise and to keep my weight down. He said that walking and swimming would be the best exercises for me. He gave her a sample of anti-inflammatory pills for me to see if it helps with any pain that I have. He said that about 90% of the GSDís that have been X-rayed have some degree of Dysplasia. Mom said that the vet called her and told her that he didnít find anything serious in the lump, but he does recommend to closely keep an eye on it as he did see some strange cells that he couldnít identify. He didnít recommend removal as of yet though so mom is just going to keep an eye on it. The girl who owns the white GSD told mom that Iíve really started to blossom in her care and that me barking at people isnít an entirely bad thing especially since momís single and lives alone. I like that girl. She really seems to like me a lot and I came around the desk to her when she called to me. Sheís a GSD lover and that makes her A-okay in my book!
Mom has taught me how to give paw and is now teaching me to lay down on command. She also is trying to teach me ďcloseĒ (heel) and I do pretty good with that sometimes. If a car ride is in the future though, I donít listen at all and will drag her down to the truck so that we can get on the road ASAP!!!! Sheís trying to work with me on that, but I get so excited that I canít contain myself and my cries drown out her commands. I LOVE going for rides! She got me a harness that can be connected to the seat belt and sheíll buckle me in the front seat. I didnít care for it at first, but Iíve gotten used to it now and it helps keep me steady on the seat as her truck stops and starts.
Mom has started to let me sleep upstairs in her bedroom with her now since I seem to be doing so well with the cats. She still wonít let me up there during the day when sheís at work, but thatís okay. I have a nice orthopedic dog bed that I occasionally use and there is a lovely den-like spot that I just adore so she said that sheís going to lay a blanket back there for me or get me a pillow type dog bed eventually. I just tend to sleep when sheís not at home anyway. Mom said there is something to be said for adopting an older dog. She said that she had adopted an older GSD/Husky mix before me who was also 7 years old when she adopted her. Iím old enough to be out of the high energy stage, but young enough to still be active with mom who loves to walk and needed me to feel safe when she goes for walks. She told me that she didnít walk a whole lot before she adopted me because she didnít feel comfortable walking by herself. Now we go out every day! She said that when the bridge is completed that weíll be able to take the route that she and her other 2 dogs used to take. For now, we take a different route and if we want to take her old route, she has to drive around to the other side and park which, she says, kind of defeats the purpose. I quite like it thank you very much! It means I get to go for a short ride and a walk too!
All in all, Iím settling in here very well and I look forward to going for many more walks, car rides, hose chasing/water biting and swims and getting as many treats as mom will let me have. Iím really getting to like it here.
I've attached a few photos of Blondie with this e-mail. Those are the best that I've taken so far! Things are going very well. Each day Blondie's opening up a little more. It went well with letting her have the run of the entire downstairs last night. I think she slept in the bathroom which has been described, by one of my friends, as a bedroom with a toilet! LOL! I have a dog bed for her, but she doesn't use it right now. Maybe in time she will or I may eventually just have to get another type. She did use it on the drive home but not since. I got excited tail wags and kisses this morning. :)
She does like to be near me at all times and follows me around from room to room. I got a tie-out stake and 30 foot cable for her and I sit outside with her, but she won't explore unless I'm by her side and even then she really doesn't sniff around. She just stays by my side and acts as though we are going for a walk. I thought that it would be nice when I'm out gardening to have her tied out so she can be out with me and I can keep an eye on her. I never left my other dogs unattending on their tie-outs and I'm especially cautious and protective of Blondie right now as she's settling in. Eventually I want to enroll her in obedience classes to teach her cues other than sit. I would love to take her places and I want to be sure she knows cues that could be life saving. She does listen very well though and she looks me in the eye when I'm giving her the "sit / stay" command. I'm not sure she knows stay, but she does seem to understand a little. She walks very well on the leash and doesn't pull. She usually walks right by my side too!
I can't wait for her to get her stitches out so that eventually we can go swimming. I had her down at the creekside yesterday morning and she would have waded right in if I'd let her. She'll definately love the walks along the creek once she's healed up from surgery and I'm sure she's in shape enough to handle 3 1/2 miles of walking. I'm not sure how long she's been in the kennel or how much exercise she had before and I don't want to over-exert her. There I go being very protective again!
All in all, things are going very well and it's so nice to have a dog again. I feel better about taking walks now where as before I was a little nervous about going by myself. Blondie is giving me that confidence and the reason to go for walks again! She's a sweet girl and I'm so glad to have her here with me. I think in time the cats will settle too. They are showing alot of interest in her, but still arch their backs and puff up when they see her. Stormy growled at her this morning and all she did was look up at her and whine a little bit. I think she wants to meet them, but they don't want any part of her right just yet. I know it took Stormy almost a year to get used to having Kit around so I'm not expecting anything miraculous. It will take some time, but I'll be patient and we'll work through it. The cats have settled enough to play with some string as I pulled it around the upstairs rooms for them this morning so I take that as a good sign.
Well, I've written a book so I will sign off here! Thank you so much for letting me adopt Blondie! She's a great dog and I'm looking forward to having some great adventures with her! I'll keep you updated!