Foster Dog Files: Progress.

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Angie is doing incredibly well with her training and socialization. She has mastered many commands, including new ones like “settle” and “leave it, take it”. We are working hard with her on crate training, because her biggest issue by far is separation anxiety. Yesterday, I walked into the room where she was hanging out with Paul, and she was hanging out in the bottom part of the crate on her own (this was before her new one had been assembled). Today, we worked on “kennel up” and settling in the crate. I was even able to close the door for about a minute. This is huge. Angie is very social and people-focused and this, to me, showed that she is really learning to trust and is willing to figure things out. It will take some more work to get her to the point where she can relax in there without knowing that her people are nearby, but, I am completely confident that she will be able to do it.
I have to be honest and say that this part of fostering Angie has been difficult. At times, I have to remind myself of where she came from and how bad off she was 2 weeks ago. Her attachment to us is incredible, particularly to Paul. While her trust is encouraging, it has also become the thing that makes the separation anxiety so strong. So, we are working on having low-key interactions and coming and going with no fanfare. I think the safety and positive associations of the crate will help.
Tonight, Angie went out on the town in her “Adopt Me” tee shirt and as usual was super-popular and well- behaved as we walked through the busy streets of Lambertville and sat on the porch of a local restaurant. She had a great time and came home and passed out, which was a big part of the point of our excursion. I guess because of her rough past, Angie doesn’t really know how to play with toys and letting her play off-leash (even in a fenced yard) is ill-advised right now because she is in heat, so she really can’t run around too much. So, most of her energy is being expended by long walks and training sessions. And, since she is still recovering from pneumonia, we want to keep her somewhat calm anyway..and, like a typical kid, she doesn’t really understand that this is good for her. But, our outing tonight did the trick, because she is down for the count!
This dog simply amazes me. She is smart and loving and funny. Training with her is a joy, because she is like a sponge. I swear you can almost see the wheels turning. She is gaining weight very well and continues to walk well on the leash. She does the cutest head-tilts I have ever seen when she is listening to whoever is speaking to her. She seems to truly enjoy the challenge of training. Please continue to share her journey, and progress! This little lady will be ready for her forever home soon! I can be contacted at lorosuzo@yahoo.com 🙂

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