Mrs Dalloway (Dally)
Female, 1 year, Hound X, 30 lbs
Dally (Mrs Dalloway) came into a Texas shelter as a stray along with her parents and siblings. Mom and Dad were very social and outgoing but all the pups clearly lacked human interaction and all were very standoffish, scared and some fear nippers. The entire family was pulled into a shelter where the puppies could receive extra TLC and socialization. Dally made the best progress out of all her siblings.
Dally is a sweet gentle soul but extremely shy and fearful especially in a new environment. She had a rough start here in Calgary and was moved a couple times. She came into my home as I have more experience dealing with a feral dog. The first few days were rough as she was too afraid to come out of her kennel and was completely shut down. She was very vocal with her warnings for us to keep away and her body language was obvious that she was terrified.
Gradually over time, I was able to gain her trust and within a few days, she stopped growling and hiding in her crate. Turns out, she has never lived in a home before coming into mine. Going in and out of doors was terrifying for her. But, she soon started to settle and suddenly I found I have a sweet playful girl who gives kisses and takes treats so gently. She is not food reactive at all with people. She startles much less often and recovers faster. She no longer ever growls at me but will still growl occasionally at my husband usually if she is startled. I have discovered she can sit on command and walks well on a leash. She is not overly energetic for a one-year-old dog. She is crate trained but would prefer to sleep wherever we are and will mew for a while before falling asleep. She has not had an accident in the house for several days. She is not house trained per say but if you put her out at regular intervals she does not have accidents in the house. She does not yet ask to go out. She loves to frap around the yard and roll in the grass. It took me about 10 days to be sure she was comfortable enough to take for a walk. Today we took our first car ride and while she panted heavily, she was calm and quiet. It has been fun to see her discover the joys of a couch or a dog bed. Today we walked with a strange man for part of our walk and while she tensed up some, she was brave enough to give his leg a sniff. She started to get into mischief recently, another indication of her growing confidence. She does like to chew clothing like T-shirts if they are left on the floor. She does know the word No and responds.
I have seen her grow in confidence as she learns she can trust me. Any adopter must be prepared for at least a week of fearful behavior until she starts to bond and open up to them. Working with a feral dog requires time and calmness. You will need to work with her and have the entire family understand you must go slowly with her until she feels safe. It is all about all respecting her space but pushing her slightly out of her comfort zone a little bit at a time. I would recommend she be in a home with a yard as she is not yet brave enough to do her business while on a walk.
Dally is being fostered in Calgary.