Friday, March 6, 2009

Helllooo NELDA

Nelda was in the first group of Gabbs dogs brought out to Yerington. She lived for several weeks at Safe Haven kennel. But poor Nelda, as we found with many of the Gabbs dogs, they just had a hard time with the kennel environment. Nelda seemed to be spooked by the sound of dogs she couldn’t see barking. She was terrified of humans. When I would go in the kennel with her, she would try to climb the walls to get away from me. Eventually, Nelda was leash trained and learned that the leash meant freedom from her run. She just couldn’t get over her “kennel phobia”. When she was returned to her run, she would cower in the indoor enclosure. Because of the maybe not so legal number of dogs I had, I had sworn I would not take any of the Gabbs dogs home.

OK, maybe just one.

Nelda's perfect headshot

During her first few days in a house, Nelda was hyper vigilant, never quite relaxed. Then one day I saw her out in the dog run, stretched out in the sun, dead to the world. And so Nelda began her journey toward being civilized.

She first learned to socialize with the other dogs, wanting not much to do with me unless it was walk time. Then one evening I came home and she ran to the gate to greet me with the rest of the group. Well, she ran to the gate. She had no idea why she was there, except that everyone else was doing it. When I came through the gate, she ran away.

Nelda with some of her new brothers and sisters

Slowly but surely, Nelda learned I wasn’t so bad. At first, pets were her approaching close enough that I could touch her nose. Now she loves to have her head petted and her ears scratched. Still doesn’t like to have her feet touched. In fact she still screams as if in pain if you try.

Nelda riding shotgun!

It’s been over a year now. Nelda is happy in her world, but is still tense when moved outside her comfort zone, or when strangers come to visit. She came as a “foster dog”, but I never had the heart to tell her she had to leave. So here Nelda stays. She loves squeaky toys and chews now, and absolutely loves to run off lead. But most of all, Nelda loves to sleep on the couch.

Nelda taking a nap

Cheers for Couch Potato Nelda!

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