Long Read but well worth it:
On Oct 24th I rescued a beautiful Hound 'mix' from the local shelter. I think she is an American Foxhound or a foxhound mix of some sort. I've had someone also ask if she was a bluetick because of her speckling in her white. Pictures at the bottom. Everyone who meets her tells me how pretty she is and falls in love with her different color eyes, one brown one blue.
The story of how I ended up with her is kind cool and it was definitely meant for us to find each other the way it played out. I went looking for a hound pup that was on the spca's website but it was gone. Then I saw another dog but there was a mix up in paper work and it was actually pending adoption, so they let me see Jeannie (her name was Pansey at the time, that wasn't going to work) a day early, she wasn't up for adoption yet and was still under vet supervision but they let me see her anyway and we instantly hit it off, she was afraid of everyone there except for me.
She was timid at first but has started to open up in certain ways. I don't have much history about her other than the day she was born, Jan 2, and that she came here to Virginia from a shelter in North Carolina and I have her vet and vaccination documents from the vet there and she has been spayed.
She was really super stressed when I got her, as I'm sure all rescue dogs are (this is my first rescue). She has started to relax and gets better each day but has some lingering fears that sometimes take over completely. I wish I had more history on her so I know what may be the root cause of her fear but I can usually calm her down once I can get her to a safe/secure place. Normally home or in the car or something like that. She doesn't like loud and sudden noises, like claps or bangs. She also hates other dogs barking, even playful barking scares her. She will tuck her tail all the way against her belly and try and find a place to hide. I had to fish her out from under my car one day when a neighbors dog met her at my car door wanting to play.
I know she has been hit and possibly even kicked. I can tell by the way she would initially respond to my hand being held out for her to sniff and if I happen to stumble when we are walking she will cower for a second, look at me quickly, I will say "it's ok, good girl" she will perk right up and keep going. I just don't know if this took place with her last owner or at some point in the shelter or both. I would 'assume' pre-shelter is when hitting/kicking took place and in-shelter is where her fear of other dogs has come from. I hate to assume but I'm trying to work it out based on what little history I have and how she acts.
Luckily she was house trained when I got her. She knows she is supposed to do her business outside and will hold it all night. We have only had a couple accidents inside and I think they were all stress induced. The first Week I had her I had a roommate and he had a cat and her and the cat did not like each other. Then I moved and now live alone and she had an accident after we moved but I think it was either stress induced from being in yet another new place, or maybe some separation anxiety in the mix since she was left alone a lot off-and-on for a couple days while I was moving stuff. She wasn't crated, left to roam around and explore the new place. She hates being crated against her will and wouldn't use the wire-cage crate I got her until just the last couple of days. She prefers the solid-side crates. She hangs out with me at work and I have a crate here that is actually fabric and collapsible. She took to it immediately and is actually curled up in there with her chew bone as I type this.
I had checked by my vet the same day I got her just to make sure everything was OK. She was in great health, other than some bad shedding and dandruff. She's been groomed since and the dandruff is going away, they said it may have been diet and stress related. she weighed in at only 35.8 pounds and I was told by the vet she needs to be at least 40 but not over 50 for her age and size. She has gained 2.2 pounds so far, up to 38 pounds. 2 more pounds to go at least. (I could see her ribs before, now not so much).
I've taken her downtown with me to eat on a couple occasions so far but the weather is turning too cold for that. I wanted to get her used to people being nice to her (every where I take her people love on her which is great) and trying to get her used to paying attention to me with noises and distractions, which is progressing slow but it's only been a few weeks.
Right now I'm trying to work with her on her fear of people and animals, while at the same time trying to reinforce her confidence. She is very eager to please and be told 'good girl' and get a pet on the head but she is still stressed enough that she has a hard time paying attention when she is stressing. I live in an apartment but she gets to go outside pretty often. I take her out behind where I work and let her chase a ball at lunch but it's usually only fora few minutes so I try and walk her as much as I can. She does well on a leash though as long as I use a collar. I've been trying to work with her using a harness and she hates the harness, but due to the shape of her head and neck she can easily slip out of a collar unless it so tight that she is choking, and with her being afraid and trying to "back up" from time to time, it is easier to keep her under control with the harness. If we are going outside to potty at home, she gets the collar, if we leave home she gets the harness and doesn't like it at all. She is a very smart dog and I can tell that once I get through the initial stress and fear issues she will be able to be trained to follow some basic commands (I'm sure I need just as much training as she does).
I could go on and on about her but I will end my wall of text with some pictures.. Jeannie - Imgur