A day at a Love Underdogs show.

Yesterday was a lovely sunny warm day, just perfect for going to a dog show. What a stroke of luck that Love Underdogs just happened to have their Autumn fun dog show/reunion then. :-)

The journey was uneventful right up until we were 5 minutes from the kennels when Hamish decided to be sick all over the floor of the car (the cause of his sickness was that he decided to strip and eat the coating from a Kong dumbell)!

We arrived and took the pooches for a walk around the fields where Annie and Hamish had their first encounters with horses and donkeys, that went well. We then circled the crowd of people and dogs milling around the stalls and show ring, that went well, we felt brave enough to stop and talk with some of the Love Underdogs staff and that went well. :-) No scatty episodes from Annie and Hamish was fairly calm, we stopped for coffee, went to sit on a chair and as Julia moved her chair, Annie went scatty. That was the only episode from Annie all day, she was a star.

We decided to enter each of them in one category of the show. Hamish was bound to win his category, the waggiest tail, Hamish clears the coffee table every time he enters a room so it’s in the bag? slightly optimistic there! Hamish saw a child within ten feet of him so he sat like a statue looking the other way and didn’t give even one tiny wag. :-D

Indy was entered in the best trick category even though we had no idea what trick he was going to do? Julia made something up as he entered the ring which was just something he does when we are playing with him in order to test his brain, Julia threw his treat bag 20 feet or so away and got him to wait at her side she then sent him for it but on the way back got him to drop it and return to her with a couple of sits and downs along the way, he then waited at her feet before she told him to find it!! he was brilliant, he came first. :-) I wouldn’t have been able to do it.

Indy prize winner

Annie surpassed all expectations. She was in the best Love Underdog category. We expected that fear would get the better of her so Julia took up a position just a couple of feet from me and the boys just in case she wanted to leave the ring in a hurry. Not only did she parade around the ring with 20 or more dogs and owners, she sat within a few feet of a young lad and his dog and even let the judge stroke her nose. :-)  We were very proud of her,  her new brave persona has carried on into today, she has been very relaxed and even “pestered” me to fuss her this morning. A real winner in my eyes.

Annie Show stopper

I have to give credit to the photographer in this next picture, Anna Hauser is the founder of Hauser bears and Love Underdogs, two very worthy charities.

Me and my boys watching Annie in the ring.

Mick Indy and Hamish at the show

We had a lovely day at the show, we were all exhausted by the end of it but only the dogs got to sleep in a pile right at the back of the car in the breeze from 4 windows and an open sunroof. :-)

Pile of pooches

No individual dog for rehoming again this week, I will however point readers in the direction of Love Underdogs again. I witnessed at the end of the show a paddock full of puppies, a new bunch just arrived this week so there are now about 20 gorgeous young puppies of all shapes and sizes looking for a home.

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Annie is a funny old girl.

I find it hard enough to understand human women but understanding a canine woman is much harder. Annie has always been a bit up and down with me, one day she is relaxed and the next she runs every time I come in the room? we thought this was because I am a bit clumsy due to my MS, I often drop things which scares Annie and I also walk a bit wobbly which can look like I am lunging at her. It has taken me getting a sore throat and blocked sinus to finally figure it out, it’s my voice!! my voice has become growly and deeper and she has been terrified when I speak, all it takes is me to talk like Mickey Mouse when addressing her and she loves me! Hamish and Indy are not sure that I am completely sane but Annie likes it. :-)

getting fluffy Annie

Today we had to take Indy to the vet for the third of his four injections for arthritis, while I waited in the car with Hamish and Annie I reached back and was rubbing Hamish’s back and after a few seconds Annie started to vigorously lick my hand? she had only given a couple of tiny licks before, that was also in the car, after a while she pushed her nose under my hand and shoved my hand onto her head for a scruffle. :-) (yes, I had been talking like Mickey Mouse) Progress, I think. As can be seen in the above picture, Annie is getting fluffy again, she had all of her hair shaved after being rescued as she was in a terrible mess, she looks very cute but may need a trim soon?

Annie when first rescued!

Annie b4 shave

Sunday 28th there is another fun dog show and reunion day at Glebe farm, the home of Love Underdogs. We will be taking Annie so that she can see the people and dogs that she was familiar with before coming to us, it will be interesting to see how she does. You never know, there could be an adopter there for her?

Address for Glebe farm.

Glebe Farm Kennels and Cattery
Birchley Heath Road
Birchley Heath
CV10 0QY Nuneaton
Warwickshire

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A lovely older lady called Casandra (Cassie) is looking for a home, she is with Irish Retriever Rescue.

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The ups and downs of Annie Underdog.

A week is a long time in the life of Annie. When Julia left for a week long visit to her dad, Annie wasn’t my biggest fan! During the week it was as though I had become Julia, Annie treated me like I was the most trusted person she knew, she came running to me for her lead to be put on, she walked right next to my heel and best of all she relaxed in her chair without getting scatty whenever I moved.

Annie relaxed in chair

 

We had some lovely walks during which I was even bold enough to put Annie on Hamish’s 50ft long line, that proved to be a bit of a mistake as she often ended up wrapped from head to toe in red lead, looking a bit like a red mummy! All 3 of them ended up worn out at the end of our sessions on the scrub fields though. :-)

Indy being pooped but still able to guard his precious empty plastic bottle. :-D

Indy with bottle

Annie pooped, note the very lady like delicate panting.

Annie pooped

And finally, Hamish being pooped, a full on blokey tongue hanging out unable to get his breath pooped!

Hamish scrub pooped

So all in all it was a very successful week, Annie learned to trust me, started getting used to a different routine and all is good with the world? Hold on, not so fast! Sunday Julia returned home. Annie rushed to the hallway with her tail wagging to greet her long lost foster mother she then retreated to the kitchen so she could peep out from behind the door until she was sure that things were OK. Once everyone had settled in their respective seats she came into the room and settled on her chair again, and then I got up and she ran into the garden and hid?! and every time for the next 2 days she did the same thing, I had become the enemy, so much so that on Tuesday night when I went into the room she jumped onto her chair and barked at me, I was shocked as she has never barked at anyone or anything. Since Tuesday she has started to settle again and become her usual self, Julia is still her best human friend but I am no longer the evil one. We figured her drastic changes are just due to the routine changing again and once she knew things were back to normal, she was too. We think we have worked out why she likes to be surrounded to be safe, I found out from Love Underdogs that when she was in the shelter in Brasov, Romania she lived in an enclosure with other dogs, each had their own kennel but Annie didn’t live in hers, she burrowed a hole in the ground underneath it and lived down there for safety!! :-(  so we have figured that the high arms and back of her chair give her a sense of safety, just like her hole in the dirt.

Love Underdogs are soon going to be promoting Annie on their Facebook page as she is now at the point where she could be re homed successfully, she will regress slightly when first adopted but we think she will attach to her adopter within a few days. Once a routine is established in her new home she would soon flourish as she now has a lot more confidence than when she arrived. I will really miss her when she does go, so until then I will try to enjoy her.

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Love Underdogs are looking for the perfect home for Zani who is 2 years old, if that could be you click the picture to find out more.

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While the wife’s away the woofers will play.

Julia has popped over to Indianapolis for a week to see her dad who is very ill, she loves to visit her dad but it is very sad in these circumstances.

The dogs are behaving well for me, Annie doesn’t like me being on Julia’s sofa so I have had to return to my chair, she was constantly staring at me and became twitchy every time I moved? I can only think she has learned to cope by having routine and isn’t comfortable when things change?

Annie has been an angel when we go walking which was the thing that worried me, because I am wobbly when I walk I thought it would be difficult with 3 dogs at once but it has been OK.

We have just had a good session in the scrub fields near home during which Annie got to run and roll in the long grass by being on a long line. It was very interesting untangling ourselves from Hamish’s 50 ft longline every few minutes but we coped. They all ended up very tired (even Hamish) so I would say that that was a success.

I think she is laughing in this one?

A gorgeous little older lady called Amber is in need of a home at Love Underdogs, she is 9 years old and I will happily make her my next foster if someone doesn’t get her soon. :-)

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Annie is coming on nicely.

Again I will lazily use Julia’s Facebook posting as my Annie update.
I will say that Annie comes to me readily now to have her harness put on for walks and after that while we wait for Julia she comes and prods my leg to give her a scruffle. :-)
Today our son came with his partner and Annie stayed in her chair just a few feet from them with no signs of nervousness.
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“Annie continues to make progress. It is incredible how easily she has settled into living in a home. She has been clean from the start and enjoys spending time curled up on a chair in the living room with us. She loves her walks! Now she trots about wagging her tail when she knows it is walk time giving gentle pokes with her nose as if to say “don’t forget me!” She comes over & stands calmly to have her harness put on. She walks lovely on lead & we only use a harness as extra security in case something panics her when we are out. She loves other dogs & is very polite greeting them. She is very good at reading other dogs body language, and isn’t as relaxed with bouncy dogs as she is with calmer ones, she doesn’t growl or anything, just crouches down low & tries to get out of their way. Annie is still wary of people she doesn’t know, but now sits or lays quietly if we stop to speak to friends, as long as they ignore her. This is improving as initially she was very scatty & would try to get away if someone dared say good morning as they went past! Auntie Eleanor came over yesterday & Annie was happy to stay curled up on the chair in the same room The key is not forcing the issue with her, just letting her come round in her own time. Her crate is kept closed most of the time during the day now and she has learned that she is just as safe on the chair as in the crate, though we would leave it open for her were we to have a workman or someone we don’t know come in. She does retreat to Hamish’s crate with him when I vacuum, but comes straight back out as soon as I have finished (Mick says he’d climb in their with them if he could, not a fan of the vacuum noise either) She also leaves the room when she sees me come in with the broom, ( a legacy of her days on the street?) but is fine with the mop & isn’t bothered by me squirting the floor cleaning liquid within a few inches of her.Annie is a very gentle soul, not a bad bone in her body & no signs of any aggressive behaviour at all. We put her food in her crate, as she usually waits until our boys have finished eating before starting hers, and though our boys are not food aggressive, they are greedy. I think if given the chance to scoff Annie’s meals, they would, and she would just stand back & let them, bless her heart. She eats until she has had enough, which is a first in this house! She doesn’t always finish her breakfast, but does eat her dinner fine & her nightly Bonio or dried tripe treat.We’ve seen glimpses of Annie’s playful side recently when out on our walks. She’s bounded like a little lamb with a smile on her face and yesterday she picked up Indy’s tug rope, gave it a little shake then threw it about a foot away, but scared herself when it landed :-)  Today, she was laying down while I took Hamish’s long line off of him, and she was picking up a nut husk and was throwing it in the air (I know, we are easily excited ) There is a fun loving cheeky Annie just waiting to get out. ( she did manage to roll in fox poo the other day, I swear she was grinning when she stood up! No rinse shampoo & white wine vinegar meant that I got the last laugh)

She has free run of the downstairs at night. She usually sleeps on the chair, but on the odd occasion has taken herself off to her crate to sleep. She hasn’t been at all destructive, hasn’t pinched any food from the kitchen, nor tried to get into the bin. This little lady is amazing and is an absolute angel. She is unsettled by thunder, but doesn’t bark at it. The first time we had thunder, she went upstairs & lay down in the spare room. The other day, she trotted up & down the stairs with Hamish until it stopped

I am now able to give her a gentle brushing, though she gets a bit nervous if she sees the brush before I start, so I hold it in the palm of my hand & do the first 3 or 4 strokes as if I am fussing her, and then she is fine. She has a lovely little ginger beard, she even lets me brush that! She is a darling and considering her life on the streets, she is doing amazingly well. She is no trouble at all. All she needs is time & patience (patience because she is such a sweetheart, you’ll just want to cuddle & fuss her, but will have to resist the temptation until she is ready), there is a very lucky forever family out there waiting for her, they just don’t know it yet.”

Photo1- Annie & Hamish waiting for me to finish vacuuming.
Photo 2- Annie relaxing in her chair.
Photo 3- Annie on her walk yesterday.

Hamish is continuing to be Annie’s best buddy, he still tries to get her to play but she finds it a little unnerving still.
Indy got a little over vigorous when pouncing on a toy and snapped one of his claws in half and made his hand tender so is taking it easy for a while, as you can see from the picture below this isn’t going down too well! :-D  (that’s his not pleased look)
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Injured Indy (1)
There is no individual dog for homing today, I am posting a link to Love Underdogs who have just brought 13 more lucky souls from Romania for rehoming, most this time are young pups. :-) They now have 50 dogs plus some cats available for adoption.
Don’t overlook Annie who is featured on page 1 of the dogs available page.
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Slow and easy does it.

The summer is slowly plodding on and Annie’s progress is doing the same. We have odd days when Annie will get scatty at things that didn’t bother her the day before? mostly she is doing OK.

Annie nice face

 

During our walk in the park this morning we met up with Hamish’s gang so there were 9 dogs in total and Annie was relaxed with all of them, lots of rear end sniffing and face licking went on and she was fine, even when one of the dogs person approached her she only moved back 2 feet. :-)

Hamish and Annie smell the flowers

 

Usually where Hamish goes so does Annie, he likes to look after her and reassure her. She could do without Hamish when we first get to the park because when he is let off lead he does like to do some mad runs which involve running at her and jumping her at the last second!

Indy in the garden

 

Indy is always somewhere close by, in fact he is laying by her chair now. :-)

Indy and Annie

 

I would say that when the right home comes along for Annie she will fit in very easily, the people will have to be patient with her and any man in the household will wait longer for affection than the woman but it will be worth it. Annie is a lovely, gentle and well mannered girly who just needs to learn that the world isn’t out to get her. I am not in a hurry for her to move on, she can stay as long as she likes but when a forever home is offered I will be very happy for her and just a bit sad for me.

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One of the dogs looking for a home via Love Underdogs is buddah, an older gentleman pictured here while still in Romania.

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Annie’s progress.

I will just Paste what Julia said about Annie on Facebook by way of an update.

“Annie has a new favorite spot, so I’ve got the sofa back most of the time now. We had to start closing her crate door for periods of time through the day as she had started retreating to it more often. I popped a little throw on the chair & she was on it like a shot  She seems more relaxed on the chair, maybe because it isn’t as open as the sofa?

She now comes to me sometimes for fuss, and lets me wash her beard when it gets crusty  We’ve been slowly introducing a soft brush to her, just one or two strokes at a time, but she’s not really comfortable with more than that.

Annie loves her walks! We still walk her with 2 leads, one on her collar & one on a soft harness, just to be safe, but she is a star on the lead.  When she knows walk time is imminent, she comes & gives me gentle little pokes with her nose, as if to say “ready when you are”. As soon as her leads & harness appear, she stands calmly while I put them on her (take note Hamish!) She walks lovely. We are starting to see some playfulness on her walks. She does a funny head over heels roll when we stop under a tree, (we call it her GI Jane maneuver) then rolls side to side in the cool grass. She has started doing some play bowing at times, then a funny little prance forward  It is lovely to see her head up and her tail up like a flag pole.

She is learning some commands. She knows “curb” means to stop at the curb & she waits until given an “ok”, she knows “come”, her “stay” is getting good as is her “wait” She knows what “go get a drink” is & “do you want a wee?” We are working on “sit”. 

She is still nervous with people, but is getting better and now if we stop to speak to someone, she usually stands quietly & closer than she used to , as long as they ignore her. She is great with dogs, and is very polite greeting them. She will cower down if they are very bouncy.

Annie quite often mimics the boys, she sometimes walks in perfect step with Indy, she’ll sniff every blade of grass Hamish does, this of course may change as she gains confidence, but she’ll need to be with another dog, either a gentle confident one or a happy go lucky one that isn’t overly bouncy. She has only reacted to a cat once so far, but that may be because Hamish got excited, so she was copying.

She is an absolute sweetheart, & the hardest thing about her is resisting the temptation to scoop her up in our arms & reassure her all will be well 

Must stop, Annie is poking my arm, must be walk time” :-)

I can add that Annie now lets me slowly walk up to her and give her a bit of a scruffle under the chin, I think her being in the chair opposite me enables her to watch me approach so she is not taken by surprise, I don’t fuss her a lot though as she is still a little nervous of men, maybe it’s just me? I do walk a bit awkwardly and have a loud voice which may be unsettling for her? When I try a quiet higher voice she looks more puzzled than reassured. :-D

Annie pretty in chair

 

Hamish is continuing to flourish, he is back to his pre Annie goofy self which can be frustrating but is more funny than annoying. :-)

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And Indy is still good old Indy. :-) He has taken to spending more time laying by Annie’s chair but still just leaves her in piece (unlike Hamish who tries to get her to tumble) We have seen Indy do this calm fatherly figure routine so many times with foster dogs that we expect it really. When Annie is a little bolder he will enjoy playing with her as he has with the previous foster dogs.

Outdoor Indy.

 

We are very proud of how our boys have taken little Annie under their collective wing and are slowly getting her to relax. It has only been a month and she feels safe enough for the back door to be left open so that she can pop in and out as she needs (no more long line).

Annie may never be comfortable with the type of hugging and loving that Hamish and Indy enjoy but she already enjoys the chin rubs and gentle back scratches, so maybe she will?

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8 year old Bailey is a gorgeous little boy. He already knows some basic commands, and enjoys playing in the paddock. He is looking for a loving family for cuddles and fun. Please check out his full profile at Love Underdogs by clicking here

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A year after Mack.

I am posting this a few days early because I wont be able to do this on Mack’s anniversary.  :-(

The death of Mack on July 25 2013 was the culmination of the most horrible year I have ever had! It all started in 2012 when I was diagnosed with Epilepsy, the very next day we found my brother dead in his home, the victim of a dissected aortic aneurysm. What followed was a quick succession of losses which was almost more that I could tolerate, my brother in law, my grandson and mother in law all died before the end of July 2013. I was feeling totally lost and alone apart from Julia (who I couldn’t burden as she was also suffering) and Indy the wonder Collie. I spent hours cuddled up on the sofa with Indy and he didn’t mind me unloading all of my grief on him, He was a little furry Saviour during some very dark days. I decided shortly after Mack had died that I would start to foster dogs again as it has always been very rewarding and it felt good to help pooches that were also having a hard time. Not long after making this decision I came across Hamish at Irish Retriever Rescue and fell in love with his eyes, something in them reminded me of the sad eyes that Mack had when we first got him out of his tiny crate at Wiccaweys. Mack had already had a horrible life before being “rescued” by Wiccaweys, he arrived emaciated, filthy and petrified of everything! and then his “rescuers” stuck him in a small travel crate in the back of a van for 5 months! We would have fostered Mack sooner but we already had a nervous foster dog and would have struggled with another, as soon as our foster got a home we picked up Mack and brought him home.

Life was interesting with Mack, Mack’s take on being scared was if it spooks ya, ya bite it and then shout at it!! Our son was bitten more times than he cares to remember, 2 of my brothers lost chunks from their legs and another brother had his shirt ripped off. Walks were long because we had to swerve around all other people and dogs but we knew that there was an “inner Mack” that would be beautiful, it took 2 years but we finally found it.

Warkworth21

This is the Mack that we discovered, a big, goofy, playful and loving companion. Mack would follow me everywhere and I always felt safe with him at my side, he was no longer reactive but he had a sense of a dodgy person when he saw one and would give a low growl then a fierce bark if needed. At home Mack was relaxed and contented, he would play with Indy then curl up on the rug that my Mum had given to him because she said the wood floor was too uncomfortable for him. :-) Mack was finally getting the life that he had always deserved and then he went off his food! This was unheard of for Mack as he loved to eat, after 24 hours of not being himself I took him to the vet who said he probably had a stomach bug? she gave him antibiotics and gave dietary advice. Mack had been on the 7 day course of antibiotics for 4 days and suddenly appeared worse, I rushed him to the vet and had to leave him for some tests, 4 hours later I got a frantic message from the vet to go down there. When I got to the vet office I was told that Mack was in respiratory distress and didn’t have long to live, I went into the treatment room and Mack dragged himself to meet me and collapsed at my feet, I laid down on the floor with him as he died. The tests had revealed tumours on his heart and liver which were the result of Hemangiosarcoma, the tumour on his heart had been bleeding and slowly filling his pericardial sac with blood stopping it from pumping properly. A very cruel end for a dog that had been through so much in his short life. Mack was only 6 or 7 years old!

Missing her already

This was the last picture that I took of Mack and it is fitting that he is next to his friend and mentor, Indy.

It wasn’t until we adopted Hamish that I realised how many little character traits and quirks Mack had, Hamish does all of the same sweet, soppy and cheeky things that Mack did, along with some of the cheekiest bits from Luca (our late Golden Retriever) I think Mack lives on. :-)  Mack’s real legacy is that he inspired me to foster again so that we can help some more pooches on their way to a home of their own. The first of these foster dogs is Annie from Love Underdogs. She is very nervous/timid and still avoids me when she can but feels safe with Julia so that is a start. What Mack did teach me that will now benefit Annie is that you can’t train the nervousness out of a dog, you have to just be there, be consistent, give them your time and let them discover that they can trust you which in turn leads to them learning to trust the rest of the world.

Annie has a mentor in Hamish.

Annie has a mentor in Hamish.

I still miss Mack every single day just as I do my Golden boy, Luca. I could happily eulogise them daily but there comes a point when you have to let “sleeping dogs lie” and move forwards. My boys will pop up in the odd post or two but the annual remembrance postings will cease. Future pooches will reap the benefits of all that Luca and Mack have taught me and through them they will live on, forever.

 

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Upset tummies for all (almost)

It would appear as though Julia possessed some bad murdered animal flesh? She always shares her meat with the dogs so it is the only reason we can think of for the upset stomachs that they have all had this week. Indy was the first quickly followed by Annie and Hamish and lastly Julia, after a couple of days of bland food they all appear to be well again. I wouldn’t gloat during these unpleasant times just because I don’t contribute to the suffering of animals and stick to healthy and suffering free vegetables, indeed, I had and showed a great deal of sympathy…… for the dogs. :-D

Annie is starting to explore a little more and likes to follow Hamish around, she is still more nervous around me than she is Julia but even this has improved a little. I did have to invest in some proper doggie gates as Annie would easily hop over the baby gates whenever Julia left the room, on one occasion I didn’t notice until Hamish crashed through the gate and went upstairs, I followed him only to find him standing over a stretched out Annie on the landing. :-)  Luca was always a snitch whenever a foster dog misbehaved? it must be a Goldie thing. Annie now gets excited at walk times and crowds into our tiny hallway with Me, Julia and the boys all jostling for space to get ready and through the door, she isn’t worried by me being close to her then?

Annie and her foster brother, Hamish.

Annie loves Hamish

For a shy girl she is bold in claiming a comfortable seat. :-)

Annie likes her comfort

We are under no illusions and still take every precaution when outside, even in the garden we are aware that a fright could send her running in a panic.

Toilet break

Just with the tiny changes to Annie in the last ten days we can see her potential, when she is more confident and relaxed she will make someone a fantastic companion. Already Annie is very sweet and loves affection given gently, we can see in her movements that she wants to approach people for a scruffle and it is only fear holding her back. :-(   We have all the time she needs in order to become the wonderful Annie that she wants to be.

Arun is a 3 year old dog looking for a home. Arun is currently at Glebe farm, home of Love underdogs.

 

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Little orphan Annie. (not an update) ;-)

I was going to wait until the weekend to do a short update on Annie but I couldn’t wait. As with all the timid dogs we have fostered, Indy just ignores Annie, I think this is the normal way to treat an unstable dog in the pack? Hamish, on the other hand Loves Annie, He leaves her alone but periodically pops over to her and just touches noses to make sure she is ok. :-) Hamish has acted quite maturely and sensibly since Annie arrived which is very odd because he is normally a big doofus.

Today we took Annie on the big morning walk with the boys, she had a great time.

Discovering the first strange street corner.

nice corner

Walking under the calming influence of Indy.

Indy looks after Annie (1)

Pausing with Hamish.

Hamish loves his sister

Cooling off in the long grass.

Annie hiding in the grass

We still have a long way to go but Annie is slowly learning who we are, once she knows that she can trust us she can take in new things and build some confidence. She did bring a small tear to my eye this evening, She normally gives me a wide berth but when I came in from the car she came out of her crate, met me at the baby gate and joined Hamish pushing faces between the bars for a chin rub.  Made my day. :-)

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Can you help Bobbi Underdog?

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