|Becca was brought to our attention in mid-October by a friend in Utah who had seen some postings online. "The reason I am writing is to inform you and your group of a beautiful, scared one year old white shepherd [that] has been taken in by an extremely over crowded shelter in Las Vegas. The shelter had to take some extreme number of dogs that were picked up by animal control from a hoarder. This poor baby was brought to my attention by friends in Las Vegas. My own 10 year old is having some issues and I can't bring another dog into the household that will require attention away from her. I am attaching her information for you to review. I hope you can help get her safe."
Shelter notes indicated, "Curious at front but unsure and tail tucked, nervous and ignores treats. Lip licking but leans against door for staff to pet. Able to leash, pet, and handle slowly, very nervous. Dog is showing signs of stress and anxiety to environment." YA THINK??? The "environment" is a shelter -- a doggie prison! We can't imagine a dog NOT showing signs of stress and anxiety!
We reached out to our dear friend, Becky, in Vegas and wondered if she could get to the shelter to meet this girl and, no surprise, she got right on it! She and a representative of Vegas Shepherd Rescue went to the shelter and met Becca and sent us the following video:
According to Becky, "She took a cheeseburger nicely. We weren't able to get her out but she was sweet. Her tail was tucked initially but then was wagging. She's a baby; they have her at a year and 6 months, I think maybe younger, but not a good judge of that. They said she came in (picked up as a stray on LV Blvd somewhere) with another white girl who got adopted. They said that the other one was crazy this one is calm! I will do calm anyday. She seems sweet, just scared. They said she's not happy about getting a leash around her head but they most likely caught her with a catch pole and now she's afraid. We will go prepared with cheeseburgers since she loved that today! She will be fine."
UPDATE 10/22: In Becky's words, "You can't make this S**T up." While preparing Becca to be released into our custody, the shelter found a microchip! She had been in the shelter since the 9th, and yet, just today, a chip was found, which means that Becca cannot be released to us! We don't know if the other dog that Becca was impounded with also had a chip, but that dog has already been adopted. Becca is, once again, on hold at the shelter while they attempt to contact her owner(s). Becky's right, we can't make this "stuff" up.
We will have to wait and see whether the shelter is going to subject Becca to a 10 day hold (in addition to the more than 2 weeks she has already spent in the shelter) or not. We have our fingers crossed that sanity and good reason will prevail...
UPDATE 10/24: Becca's owners were contacted and given until 7pm last evening to come and pick her up. They said they would, but didn't show. We didn't waste any time and Becca was picked up early this afternoon by Shari and taken to a Vegas vet to make sure she's healthy before her trip to Phoenix.
According to Becky, "Phil says she's sweet. ...Her neck is sore, presumably from getting caught with catch pole. She will be evaluated at Dr Verma's for neck soreness and will treat with meds if needed. She doesn't like leash, most likely because it hurts and possible trauma from catch pole. She was very well behaved in lobby at Dr Verma's, didn't react to small dog in lobby. When Phil went into bathroom, she was sitting and waiting for him to come out, she liked Phil. Shari said she rode great in the car on the way from the shelter to Dr Verma."
UPDATE 10/27: Two of our staff members drove to Kingman this afternoon to meet our good friend Phil and Becca.
Becca was treated at the vet's office for a very serious ear infection. It is believed that she was in so much pain, that even someone pulling or jerking on her collar caused her tremendous pain, which is probably the reason the shelter labeled her as not liking a leash or a collar. When she was picked up as a stray, a catch pole was used on her; we cannot imagine the pain this sweet girl was in with that around her neck with an ear infection. OUCH!
Becca moved into her temporary foster home with one of our staff members. She was a little anxious at first, but it didn't take her long to settle in. She demanded some attention from the man of the house, ate a nice dinner and then curled up for bedtime.
UPDATE 10/28: Becca had a good night in her crate in the kitchen. She whined a little at 3am, but was soon fast asleep again. She went outside to potty and came in for breakfast, then decided to try and reacquaint herself with one of the cats ... much to the cat's chagrin. She's a little nervous in a new household, but still seems to have good house manners, other than attempting to climb on the couch.
Someone has not been kind to this sweet girl. Her fosters have discovered that if you are standing in front of Becca and reach towards her head for her collar, she will react negatively -- she will put her mouth on your hand/arm (NOT BITE), and try her best to get you to leave her alone by showing her teeth and softly growling. Her fear is very apparent! And as soon as you back off, she's her sweet, friendly self again -- it's like a switch that she immediately turns on and off. We cannot imagine what someone has done to her to cause her to react so violently, especially towards people she is coming to love and trust. We have also discovered that if you are sitting down, you can touch her, her collar or anywhere else and she will roll over and ask for tummy rubs, or if you approach her head from behind, you'll get the same reaction. So far we have narrowed it down to someone standing over her and reaching past or over her head for her collar. We are still testing her at every opportunity to see if she has any other triggers. So far, none have surfaced.
Becca has attached herself to her foster dad. When he left to run some errands, she lay by the door for a while waiting for him. Then, when we went looking for her, we found her ... in his shower! She was calm and totally content in there, so we left her, at least for now.
UPDATE 10/30: Becca continues to settle in and get comfortable at her temporary foster home. She is calming down and feeling at home after just a few days -- a remarkably quick adjustment. She becoming more inquisitive with the cats but, to be fair, they are going out of their way to entice her to chase them! She greets each of her foster parents with a tail wag and is even asking for attention and petting from them (especially her foster dad, whose attention she craves). We suspect that Becca's abuser might have been a woman as Becca shows a strong preference for men. She is warming up to her foster mom, but dad is #1 on her Hit Parade.
FOSTER UPDATE 10/31: Becca's fosters report, "We have a happy puppy on our hands! She's definitely come out of her shell and is learning to trust. She has started to play and is quite a character. She is no longer showing any signs of stress and in only five days has settled into the household like a champ. Any family who gives her time to adjust to their home will be happy they added this little girl to their family." Foster dad grabbed her collar today to guide her into her kennel when the trick-or-treaters began showing up, and there was no reaction whatsoever from Becca.
Just to be on the safe side, we're not recommending a family with young kids for Becca, although to be truthful, she has not been tested with young children. We'll try and catch a video of her playing with her foster dad.
UPDATE 11/7: Becca's fears are completely gone. She is a happy, loving little girl and has made herself quite at home at her temporary foster home. She no longer has any hesitation or objections about her foster family reaching for or grabbing her collar and, contrary to what we had been told, absolutely LOVES her leash and to go for walks (although, to be honest, her leash manners need work).
UPDATE 11/19: Becca continues to improve and enjoy life with her foster mom & dad. She is still giving the one cat a run for his money, but she pretty much ignores the other cat that happens to like her! She is fine with the little chihuahua in the household; that is until she comes between Becca and her main person -- her foster dad. Then she just wants the little dog to be out of the way. Becca is all puppy and needs ongoing training and socialization, but she is now completely trusting of her foster folks and they've seen no further issues with reaching, grabbing and/or touching her collar (especially when treats are involved). We have finally gotten Becca comfortable enough to where she is playing with a toy -- Santa came a little early for her.
This girl is ready to find a family of her own. She will take time to settle into a new household (as do all shepherds), but she's definitely ready to try. She prefers men to women (rare in a shepherd), is crate trained, housebroken, good with small dogs and cats and ready for the rest of her life, although in all honesty, she would do fine as an only dog. She has a tendency to "take possession" of the main person (man) in her world, but training will solve any problems that might cause. An experienced GSD person would be ideal for this girl to get her over the rough spots that adjusting to a new home will entail. She's definitely worth the effort.
UPDATE 1/21: It was a windy day today, and Becca decided she had to help Garry "kill" the horrible plastic monster that blew into the backyard! She was actually jumping up, into the air with all four paws off the ground, and having a ball. She finally got hold of it.
Adoption fee $395.00.