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I know I am so thankful to have been able to rescue my dog, Penny. She is truly amazing and has come so far. So, I'm going to share my rescue dog story and hope you'll share yours! As a 11 year old, I wrote a descriptive powerpoint to convince my parents to get a dog, and as long as it was my full responsibility, they reluctantly obliged. I checked at the Humane Society, but none of the dogs fit the size and needs of our situation, so I posted a wanted add on Craigslist looking for a dog that the owners could no longer afford.

Her owners reached out to me, and when I got to meet her, she wouldn't even let me touch her-she was that nervous and under socialized. However, I fell in love with her instantly and we brought her home. Upon entering our house, she hid under the table for 3 hrs until I was able to coax her out. She spent the nights pacing, never sleeping until 3 or 4 am. It took her 2 months to even touch my dad, and whenever she'd see another person or dog, she'd hide between my legs.

It took a lot of socialization and a lot of love, but now she is a dream dog. I take her to the horse barn I ride at every day and she just trots at my heels, and she gets off lead walks in the foothills behind my house everyday. She's incredibly loyal and follows me everywhere. At 3, she still loves to play with her squeaker toy and roll on it upside down. She loves to go mountain bike riding, and we have dabbled in some jumping and tons of tricks (she LOVES it).

So, what's your rescue story? Share pictures, too!

Here are some of Penny:
 

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Aw, she's adorable :)

I've rescued a few dogs, but I'll share my most recent dog as he's also been my biggest challenge.

He's a Cocker mix. I got him a few months after my heart dog, a Sheltie, died. My Sheltie was perfection in every sense of the word, and I really wanted a similarly social and happy companion that I could take to the park and my friends' houses.

...that is not what I got. :p

My Chisum was a handful from day one (at 8 weeks!). He came into rescue from a hoarder, and has some genetic fear issues going on. He immediately went after my other dogs, and refused to interact with anyone but me for a good two months. He then went through a time where he warmed up to my family, and was fine out on walks, before it all took a turn for the worse and he became extremely reactive to strangers.

I am now working with a professional trainer to get his fears under control. He's a very sweet and bright little guy, but he's got a looooong way to go. I'm learning so much about dog behavior, though, and I have a feeling he'll be worth it in the end!
 

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My Mister was my first rescue. I had been fostering for a while, and knew I wanted to settle into another dog of my own. I looked at our local shelters off and on for about 3 months, until I ran across this litter of "lab mix" puppies. His sister caught my eye first (she was the biggest of the litter) but his personality drew me in. Of the litter he was the most relaxed and comfortable in his own skin. I picked him up and he just looked at me and I loved him! He fell asleep in my arms on his back about 15 minutes later and I knew I couldn't leave him.

Cajun was our second rescue-my husband had decided shortly after we got Mister that he wanted his own dog too. I totally didn't trust him to keep up with his end of that bargain so it took about a 8 months of convincing and another 4 months of looking before we found Cajun. Man, we only had him for a few days before he came down with parvo and ultimately passed away, but what a dog he would have been! He was smart, even keeled, and very unflappable even for a puppy! It was just amazing. You never quite realize how quickly a dog can make a lasting impression on you until it occurs.

Rascal is our third and final rescue, at least until all of the dogs we have now have gone to doggy Heaven, preferable many years in the future. He wasn't exactly an accident, but he certainly wasn't on purpose. The shelter I think was very taken aback by/concerned about the parvo outbreak they had occur, and that one of the pups they had adopted out had died. They didn't force Rascal on us precisely, it was more that we asked to see him, and they were so excited that we wanted to adopted another pup that they thought we had made a decision. I really can't say that I know how it happened. Rascal for all that he is Cajun's brother only shares one trait with Cajun that I can tell, and that is the low energy. Outside of that I am having to learn new lessons in patience and training.

I really love all of my dogs. I do favor Mister, but I work very hard to make sure they all get the attention they need and deserve, but boy oh boy Rascal's need greatly overshadows that of all of my other boys.
 

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Some years ago, when I was working...and it came time to adopt another dog after putting to sleep (due to old age) one of my pair of dogs - I decided no more puppies. Mostly at that time it was because my remaining dog was also elderly and I didn't want him to have to deal with a puppy pestering him. So I went out and adopted an 8 year old dog that was to be put to sleep the next day. Her name was Lacey, she was an Australian Shepherd mix. She had been at the shelter for a year and no one hardly even looked at her - one or two asked about her but didn't want her due to her age and the fact that she was turned in for killing bunnies that got into the yard. (makes me furious someone could have a dog for 8 years then just use that excuse as a reason to dump it).
It sounds like she was just a back yard ornament anyways....she wasn't abused so much as socially neglected. She had been fed and watered, but that was it.

Anyway...she turned out to be a perfectly wonderful dog. Low energy...so she was a good fit with my elderly dog. She was quiet, followed me around and watched what I was doing all day and she never got into the garbage or caused any damage to my house or yard. And she lived to the ripe old age of 14 which for her size was a very good age.

Since then I adopted other older dogs.

Harper the beautiful girl in my avatar photo, was 6 years old...she was a rough collie x great pyrenees mix - and a Very happy girl all the time. Sadly, I had to put her to sleep about a year and a half later due to diabetes.

Jaya - was 5 years old when I got her. Her former owner not only neglected her as far as feeding and giving her water...he kept her isolated and tied up in a back yard...and when she learned to slip her collar and he had to chase her to catch her, he would beat her with things like boards and chains. The rescue group that saved her got this information from his neighbors. Jaya is almost feral due to her lack of socialization and her extreme fear of humans...being for 5 years all she had was a bad experience with one. She's coming around very slowly but just a few weeks ago, for the first time, she sat down in the kitchen next to my legs and let me reach down and scratch her back and pet her. When I first got her I couldn't even look at her or touch her without her having a panic attack and racing though the house trying to find a place to hide.

I adopted my last dog recently and he's by far the youngest one I've had in a while. He was 2 years old when I adopted him, was turned into the shelter as a 1 year old, almost starved to death dog. He's a pure bred Golden Retriever, and the breeder couldn't get weight on him and gave him to the shelter to see if they had the time and money to try to save him. He was also not born normal and is slightly retarded...his head is a bit undersized and kind of weird shaped.

The shelter got a little weight on him but wasn't making much progress but he vetted out fine for things like diabetes and other things, so they didn't know why he couldn't gain weight and would vomit often after eating. I thought he had a delightful personality so I took him on.

I figured I would just feed him a handful (and I have small hands) of food about every half hour and see what happened. Nothing happened. He held it down and by the end of the day I was able to feed him about 3 cups of dry dog kibble. He rapidly put on weight...I was able to increase the amount of food I gave him. And now he eats about 2 cups a day in 3 feedings. Plus a snack sometimes if I have a bit of bread crumb or chicken meat..etc...left from dinner.

Anyway, I love reading about other people's rescues. The dog in the original post is just gorgeous and looks like a very happy girl...I'm so glad she found the right home and the right person to help her go from a scared dog to one with a bit more confidence. I think Jaya's too old to do a complete turn around in her personality...but she's improved a lot..and it's been slow going.

Congrats on being able to get your doggy out of her shell and to interact with you the way she does.

Stormy
 
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