The Red Merle Mini Aussie Arrives At The DogSmith Training Center.

Medical Status

Fully vaccinated. Spayed and Heart Worm Negative.

Appearance & Condition

Our little Aussie is considerably smaller than i remember her. Having checked her medical records the veterinarian has indicated that  she is very young. Bethany Jordan is coming over tomorrow The DogSmith Panhandle and Southern Alabama. Beth is also a  Vet Tech.  I am sure Beth can do a good job aging her for me when we check her teeth and body tomorrow.

I plan to bathe her in a few days when she is a little more settled. We will also start her heart worm treatment tomorrow and fully worm her.

Today's Journal

I arrived at Walton County Animal Control around 1.30pm. The little Red Merle Aussie was waiting in her room. Lois has been working on touching her for the last few days so putting her into the crate was not as traumatic as I first thought. Lois actually managed to pick her up from the corner she was crouched in and placed her directly into her crate with her toys and blanket. It was a hard good-bye; - the combination of an Animal Control Supervisor who adores animals and a gorgeous but frightened Mini Aussie was almost too much to take.  It does not seem to matter how many times you get involved or participate in rescuing dogs, each and every case is different and they all tug at different heart strings.

The one hour car journey back to the DogSmith Training Center was uneventful and our little girl did not appear too stressed. Once we arrived back Rick helped me carry her crate into the small garden outside her newly prepared room.

So here is the dilemma. I cannot touch her, she has no collar on and she is cowering in her crate.  I have a decision to make.  I would like to add at this junction that I have been training dogs and working with behavioral problems for ten years and have not yet been bitten and did not want to start now.

So, do I place her inside now straight from the car and face the problem of moving her later when I need to take her outside or let her out of the crate into the garden now and face the problem of not being able to catch her to secure her inside for the night?

Decision made, I let her outside the crate and she quickly slinks off around the perimeter of the garden, finds the darkest most overgrown corner and tucks in. Yep, now what, a fine situation I have got myself into.

Twenty minutes later, no sign of movement so I grab a piece of beef from our fridge, slice it into little pieces and head into the bushes. 30 minutes later, covered in leaves and dirt I emerge out with a little Aussie in my arms. I had pushed a little harder than I would have done normally, treats, hands, treats, hands and then covertly I had slipped the leash around her neck.

The goal of the leash was to prevent her running away. I knew she was not leash trained and if I put any pressure on using the leash she would have resisted.   So picture us, sitting in a bush with a leash around her neck and the other end in my hand just looking at each other. I had to “go for it”. I slowly placed my hands around her body and lifted her into the air being careful to keep her away from my face in case I had pushed her past her threshold. Quite frankly given her mental state I would not have been surprised or blamed her if she had snapped at this strange woman crawling though bushes waving beef in her face.

Once inside I placed her on her bed. I then carefully, over a ten minute period, placed a harness around her, positioned her bed, food bowl and water and left her to relax for a while.  I plan to visit her later to let her out before bed time. Thank goodness I can attach a leash to her harness and I won’t have to crawl through any more bushes.

I had already decided that she would have to come inside for the night, leaving her outside was not an option. But I did want to avoid at all costs being a part of any more traumas she may experience as I thought this would set back her training.  The sun was setting and she was showing no signs of moving.  I realized that getting her inside and putting a harness on her was the priority and would certainly simplify things going forward.

Looking forward to a new day tomorrow. I plan to do an assessment on her condition in the morning so I can develop a behavior change program. I need to establish a starting point so I can systemically work on the areas of priority first.

Crate Training, House Training and Leash Training and of course bribing her with lots of yummy treats, toys and affection so she begins to trust me. Jokes aside we will be on a hand feeding regiment for the next seven days so we have some serious bonding sessions.