~ 4 yrs old ~ 26 lbs ~ Fostered in Kensington, MD ~
Heidi is an intelligent, healthy and sweet girl. She is very timid and therefore reserved in her interactions with humans. She does not differential between men and women as some of our rescue dogs do, but in general is careful in dealing with all people. It is hard to assess if this reaction to humans is the result of neglect or abuse in her past or merely a result of a lack of socialization when she was young. The longer that Heidi lives in our home, the better she gets about responding to people. She seems to genuinely want to interact one on one with us.
Heidi came to us from the Pulaski County (VA) dump in January, 2014, in the midst of the cold and snowy weather. When she arrived here, she was cowering and shaking every time we reached to pet her and would often scream as if we had beat her. She has come a long way from that terrified little girl, but still has a ways to go. Make no mistake, it has been a tough road for her to take to accept us in her world and she has bravely made the trek. She still collapses and cowers when voices are raised, but under normal conditions, she will approach us and even jump up for attention.
Interaction with strangers, including the veterinary staff, is still a hurdle for Heidi, but it appears that the size of the hurdle is shrinking with time and exposure. She has learned to accept pets and treats at adoption events from those outside the small circle humans she has come to trust. We are looking for a calm household to help her complete her transition to a well-adjusted companion animal. She will be able to do it, but she just needs a little help from a loving human partner(s).
Although she is fearful, she never has displayed any aggression to human, canine or feline. In fact, she is on the submissive end of the spectrum. Heidi is crate trained, potty trained and generally comes when we call her. She does not chew on inappropriate items or dig in the yard. She walks on a lead, but needs practice. She does bark when in her fenced yard to chase away the scary people in the next yard or on the street, but mostly is quiet inside the house. She sleeps on a pillow in the master bedroom with us and usually eats in a crate with the door open in the kitchen. She loves treats which is the way to her heart.
Heidi is learning to play with some of her foster siblings and seems happiest when close to (in the same room as) the family members (both canine and human). She is such a good girl though that she does not complain if left on her own.
We are hoping to find a compassionate adult forever home for Heidi that can offer her a little more time and help at the beginning so she can settle in, get comfortable, form bonds with and totally trust her new family. Only then will she completely relax, let down her guard and realize that she is finally home where she belongs. Heidi’s ideal home would have a calm canine playmate or two to keep her company when the folks were away, but a committed parent or parents are the main ingredient for Heidi’s happiness.