Hi, my name is Pearlie! My foster mom named me Pearl after telling me the story of how a forgotten and insignificant piece of sand finds its way to the safety of an oyster, where it becomes something very beautiful and treasured.
You see, I started out as someone who had been forgotten about and was insignificant to the humans around me. I was only good for producing puppies so they could make money. I was left in a cage all the time. I wasn't taken care of or loved. But I found my way to the safety of my oyster - sheltie rescue and lots of nice people who helped me on my way. Now I am becoming such a beautiful girl. My foster mom tells me just how special I am and that I will find just the right family to treasure me always.
I am learning about what it means to be loved and to live in a family. I enjoy the other dogs here, but might also do all right as an only dog who got lots of spoiling all to myself! I need a home with a very securely fenced yard and someone who will always keep me safe on a leash when we are out. You see, because I learned to fear people when I was younger, I can be uncertain when things frighten me, and if I ran away, I would not approach people to help me. I need to have a quieter household without young children. They would frighten me without meaning to. I am learning to enjoy walking on a leash and I like to be brushed. It will take some time for you to earn my trust, but then I will follow you everywhere just to be near you.
I'm six years old, and I'm a good girl in the house. I don't chew things up and I stay off the furniture. I like the security of my crate when I need to rest. I'm doing very well with my house manners. I need someone who will allow me to be myself and not try to force me to be a "normal" pet before I am ready. I still have so much left to learn. I need to learn about laps and belly rubs, toys and treats, love and trust.
Will you accept me for who I am and have the patience to help me become comfortable with the world? Will you treasure me always the way a Pearl is supposed to be? If you think you could be the right forever family for me, please ask about me today!
Pup-Date April 5, 2008
Pearlie watched the Oprah show with me last night. She got visibly upset when there were sounds of the dogs yipping and calling for help. Other than that, she didn't seem to notice. My other dogs reacted to the yipping too. But they came closer to me, thanking me for helping those dogs. Pearlie paced anxiously around the room. Sad.
Pearlie always comes inside in the morning and goes directly to my bedroom 'cause she knows I get ready for work in the mornings. But this morning she acted anxious as I came in and closed the door. Not usual for her at this stage, but with the mill dogs, there are always flashbacks at time to the way they used to live...in fear. I closed the door and just stopped and stood there for many minutes. She continued to pace back and forth for several minutes, but each pass became slower and calmer, as she watched me and waited for something to happen. When I didn't move or react at all, she finally settled down.
Owen, my youngest, came and stood next to me very calmly during this, obviously showing Pearlie that there was nothing to be scared of. As she settled, she came and stood by Owen a few times and got herself calmed down, at which point, she took up her spot of safety, sitting directly behind me.
I sat on the floor and gave her some petting. When I stopped and waited, she actually stood up and moved closer to me on her own, asking for more petting. I've been working hard on getting Pearlie's confidence up to where she can ask for what she wants, so I was very proud of her to recover from something that scared her and still ask for some petting.
When I was finished, Pearlie actually let me give her a hug and a kiss! Donna will know what an accomplishment THAT is!! But we've been working very hard with teaching her about hugs and kisses, because we all know that the pet person MUST hug and kiss their new dogs, right? So I want her to be used to it and learn to tolerate it even if she never really likes it. But today was the first time that she didn't even flinch, and she didn't make a run for it immediately after I let go of her:)
Deb and Pearlie (eww, people slobber! Yuck!)
Well, it was a super busy day for Miss Pearlie today. On top of the human slobber she endured this morning, it just got more exciting from there.
I had to work today at a canine carnival fund raiser for my work. It is a yearly carnival for the public to bring their dogs to with vendors and games and lots of prizes. Well, I decided at the last minute that Pearlie should go along with me and Owen. I knew better than to try to take her inside. She would have panicked at all the people in a small area, and the noise, etc. But she needed a car ride and it was a gorgeous day.
She rode quite a ways without any anxiety or sickness. She waited calmly for several hours in her crate in the cool car. She was happy to see me when I came out afterwards and she was brave as I introduced her to my co-workers. They were thrilled to finally meet Pearlie, as they have been listening politely to all my talk about her and her progress.
On the way home, I had to stop and pick up dog food and training treats. Owen had been with me in the carnival all day, so he slept in the car while I got food. After I loaded the car, I took Pearlie out for a break. She panicked in the parking lot, but still walked or sort of walked with me on leash.
I took her in the store and we found a quiet corner and I sat on the floor with her. We were near enough to the door to see people coming and going, but far enough not to be close to anyone. I pulled out my baggie of cut up roast beef, brought along just for this occassion. Well, Pearlie ate the roast beef, tiny bit by tiny bit, but she didn't move. Just laid frozen in one place. I just ignored her except to hand her roast beef.
She really didn't like all the people coming in with sunglasses on. And the men with hats AND sunglasses, well that just was not cool in her book. But she held it together and continued to eat roast beef. Any time anyone squeaked a toy, she came to attention. We just sat and watched the world go by. She let me pet her. She did not try to get away. The leash was totally loose.
After 20 minutes of just sitting and nothing bad happening, she started to move around on her leash, sniffing the floor and the scratching posts we were sitting near. A few more minutes of her sniffing around and eating more beef, and it was time to stand up and see if she'd walk around with me. The store was quiet. Pearlie followed me up to the front counter and past all the yummy delights stored below it. She was very brave and kept the leash loose. Her head was up but her tail was down. Her ears flicked to pick up any sound.
The manager is a good friend of mine and I introduced her to Pearlie. She came around the counter to say hello. I handed her my bag of roast beef. Pearlie wasn't sure but she did take one piece from my friend's hand. She wouldn't take the second one, but did politely sniff it:) And she let my friend pet her without running away.
There were several young and very tall men leaning over the counter to see her, and she looked at them warily, but didn't run away...I think she knew they couldn't get to her through the counter!:) My friend offered her a chew treat too, and Pearlie sniffed at it, but didn't take it. (she still won't chew on bones or chewie treats...have tried all types)
Just then a man AND a noisy cart came around the corner right near Pearlie. Oh my! Not a good combination. She ran to the end of her leash, but then heard me softly telling her it was alright and she stopped and watched the cart and the man pass by. She then walked with me past the cart and the man who was at the counter.
Whew! She was very relieved for me to pick her up and carry her back to the car. She went politely into her crate and rode home.
BOY was she GLAD to get HOME!! She jumped out of the car on her own (we have a van and usually she waits for a boost down from me)...don't worry, I had her leash:) And then she shook a mighty shake from head to toe and made a beeline to the house and up the front steps.
Pearlie had a very busy day! I bet she'll sleep well tonight! But she had her very first field trip away from home to a public place!
March 2008 ~ now you KNOW that Pearl has come a LONGGG way when she lets her foster mom dress her up for the holidays :)
Notes from Deb ....
I think that there are certain traits that these dogs all tend to share. Lewis never showed any happiness or trust when we were around until after his year mark. He would play and run and bark in the yard, but only if no one was out there with him. If he saw us peeking out the window, he would hide at the far end of the yard. He now is a happy guy who greets me at the door, barks to demand his dinner first, and wags his tail. He still won't play with toys, though.
This group of dogs seems to be so much farther along than Lewis was [in same timeframe].
I try to expose Pearlie to everything the other dogs do and get, but only to the extent she can handle it. For example, on grooming day, she gets groomed too, but I don't worry too much about getting each nail done, etc. I do as much as I can without freaking her out. And then I usually do just one more, to push her comfort zone a little bit to let her see that it's ok and that she CAN live through it. It's a fine line.