It's been a year since I adopted Daphne and Velma from Animal Rescue Foundation.
Daphne and Velma were allegedly two of many dogs turned over to the county by an animal hoarder. Nothing was really known about their lives before they came to live with me. We could tell the two dogs were bonded together. Daphne was heartworm positive. And Velma was extremely afraid of... everything, except peanut butter. Daphne was friendly with me and other people. However, Velma cowered in her cage and did not want to venture out.
After the two came to live with me, Velma quickly got used to me, and explored my house and my yard. Now, a year later, Velma only goes to her cage if she is afraid of something, or if I have the tv on too loud and she wants some peace.
The only behavioral problem these two have is their reaction to "strangers" visiting my house. The dogs are extremely protective, and it takes a while to get them to accept any visitors. ( My strange work schedule of getting up at 3:30 am every weekday means that I do not do much entertaining at night, so there have been few opportunities to train the dogs to get along with strangers. It is something that I plan to work on as we get into Year Two.)
The two dogs love my fenced in backyard. Daphne has escaped a couple of times. Velma does not try to escape because she is afraid on the unknown of the world beyond. Both dogs are nervous when I walk them on a leash. Daphne will make it a few blocks, and then stubbornly stop and want to go back to the yard. Velma won't walk past the end of the driveway. ( That's another bit of training I am working on for year two.
Even though I live in midtown, many creatures visit my fenced in backyard. I have squirrels, of course. Both dogs harass the squirrels. I also have had rabbits and possums visit the yard. Velma caught a rabbit ( and it wasn't a good outcome for the rabbit.) And Daphne once caught a possum. The possum survived because it "played possum"
Below is a picture of a second possum that my dogs treed a week ago. And don;t worry, the possum left the tree and my yard unharmed. I do not encourage my dogs to attack woodland creatures, but when the creatures visit the yard, it can be difficult for me to intervene.
Yes, the two girls shed so much hair that I went out and bought a newer, more robust vacation cleaner. And there is always dog hair somewhere. And, yes, my dogs have eaten some of my furniture.
But their companionship is priceless. I thoroughly enjoy sharing my home with them, and look forward to the challenge of better training them so they can enjoy more of what life can offer a dog.
I am glad they live with me, and I appreciate how ARF connected us.