Sunday, May 02, 2010

Finding the right dog

I went to Wayside Waifs with a list of female, mid-size dogs I was interested in.  Of course the first one I asked about was ten-month-old Tiki, the one I'd seen in a video.  When we walked near her cage, she picked up a ball off the floor and brought it over, as if asking us to play with her.  "I think that's the one," I told Cliff.  
She wasn't the one, though.  In the get-acquainted room, she jumped on us constantly, looking for treats the volunteer was providing.  In fact, she only seemed to have eyes for the volunteer unless we were holding a treat; she knew where her treats came from.  
We took her outside on a leash, and she was quite a handful; I could barely hold her back!  This dog was too much for me.  I found out one family had kept her for a month and brought her back.  Poor thing, I'm not sure she'll make a good fit for anybody.  
Second on my list was Roxie, a two-year-old who hadn't been there long.  She was in another section with new arrivals, but we found she was also too rambunctious for my tastes, almost as bad as Tiki.  
We were going to go back to the main viewing room and view all those dogs again, but as we passed one pen on our way out, the volunteer said, "Here's Faith, do you want to meet her?"  
This dog was timid, and took the treats from my hand daintily and apologetically.  There was no frantic jumping, and she actually stood still long enough for me to pet her.  She was listed as a whippet, and I'm pretty sure she is indeed at least half whippet or greyhound.  She struck me as being needy, and I decided this was indeed my Iris.
As we signed all the paperwork, another volunteer gave us what information they had on my dog:  She had been transferred from KC animal control, where she had only one day left to live; dogs there only have from two days to a week to live.  
Somebody had cared about her in the past, because she came to Wayside Waifs already microchipped and spayed.  Her age was estimated at between three and six years old.  
At the car, Cliff opened the trunk to get the pet carrier out, and Iris jumped eagerly into the trunk!  We got a laugh out of this and coaxed her out.  
Cliff opened the car door to put the pet carrier in the back seat and Iris eagerly jumped in the back seat.  She was ready to be out of prison.  Honestly, I wanted her in the carrier; but Cliff figured it would be less stressful to let her be free in the car, since she obviously knew her way around a vehicle.  She was all over that car on the way home.


Nose out the window...


Up behind the back seat...


Head out the window... and she finally ended up in front next to me.  Observing all this, Cliff said, "The way she jumps around on things, I'll bet we're going to have a problem with her getting on furniture."  
He hit the nail on the head.  
Obviously in her former life, she slept in bed with her people, and curled up on their chairs and couches. I have to correct her very gently, because she is easily upset.  If I find we can't break her of this behavior, I may try compromising, allowing her one chair, covered with a throw or a sheet, as her own.   From what I've found on the Internet, it's very hard to break a mature dog of getting on furniture.  We'll deal with it.
On the plus side, she seems very much "potty-trained".  


She loves kids, and actually wanted to go home with granddaughter Natalie.  She was very upset when Nattie left.  Oh, and to my friend Joanna:  Iris loves the toy you brought as a gift for Sadie; she chewed up and down on it until she found the squeak.  
I'm fairly certain Iris has a case of kennel cough, which is almost inevitable in a shelter dog; she is asleep on the floor beside me right now, and her lungs are rattling: if it turns out to be a severe case, we'll take her to the vet; she needs to meet him anyway.  We went through this with Sadie when she first came home with us.  Meanwhile, we'll keep Iris away from Angel and Hawkeye until she's fit.

17 comments:

Celeste said...

Iris is very much like Scampi in the behavior you have discribed.A harsh word or even a slightly raised voice will make him look at you with the most pitiful eyes. He loves his bed. If it is in the room he is in he will lay in it injstead of the couch. Maybe Iris will like that too.
She will need some freedom to stretch her legs after she is used to y'all. These dogs live to run.

Remo said...

I'm sure she's very happy to have a new home and she looks like a very smart dog.

Donna said...

Celeste, I'm taking Iris' bed from room to room, wherever I am. We'll see if she can accept that.

Tango said...

Congratulations on finding your Iris :) Looks like you'll have your hands full for a while.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

It's amazing how you found just the right Iris for you. I'm so happy you got your new dog. She sounds just perfect.

small farm girl said...

Iris seems like a wonderful dog. I have found that when we get our dogs from the shelters, they seem to be more gracious towards us. (All my dogs are either pound dogs or dogs no one else wants anymore) Glad you found Iris. Or, should I say Iris found you?

Hollie said...

She's gorgeous! I know she is happy to be in your home! I'm looking forward to other pictures of her.

Kathy said...

Oh Donna, if I say this again, you'll be ready to smack me, but she is just a lovely dog. Enjoy her. The pictures are great.

Tawnya said...

She is adorable Donna!! Good luck with her.

Astaryth said...

She sounds wonderful Donna! I'm glad you found her. Tiki sounds like she needs someone who is very active and wants a 'trick' dog The behavior you describe would be -exactly- what someone training a trick dog would want. Treat oriented and lots of energy. I wish I knew someone in the area looking for a dog to add to their act. She would be perfect, I think.

I'm looking forward to many more posts on Iris and getting to know her!

Donna said...

Yes, you are right, Astaryth. She was a very smart dog; she just had not had someone to teach her the basics as a small puppy, and now it will take a good pack leader to made something of her.

Sugar said...

oh iris is beautiful, diff predominately whippet, & sounds well fitted to cliff & you. wonder why her chip didn't work when she was lost from her previous family or did they just give her up? don't wait too long on that cough, easier to treat if caught right off. when i got dazzle, as you know she came with basic obedience training & loves her little kennel bed, i keep the door open on it & she goes in & out for naps or at bedtime, all on her own, i don't tell her to. altho if i say house or point to it, in she'll go. but if i raise my voice even a little, down goes her head & tail, & she quickly goes to the safety of her bed, she'll stay there looking out till i tell her to come, like your iris, dazzle loves kids. dogs from shelters seems more appreciative & really do seem to try hard to please & learn. good luck with her!

Amy said...

Iris is....beautiful. :)

Joyce said...

Yes, this is your Iris. From the sounds of her, she's smart enough to learn new tricks/habits. I'm so happy for all of you, especially Iris. Lord bless and keep this union.

Paula said...

Glad you found just the right doggie for you and you for her.

madcobug said...

Great pictures of Iris. She is a beautiful dog. Sounds as if she will be easy to train. Much happiness to all of you. I am glad that the other place didn't put her down. Helen

Anonymous said...

Dee from Tennessee

Oh Donna...what a heartwarming post. ~~ sigh ~~