This lovely lady is about 3.5 years old. She was pulled from the local county shelter as a foster a little over 2 years ago for a now defunct rescue that never made any effort to re-home her.
Unfortunately the party that took her in has 3 other dogs, two of which were females. The other dogs are shepherd mixes..anyone who knows the breed can tell you that this is far from an ideal situation.
Maya had no training and had never been socialized; this coupled with lack of leadership, lead to many conflicts.
During Maya's evaluation we saw a gal understandably uncertain around strangers and reactive with dogs unfamiliar to her. We also saw great potential in an otherwise loving dog that was simply never taken off her property or exposed to the world outside. A smart German Shepherd Dog, the victim of three years of neglect and/or ignorance.
While searching for a foster home for her, which would enable us to start working with her on a consistent basis, she was enrolled in a group class with our trainer. Her caretaker missed several classes so attendance lacked continuity yet Maya did benefit as expected. We then had one of our staff volunteers pick Maya up once a week and work with her on social skills. She visited many new places and situations
We are delighted to report that Maya can now be around strange dogs and just ignore them. She is, however, not comfortable if another dog invades her personal space or 'gets in her face' and will let them know they're too close. She is friendly and receptive with strangers and walks well on lead.
Had we been successful in locating a foster home for her she would be ready to share her residence with another dog, she would have learned how to play with toys and friends, etc. We know that, with time and her new found confidence, Maya will get there but...an unexpected situation has recently cropped up: Due to personal events, Maya's caretaker is staying away from her home. The other dogs have been moved and Maya is staying in the house alone, visited several times a day by a pet sitter. She actually seems more content with the stress of the pack now gone but the one thing we know; GSDs always want to be near their people or person, so this arrangement is only temporary.
For the time being, older kids only, no other dogs (we don't know about cats) although we feel that under the right circumstances, a well balanced respectful male dog will eventually be Maya's buddy. To that end, we will gladly continue to work with Maya whether she is fostered or adopted.
Click below for foster info & application:
Maya is spayed, crate and house trained, vaccinated, chipped.
Monday June 17th: Maya was moved into our foster care today....YAY Upon arrival at her foster's home, one could almost hear her thinking, "Now who am I supposed to trust?" Given (what to her) was her recent abandonment, she has every right to be uncertain, but that's about to change. We will be working on building her confidence & teaching her that people can be trusted and kind. She will be the center of attention..no other pets or kids, and instead of being locked in a room, she will have the run of her foster's lovely spacious home.
Our girl is not quite ready for adoption as we will be devoting the summer to erasing the memory of any trauma she has experienced. Swimming lessons for summer exercise are on the agenda, and socialization will continue as the heat permits.
We will post her progress & advise when she's ready to meet you, here, on her page.
A relaxed smile, Maya is settling in nicely
Yes, she DOES play with toys....
UPDATE: It's been less than 2 weeks and it's clear that Maya is enjoying life, which for us is almost progress enough. After being isolated for a few weeks she did take a few steps back from the strides she made when outside of her comfort zone, and she was tentative again with strangers. Her socialization has resumed and if left at her own pace, Maya will eventually yet cautiously approach a visitor in the home now. She's been to the neighborhood park and the bank with her foster Mom and is far more relaxed than ever. Thanks Kim!
The pool guy showed up unannounced and Maya was German Shepherd appropriate; 1st an alert bark, then went right towards him barking followed by a quick return trip to "Mom"....good girl.
She is showing so much of herself now, here's what we've learned:
> She has above average prey drive and would love to give chase to anything moving.
It was 110 degrees today so what we're able to accomplish is limited and will remain so through the summer.
Maya will always require a confident leader she can 'feed off'. She really doesn't want to be the decision maker and would welcome the opportunity to relinquish that responsibility to someone better at it. She has also told us that she wants an ample grass yard in which she can run and play..it's as though she celebrates her freedom. Most importantly, Maya wants and needs a person or family with time for her.
BELOW IS THE SOFTER NOW MORE RELAXED MAYA AS HER PREVIOUSLY CONSTANT INTENSITY DIMINISHES
This little lizard's life was spared by thick glass.
Maya will shake & poke the ground cover & bushes
to flush them out of hiding and the chase begins
It's a challenge to keep our dogs occupied & exercised in the AZ summers and Maya was already lacking muscle. The video below was the answer, she's now in great shape.
UPDATE: Maya still demonstrates some minor stranger danger, which due to the heat and humidity, we are not able to address until it gets cooler. She is not at all aggressive, just barks and avoids, so once we're able to work with her more in that regard, she will be ready to meet her potential forever family. Maya is left loose and given the run of the house when her foster Mom is not home; she is well behaved and has not done anything naughty...a very easy gal to live with.
UPDATE: Maya has made progress warming up to the many strangers that she meets in her foster home. What we would like to work on is her being more receptive to people she doesn't know when outside in the big world, as that is exactly what a prospective adopter would be to her.
If the weather cooperates, we anticipate being able to start showing her around mid October. We will keep everyone posted here.
Our adoption process begins with a phone interview, there are no applications online