Friday, October 29, 2010

Sassy Update

I couldn’t wait to share this with you.

For the last week, when I have gone out to bring Sassy into the house from her kennel run, I haven’t put her leash on her. I just opened the gate to the run, and let her out, and the first few times, she just ran straight to the back door and waited to be let in. Then, for a couple of times, she would run first to the water tub for the dogs, at the outside faucet, and get a drink before going to the door. (she always has a bucket of clean water in her run.) Then, night before last, I was putting dogs out in their little packs, for a last potty break before bed time. I knew that Sarge and Sherlock (my adopted rescue), who are the least aggressive dogs here, wouldn’t jump on or chase her, so I put her out with them. She didn’t go far from the back door, or out of the light, but she did go far enough out into the yard to do her business, then came straight back to the door.

I put her out with them again yesterday for a little while, and she went a little farther out into the yard, but then came back to the door, and waited for me to let her in. I left her for awhile, but watched through the window, and she’d go a little ways, then come back. Finally, I saw her make a complete circle of the yard, and I know from a yelp that I heard, that she found the hot wire that runs around the inside of the fence. But, that didn’t seem to affect her much.

This morning, I had what I think is a big break through with her. She was wagging her tail vigorously when I went to start letting dogs out, and when her turn came with the boys, she ran out into the yard, did her business, then made a big circle around the whole yard (and we have a pretty good sized back yard). She came back to the door, but once again, she made little ventures every few minutes, and actually followed the boys around some. When she came back in, she was wagging her tail again, and when I put her in her crate, I offered her a piece of chicken jerky. she has never taken a treat from my hand before. But, once again she gave me a wag, and took it from my hand. I was elated!

Before I left home, I gave everyone a bite of jerky, and she was right up there, wanting hers!

Then, this afternoon, when I got home, I started putting dogs out again in shifts. Sassy was happy to go out with the boys, and ran around the yard a bit. I took my phone out and stood in the yard to watch her (and take a couple of photos). Of course, she went right back to the step, but I stood about 15 feet from the back door, and called the boys over to me. I bent over and was giving both of them scratches on their backs. Sassy left the step and came out to us, and pushed her way in between the boys. I started scratching on her back, in front of her tail. She moved her tail around, and clearly enjoyed getting her scratches.

Well, Sherlock moved closer to me, so Sassy pushed her way right up next to me, and presented her butt for scratching.
After a few minutes, I stood up, and she went back to the step. The boys wandered off. So, I called Sassy to come to me. She came right away off the step, and stopped about two feet from me. I bent over to scratch her. I’d scratch her a bit, then stop. She’d move over a bit closer. I’d scratch, she’d move. this went on until she was right next to my legs. I stopped, and she went back to the step. I repeated calling her, and once again she came back, and we went through the whole scratch, move, scratch, move thing again. I was SOOOOO pleased!
So, she has really begun to come out of her shell. I still think it is going to take awhile before she is very confident or outwardly affectionate, but maybe she will start to play some soon.

I might add that although she hasn't given me a baroo or yodeled, she does cry when she wants me to come take care of her--to let her out of the kennel pen (which she won't be going back into) or let her into the house. I wouldn't be surprised to hear some happy noises soon.

These are some huge steps for us, and I just wanted to share them.

- Jacque Holdaway


  1. What great news and progress that you have made with her! The way she keeps running to the house makes me think she has decided indoor living beats outdoor living. And now she is coming when called and taking treats from your hand, this is just awesome!

  2. Yay wonderful..and she is so beautiful...I wonder why no one was looking for her???

  3. Fabulous ! Wonderful. Thank you, Jac.

  4. Yea Jacque! Yea Sassy! Liz & Viggo in MA

  5. So happy for both of you! Good job. :D