I found Zuri on Petfinder. Zuri was a flat-coated retriever mix. Her description said “incredibly cat tolerant” and I had three older cats, 10, 13, and 19 years. I emailed for more information and found out she was young pregnant stray, who delivered nine puppies in a wonderful foster home and she let the foster family’s cat clean her puppies. I met her at the foster home. She was sweet and very timid, but I figured I had the time to invest in raising her confidence level, so I adopted her.
I brought Zuri home after her nine puppies were weaned. She was hand shy, terrified of riding in the car (had to be physically restrained), afraid of everything (the ceiling fan, the ice cube maker, traffic, etc.) and had separation anxiety. With love and patience, we worked through her issues and in less than a year, she was a certified therapy dog.
Zuri went on to complete three agility classes and in February 2012, passed her evaluation for renewal as a therapy dog with the highest rating, meaning she is now basically unflappable. As a Pet Partners team, we had volunteered at a cancer center and are now volunteering at Children’s Hospital.
A year after adopting Zuri, I adopted Shayde, a senior Aussie/Sheltie mix. Zuri and I both fell in love with her. I noticed right away that Shayde didn’t move right, and her tests showed an exposure to lymes, so I had a C6 test done. They treat for lymes if the C6 is over 30, her C6 was 594. No wonder she was stiff
Shayde was shy, had never walked on a leash, and spent most of our obedience class hiding behind me. Like Zuri, she has come a long way. She is not food motivated, so training was always slow. I tried to teach her to spin, but never was able to get her to do the action. Then one day I told Zuri to spin and Shayde did “spin” also. I thought it was a fluke, but from that day on she does “spin”. She learned it from watching Zuri. She has also learned from Zuri to say “hi” to people by going up to them and sitting down (she is still wary of tall men, but we continue to work on it).
Shayde just finished a second course of antibiotics, her C6 was still high. We will continue to monitor it. Prevention is so important and much cheaper and easier than dealing with the consequences.
I can’t thank Petfinder enough. The cats and I are totally in love with these two dogs and feel so lucky to have them as part of our family.
Please rescue and don’t overlook the black, adult, or senior dogs. You never know what you could be missing.