Fostering Farrah


August 16, 2011 - second note:

Susan didn't have a camera.  I don't use mine much at all anymore as I use the one with my iPhone/Pod. I took it to her yesterday evening with extra batteries and had a nice visit.  Susan said Farrah has been more skittish in the last few days; we are not sure why but I wonder if it is just because she is being pushed quite a bit more than she was here at Silverwalk.  She does much better with other dogs around so we are learning her new home should have a mellow dog or two.  Lucky is Top Dog; Farrah respects her position but will stand up for herself if need be.  So nice to see her settled.  During my visit, she hesitated to move past Lucky till I pulled her with her collar; she wanted to go inside.  When we went inside (the evening was perfect), she was resting on the sofa, watching us all.  Keep up the great work, Susan and Farrah; we have class tonight!

August 11, 2011 - first note:

Farrah missed dog class on Tuesday due to work conflicts but she and Susan walked around her urban neighbor for half an hour.  To me, this was as good as class; Farrah, she is has been with dogs most of her life, is now out with a person meeting other people, dealing with strange sounds and closer homes.  YESH.

I quote another communique: "Farah is more relaxed every day although she still startles if I move too fast.  She is 'smiling' and wagging her tail a lot and likes to come up and be petted so that is good!  If it doesn't rain this evening (yesterday, Wednesday - my comment) we are going to Capaha Park for a stroll.  I think kids really get her nervous (they do me, too!) so we will go find some (YESH - my comment).  And she does love her some dog food.  It's funny how well she eats at home but I can't interest her in treats when we go out.  It's even hard to get her to take a treat at home, she only does if Candy does, too (Susan's Basset - my comment).  She and Candy have bonded I think but Lucky is trying to push her around.  We are working on that!"

Thank you, Susan, as well as Melanie for supporting Susan's plans/actions with Farrah!  WOW.

August 8, 2011 - Introduction
Leona - taken at distance

When Leona first arrived in January, 2008, I could only touch her head.  A vet tech and I carried her to my car.  She had given birth to puppies who were adopted out but Leona was deemed "un-adoptable" due to her extreme shyness and fear.  She did not fear bite nor was she aggressive in any way ;  she tried to melt shivering into the ground.  As the vet and her initial rescuer knew, she had been severely beaten.  We estimated her age at 16 months.

On her arrival at Silverwalk, I only asked she eat and rest.  I let her learn be a dog. interacting with healthy, confident hounds and puppies.  She took Chip and Monk, newbies, under her wing; they became a triad.  Her name changed to Farrah.  My friend Debi Baker gave her this beautiful name into which she has grown.

After about 2 months, I took her to dog class run by her initial rescuer.  Farrah did not participate.  She walked on the leash, then curled up shivering on the ground.  When a participant asked to pet her, I said "No, when Farrah is ready to be petted, she will ask; not now."  After six weeks, Farrah walked on leash in a circle along with the other dogs.  She allowed others to pet her.  She rolled over for a tummy rub.   The trainer was astounded.  All I did was let her become herself.


However, becoming true to herself took more.  Farrah was still shy, still avoided strangers, would not go into the car.   Her second miracle: I met a college student who was part of a sorority.  Multiple sorority sisters walked dogs on a weekly basis at Silverwalk.  initially, Farrah would be off in the field, watching...soon, she allowed herself to be taken on walks; most walks consisted of multiple dogs and students.  By the end of that first school year, Farrah was demanding to go on walks!  By the end of the second year, she was goosing anyone - even those she had not previously met.  Farrah was still painfully shy when I took her to adoption events.  People were not able to see the dog we saw on our walks and at home.

Susan started working dogs for a new (to me) trainer, Melanie.  She had an excellent touch with the dogs she handled.  Susan took Hoss through class to prep him before he went to the Puppies on Parole program.  Both her prep and the program allowed others to see the great dog he is - now loved in his new home.  Susan asked about taking Farrah to class.  Farrah looked forward to Susan coming for her as she loves her walks...but not the car.   Baby steps, baby steps....

Farrah modeling a collar for Busch Pet Products

Susan was fostering a lab for a woman moving to the area and finding a job.  After all came together for lab and mom, Susan asked to foster Farrah.  WOW.  A chance for lovely Farrah to be in a real home with just a couple other dogs and a couple cats.  Her third miracle - Susan says she settled very well.  Farrah needs a crate, her safe area away from the madding crowd - I find her curled into a Beagle crate sometimes!   She is now living as a foster dog with Susan.  Susan's goal is to take her into the public to alleviate her fear and shyness so she can find her home - and her home can find her!  

My plan with this page is to update you as Farrah and Susan travel the road of fostering.  Please check out the blog, Love and a Six Foot Leash in my blogroll; Aleksandra and her husband write eloquently about fostering; open about how they always want to keep their fosters but by doing so, they would deny another dog a chance for a home.  Thus it is with Susan and Farrah - Farrah, find home. 

Smiling Farrah - you've come a long way, baby