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My Favorite Breed is Rescued

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Shy Sharon~Adopted

Little Red (Shy Sharon) now Ayra with Andres!

August 23, 2012: It happened! Sharon was adopted last night by Andrew Spilling and his girlfriend Melissa. I had a feeling it was a perfect fit. They live in a small apartment, (perfect) will be using a lot of leash-training, (perfect) and have many friends who will provide Sharon with play dates (perfect). Sharon has used my pack as her shield, not really bonding with her human (yet). While she has tolerated me kissing her, etc., she prefers the company of her pack. I am confident that Andrew and Melissa have what it takes to take her to the next level. I may have turned her into a good dog, but they will turn her into a great pet. It took a while sitting on my couch the first night they met, but once Sharon got into Andrew’s lap, and felt the comfort that Melissa provided, she was quite content sitting with the two of them. She actually fell asleep before this photo was taken!

Andrew has that calm energy that everyone talks about! You know, that energy that is not nervous or anxious (like mine). Sharon will gain a lot from this adoption. I can’t wait to get updates!  You can see more of her photos on Facebook.

Shy Sharon

She’s Ready!  Shy Sharon is ready for her new home.  Three months ago she was a feral dog, afraid of every noise, movement and human being.  She adores other dogs and loves to play.  She is only 7 months old.  She has given me permission to cuddle her, kiss her, play with her feet, her ears and her tail.  She is even coming to me when called and taking treats from my hand with ease.  She has also bonded with several of my friends, and especially, my daughter Sarah.  I do not believe Sharon should be adopted by a family with young children.

There are only two things that set Sharon off, and that’s if she is huddled in her crate and you try to put a leash around her neck.  This triggers a very bad memory for her, and she will let you know how uncomfortable she is.  She also needs to be picked up calmly and slowly.  There is no spooking the Little Red.  She needs someone who has a lot of experience rehabilitating a dog, someone who is patient and understanding.  She should always be treated as a flight risk and will need a very safe environment until she is completely rehabilitated.  I adore Shy Sharon.  I hug and kiss her constantly, and I know that when the right person comes along, they will fall head over heels in love.  I realize it might take months before I find the right person to adopt Sharon, and I’m in no hurry!  If you are interested in her, please email me at thedogliberator@gmail.com

Introduction to Rehabilitating Shy Sharon and her History:    I guess it’s Deja Vu week. Shane reminds me of Charlotte, so much that even Charlotte’s owner, Donnie Smith, couldn’t believe it. Chaz reminds me of Jake. Polly Pocket reminded me of Nutella, both were alleged fear biters… yeah, right!  It’s a real joy to foster a dog that you’re familiar with.  You let them go, with a bittersweet feeling, and when they come back to you, as a different dog, it’s just wonderful!  When I first saw Chaz, I said, “I know you, you’re my McDreamy!”

08/2009 Shy Shannon, TDL’s Icon

But Deja Vu week wasn’t over, and this time, I had to take a deep breath when I saw a photo that Vicki sent to me.   What I saw was a terrified, emaciated tiny Border Collie, with giant ears, and stunning green eyes.  She had that look that I had seen before, a look that I’ll never forget.  “That’s Shy Shannon,” I told Vicki.

Shy Shannon was one of my first rescues, and definitely the first dog I had ever rescued from Alabama.  She came to me with Flash Gordon.  She was known as the Pet Store Inmate, and it took me months to rehabilitate her.  She came with an impressive pedigree.  I couldn’t believe the champion bloodline she possessed.  She was no ordinary pet, she was a true herding dog.  She had never touched grass, had very little contact with humans, never played with other dogs, was trained to relieve herself in the pet store’s bathroom (on the floor) and was fearful.  I still have the crate that she was transported in.  Written in big black letters, “DO NOT REMOVE”  She was so underweight, I couldn’t even get her spayed until she gained at least 12 pounds… yet she was only a few months old.  Shy Shannon, now known as Hannah Banana was adopted by retired Veterinarian, Sherry Lee and is now herding sheep on Sherry’s 65 acres!  While I was making copies of Shannon’s paperwork for Sherry, I’ll never forget how hard I was crying.  But I knew I wasn’t the right home for her.  It was the last time I cried during an adoption, and that was on November 15th, 2009.   If you have any doubt how much this scared little pup meant to me, just look at my logo, or look down on your t-shirt because you’re wearing Shy Shannon!

Click here to read about the charges filed on Shannon’s Pet Store Owner.

Shy Shannon

I guess I never realized until now, how much dogs like Shannon and Nutella have taught me.  Again, I was anxious for the challenge.  Vicki shared that this pup has actually nipped and bitten several people.  No one knows why.  No one knows why she’s so afraid of everything.  My job is to figure it out, and correct it.

Sunday, May 13th:

She arrived late Sunday evening, on Mother’s Day, thanks to transporters William, Michelle and my friend Irma!  When I saw her in the back of her plastic crate, I was ready!  She didn’t have on a collar, and being a flight risk, I had to put a slip leash on her right away.  I spent a few minutes trying to get her comfortable, but who was I fooling?  She was so afraid, she had buried her head down into the crate, and her back legs were up in the air, as if she was standing on her head.  “Please don’t touch my face,” she was begging me.  “Please don’t take me out of this crate.”  She had traveled from Atlanta to Orlando, she had to come out and relieve herself, drink some water, and have a bite to eat before calling it a night.  I offered her some hot dog bites, but she would NOT take them.  I caressed her with the leash, and attempted to slip it over her head, and the inevitable happened.  Bam Bam Bam, She rapidly bit me three times… but did not break the skin.  Now just wait one minute!  It’s Mother’s Day, and today I had a flat tire, no flowers, and now a dog just bit me!!!!  Unlike her other humans, I didn’t back away, I was not freaked out, I was ready.  I did not move my hand in fear.  Then I gave her a gentle poke on the side and said, “Ah Ah!  No!”  I left my hand there for her to bite again, but she didn’t.  I attempted to get the leash on her again, and this time, I was successful.

Shy Sharon on Transport

My son and I lifted the crate out of the truck and placed it on the drive way.  I opened the door, and slowly pulled on her leash and until she came out.  She was terrified, but Sgt. Pepper, the puppy who was her transport buddy, came up to her and soothed her.  We gave the dogs some time to do their business, but the shy red girl would not relax enough.  So, Christopher, Irma’s friend, took the shy pup around the house and talked softly to her.  Within a matter of minutes, he picked her up (without being bit) and carried her to my front door.  We gave her some time to meet my Ozzie, and it was time to come inside the house.  We opened the door, and she and Ozzie came in together.  She resisted the leash quite a bit, but I had to move forward.  I brought her to my bedroom, where her crate was ready.  Not a plastic crate, but a wire crate.  I was told that she never leaves the safety of her crate.  Maybe a wire crate would help socialize her rather than a plastic crate, which isolates her.  When I began to put her in her crate, she peed on the floor.  I suspect she peed out of fear.  Again, Christopher spoke to her in an assuring voice.  I put food and water in her crate, and just a few minutes later, I went to bed.  I never heard a sound out of her, but in the morning, she had peed in her crate.  I guess I didn’t wake up early enough?  I noticed that she had not touched her food.


“I’m not budging!”

Monday, May 14th

That Monday morning, when it was time to take the dogs out, again, she resisted leaving her crate.  I noticed that her fear escalated when her front paws left the crate and felt the floor.  I gave her time to leave her crate, but I had to execute.  I could not allow her to flea back in.  When her front paws left the crate and onto the carpet, she peed again… fear.  I lead her to the door, and I let my pack outside into the backyard.  As I sat on the porch, I noticed that she would not leave the cement slab.  When the dogs ran around the yard, happily barking, she cried as she stood on the slab, afraid to leave it, afraid to put her front paws on the grass.  She peed on the concrete!  I called on Ozzie, and attached her leash to his collar.  Ozzie walked her around the yard, where she did her business in the safety of his presence.  Irma and Christopher came over to check on the little red girl, and Christopher noticed her gate, and we wondered if she had sustained an injury to her front legs.  I called my Vet right away, and made an appointment for Thursday.  Again, I offered her some hot dog bites, and she would not comply, however, Ozzie was thrilled to take what she refused.  It was time to come in, and when I opened the door for the pack to come, she bolted through the door and dove into her crate.

Shy Sharon & Sgt. Pepper

I saw a bit of an improvement on Monday evening.  Again, I tethered her to Ozzie, and she did well.  Once I fed all the dogs and let them out in shifts, my kids were fed, the dishwasher was full and running, I sat down on the couch with the remote control and thought to myself, It’s Time!  I got a blanket, asked my son Ryan to hold her leash.  I guided her out of her crate, again, she freaked out once her front paws left the crate and landed on the ground, I handed Ryan the leash, and placed a blanked around her, and picked her up.  I thought sure she would try to bite me again, but she didn’t.  I sat on the couch and placed her on top of me.  She was NOT happy!  She shook in fear, constantly looking around with incredible nervousness.  I rubbed her body and felt which areas made her shake more, and which areas helped her to relax.  Definitely the back of the neck and the base of her skull was her favorite place.  At times I had to hold her tight, to prevent her from escaping, but she did very well.  After about ten minutes, she relaxed, and I felt that I had succeeded.  I wasn’t going to push my luck, so I let her go and she eased over a bit on the couch near Ozzie, and they placed kissy face for about 20 minutes. But before leaving, she had to eat.  I got some canned food, put it in a bowl, and asked my daughter’s friend, 9 year-old Danielle to give the pup the bowl.  Danielle is a very soft, patient child.  She moves slowly, and respects the dogs.  She did very well helping me socialize Polly Pocket last week!  She presented the bowl of food, and the pup wouldn’t eat.  I asked Danielle to turn her back to the pup, don’t look at her.  The moment Danielle ignored the pup, she cleaned her bowl!    I let the pack out later that evening for their last run, and she did well, this time her feet left the concrete and she ran around a bit!  Before coming in for the night, my neighbor came over to the fence and I asked him to tell me who this pup reminded him of.  Immediately, he shouted, “That’s Shy Shannon!”  I knew I wasn’t crazy!  You see it’s not just what she looks like, it’s her condition, her age, and her demeanor.

Later that night I called Vicki, proof positive that I know what happened to this pup, and why she must bite.  It was obvious to me.  Vicki agreed, it all made sense.  The pup gave me all of the clues, I just had to put the puzzle together… and in my opinion, all of the pieces fit.  I’m waiting for Thursday for the vet to confirm or deny my suspicion.  But one thing is for sure, I don’t blame this pup one bit!  I also called Khaz, asking about the pups interactions with the people at K9 Coach which confirmed my suspicions even more.


Tuesday, May 15th:

Tuesday morning I decided that I will no longer guide her outside by her leash.  I will open her crate door, and she can come outside when she’s ready.  I also did not use Ozzie.  I let the pack outside, and eventually she left the safety of her crate, ran back to it, left it, ran back to it again, until she finally walked out the door.  She bolted freely around the yard.  It wasn’t long before she was running like the wind.  Greeting every dog, and inviting them to play.  Sgt. Pepper was at the vet, so she had to find another playmate.  My volunteer, Emily Kennedy came over for a visit, and wanted to help, so we cut up some hot dogs, and with time and patience, the shy red girl took a hot dog from her hand.  That was a huge step.  I decided that very soon, I would leave the crate door open for her, so she can come and go as she finds her courage!

Those Green Eyes

Tuesday evening, I watched her run just like Shy Shannon.  As if she just got brand new legs, had never used them before, and thought they were awesome, so awesome that she was really going to try them out!  She invited each dog to play with her, and this time China joined her!  I lost count of the number of play bows the two of them exchanged!  This pup so desperately wants to be loved, get attention, and be accepted, but only by dogs, not by humans… yet.  Once again, everyone had been fed and let out in shifts, and it was time for America’s Got Talent.  I figured it’s time to take this to the next level.  I opened her crate door, and let her exercise going in and out as she pleases.  Realize that my place on our couch is right next to the crates, so I never miss a thing!

I watched her take one step into the living room, then dart back on the porch, then two steps, peeking into the kitchen, and fearfully running back in the porch and diving into her crate.  This went on for twenty minutes, and I couldn’t take it anymore.  I couldn’t sit there and watch this little pup’s insecurities and fear get the best of her.  She was stuck and she needed help.  I picked up her leash, and guided her onto the couch again.  Realize that I ask my fosters not to allow dogs on the furniture!  Woops!  This time, she made herself comfortable immediately!  She stretched out and relaxed.  There was a pillow next to her that she used as a shield, and that little pillow made her feel safe.  Ozzie jumped up for a few minutes, they played kissy face again, and he disappeared.  She was very content, I even stretched out next to her, her face right next to mine, and she sniffed me quite a bit.  Again, I’m not going to push my luck.  We watched the show for a bit, as my kids took turns sitting next to her, being careful not to make eye contact, and extending their hand toward her so she could sniff.  At one point she licked Ryan’s hand.  Several times she leaned her head back and sniffed my face, and I even began to play with her snout, and she play bit my hand a bit, very gently.  It was late, and time for bed.  I guided her off the couch, and she dove into her crate.  I think it was a very good day!

I don’t think she will bite anyone in my home, but her visit to the vet is Thursday.  It will be a test.  I have specifically asked for Dr. Oliver, and hand picked my Vet tech, Sean.  I think Sean has the energy she needs.  She has shown me that she is not as afraid of men as she is with women.  When I bring her home from the vet, I will decide if I will tie her leash around my waist to help her get to the next level, which is housebreaking.



It’s Wednesday morning, as I’m writing this.  I knew that so many things would happen so fast, I had to write it down before my Mom-nesia kicks in and I forget everything.  So what’s the point of sharing all of this?  Do I think that my honesty about this little pup will prevent her from being adopted?  No!  When I started this rescue, I wanted to give as much information about each of my dogs as possible so adopters can make informed decisions, not impulsive ones.

Shannon Today

My point to this post is to help others who just might be thinking about adopting a shy fearful pup, or rescuing one from a pound, or maybe taking in a terrified stray.  Give yourself time to observe, ask yourself a list questions, and wait for the dog to answer them for you.  In the case of Shy Shannon, she had not been abused physically, but she was not valued or respected.  Shannon was a commodity, she was revenue.  Her breeder sold her to a pet store, and left her there for months.  Why?  Was her split face not desirable?  Seriously?  If Denise Pruitt Hoyle would not have purchased her from that pet store, in an attempt to buy her freedom, I don’t know what would’ve happened to Shannon.  Her muscles were starting to atrophy, she was consumed with worms, and terrified.

This little red girl, whom I’ve named Shy Sharon, was owned, and her owners had high hopes for her, yet surrendered her to Vicki Truelove.  I can not share any more details about her past at this time.

“And that’s all I’m going to say about that”  Forrest Gump

Does The Dog Liberator take in dogs that bite?  We do not take in adult dogs with a bite history.  All of our dogs are carefully evaluated and temperament tested before we rescue them by our awesome volunteers.  But in this case, this is just a young pup, not even six months old.  This is what rescues do!  One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  Sharon is a treasure!


Wednesday, May 16th:

Shy Sharon has big ears to fill!

I’m almost up to speed documenting the events that have happened so far.  This morning, I opened her crate, and let out the pack.  Again, she ran around with joy, initiating play and if no one wanted to play with her, she ran anyway!  This time, when I let the pack inside, I did not close her crate door!  It has taken an hour, while I type this post, for her to come all the way to my computer, but she did it!  She sniffed around, and managed to get past the couch, to join Lady Di and China who are at my feet!  Now she has retreated to her crate for a nap!  Today should be a blast.

Toward the end of last year, this rescue suffered quite a bit.  It seemed like a black cloud was following me.  While I may appear tough on the surface, I’m really not!  I took almost three months off just to grieve, and have a pity party.  Fostering Pippa was my first day back to work, and she was a big help.  She brought me joy, but not purpose.  Don’t get me wrong, I love all of my foster dogs, but fostering Shy Sharon is my calling!  Everything else I do running this rescue, is my job, but rehabilitating a dog like this is the real reason why I’m here.  We all want to be needed, wanted and appreciated.  Finally, because of Shy Sharon, I’m in the zone!  Some dogs are just clearly TDL dogs, and that’s all I’m going to say about that!

~Stay Tuned!

Wednesday evening was no picnic.  Mom always said be careful what you wish for!  Sharon has found so much joy, it’s created more work on my part.  Tonight, the pack didn’t want to go outside, it was raining.  But Sharon did.  The problem was getting her back in.  I guess Sharon decided to play tag.  She ran back and forth, around and around, looked back at me a few times, and asked me to chase her.  After an hour of this I said, ENOUGH!  I used treats with no success, so finally, I asked Ryan to stand watch, and ran around Sharon, copying her, darted inside the house, and she followed as Ryan quickly closed the door!


Thursday, May 17th:

Ozzie, a true friend

It’s vet day!  I got everything ready, and at the last moment I decided to take Ozzie with us.  What a life-saver he is.  Sharon was not nearly as stressed having Ozzie with her.  I picked her up and put her in the back seat without any problems.  Getting her out of the car, however, was not that easy.  When I sent to pick her up, she did her quick sharp look, and thought about biting my hand before it got too close to her.  I corrected her, and she got out of the car on her own.


At the vet, she did very well.  Ozzie just stretched out on the cold floor, and she did the same.  When it was my turn, Sean and I walked down the hallway to the weigh scale.  It’s a very confined area, and I expected Sharon to freak out.  She hopped up on the scale, a whopping 14.8 pounds.  Dr. Oliver estimated her age to be 5 months.  He thinks she is stunningly gorgeous.  She is very underweight, and we will schedule her spay maybe next week.  Sean and George did a fecal, and she tested positive for hook worms.  I started her treatment and I also asked for Mirtazapine tablets to increase her appetite.

One thing we did discuss was her front feet.  While Dr. Oliver confirmed that they have not been broken in any way, and she is not experiencing any pain, her front feet are extended a bit.  I believe that she was handled roughly while being removed from her crate, her front paws got stuck, and caused her quite a bit of pain.  This explains everything.  Why she does not want to be physically removed, why she only feels safe while in the crate, and why she desperately does not want to be removed from the crate.  Whatever happened to her, it created quite a bit of trauma.  Once I noticed her fear of being removed from the crate, I put her in a crate that has a Kuranda bed in it.  This helps her transition from crate to floor.  It’s working!

She was awesome Thursday evening.  She ran with the pack and ate very well.  When it came time for me to sit on the couch and relax, she slowly approached me, looked at the couch a few times, wondering how she could participate in her nightly routine of sitting next to me.  She didn’t have the courage to just make herself at home and jump up, so I guided her with the leash, and when she was close to the couch, she willingly and happily jumped up.  This girl gets it!  She is smart as a whip.  When I offered her some hot dog bites, she ever so gently removed them from my fingers.  I could not believe how softly she took treats, which clearly tells me she doesn’t mean to harm.  She will accept Ryan but she has not yet accepted my daughter, Sarah.  Every day is an adventure!


aka Little Red

Saturday May 19th:

Friday was very uneventful, except that I can’t get her to really eat, even with appetite stimulants.  UGH!  She is getting out of crate with more ease, and following the pack nicely.  Saturday morning, however, I woke up, opened my bedroom door, and was greeted by my daughter Sarah, and Shy Sharon, on the couch together, watching cartoons!  Sarah… she’s one determined little 9 year-old!


Monday, May 21st:

Marjie Wolfe brought KiKi today.  When we finished taking pictures of Kiki and talking about her history and medical status, Marjie wanted to meet the little red girl.  I brought her up on the couch, and with patience, Marjie got to pet her.  We chopped up some hot dogs, and even though it took almost an hour, Marjie managed to get Shy Sharon’s to take her medicine.  This little girl inspects every bite she eats, and spits her pills out with precision!


I just love her!

Wednesday, May 23rd:

What the heck happened?  I worked all day on the computer yesterday, letting dogs in and out all day long, but something happened.  Shy Sharon is almost right back where she started from.  I invited her on the couch to share our evening routine and she was scared, nervous, and unsure.  She acted like she has never seen me or Ryan.  I was devastated.

I called Paul Pipitone this morning, and it’s time to tether her to my waist.  As I write this, she is wearing a leash, that’s attached to a leash which is tied around my waist.  She’s not happy about it, but let’s give this time.  I’m not giving up on her.  Paul could not believe that she was so terrified and only 5 months old.  I CAN turn this around!

Noon: I had a handful of left over turkey, and a few steak bites (my son Ryan rarely lets leftovers survive in the fridge) and I sat down and…. TAUGHT SHY SHARON HOW TO SIT!!!!!

that little fox look

Wednesday, May 30th:

So much has happened so quickly. Sharon enters and exists door ways now, she wanders freely from her crate to the living room. She has jumped up on the couch without coaxing for her regularly scheduled human cuddle time. She has been getting my attention when she needs to relieve herself (great sign). She has snuggled up to Sarah, putting her head in her lap and falling asleep. She has nuzzled herself between me and the couch, sticking her nose in my armpit, and snoozing for an hour or so. She is NOT afraid of thunder, which is awesome.  She is still afraid to quick movements, and loud noises made by people, but it’s getting better.

At this point, Sharon’s desire to run is unbelievable!  She will need a lot of land to play in, should have one or more dogs to help train her, and should only be adopted by a family with older children.   I absolutely love fostering her!

Saturday, June 2:

Emily and Sharon!

I got it!  A wag!  Sharon wagged her tail for quite some time yesterday, while playing with Ozzie and China in the living room.  It was awesome.  She is also really starting to play with her ball, and of course, I’m playing with her too!  She gets very nervous when people walk up to her too quickly, but once the person sits down, she’s okay.  I think seeing people so tall, intimidates her.  She is checking out the rest of the house slowly, one room at a time, and doesn’t hesitate to get out of her crate to explore!  It’s all good!  She met with Emily again, and this time after a noise scared her, she landed in Emily’s lap! So the trust factor is in the works!


Friday, June 15th:

Two days ago, I realized that I’ve had Sharon for one month.  I still see three steps forward and two steps back,but there are a lot of improvements in certain areas.  I had a lot of the kids’ friends over lately, and she is getting used to strangers and mayhem!  But with BB out of the woods, KiKi and Jubilee adopted, I’ve had more time to spend with Sharon, so it’s back to my bedroom every night (on leash of course).    She did really well the night of the 13th.  At one point, I felt her paws rest on my hands, and she stayed close to me.  Again, last night, she slept with me, and this time, I didn’t hold the leash.  She was quite happy being close to me.

We still have our own personal time every single night, on the couch.  We watch shows together, and she watches as people travel throughout the house, still a bit fearful.  Megan, my dearest friend from Boston, spent a few days with us, and Sharon accepted her without any hesitation.   Wow!  Danielle and Emily have visited as well, and it doesn’t take long for Sharon to remember them.  One thing is for sure, she is madly in love with my Ozzie, Lady Di and China.  Without my pack, she would’ve never come this far.

It will take a special person, with experience, to adopt Sharon.  I don’t think we’re just dealing with an abused shy fearful dog here, I think she was feral, and we are both traveling down a road, one that we have never been.  I’m confident that we’ll get there and I’m enjoying every minute of it.


Monday, June 25th:

It was last week that I noticed Little Red was really coming around.  I’ve been calling her Little Red, I guess to prevent myself from getting too attached…. it hasn’t worked one bit!  Little Red has been sleeping with me every night, getting closer and closer, and sleeping with ease so I know she’s not scared of me at all.  She has jumped up on the couch without being dragged over to it.  She has slept on the couch with both my daughter Sarah, and her friend Danielle, and she no longer gets jumpy when my son, Ryan stomps into the room and plops on the couch.  In short, she’s okay with us.  But what I realized was when I looked at the calendar, it had been seven weeks.  Somewhere seven weeks meant something to me… but what?

It took seven weeks exactly for my China to let me touch her.  During those seven weeks she stayed hidden in my daughter’s closet.  So maybe seven weeks is a magic time frame that a dog needs to feel safe?  I’m not sure.  Regardless, Little Red is ready.  Is she fully rehabilitated?  Absolutely Not!

Little Red needs a special home, and must be adopted locally.  I have made a lifelong commitment to her, and like all TDL dogs, she will not fall through the cracks.   It’s time for her next Vet visit, and if I can afford it, I’d like to have her DNA tested!

I love Little Red.  She has this softness to her that is hard to explain.  When she takes a treat, she is the most gentle dog I’ve had.  When she leans her head back onto you, asking for her neck to be rubbed, she is genuinely reaching out.  She even exposes her belly for a rub now, it’s so cool!  All she needs is a few minutes when meeting new people, and if you give her time and patience to figure out for herself that you mean to harm, she is fine!

I’m in no hurry to re-home her, but it’s time to start interviewing prospects, she deserves the best!


Shy Sharon with our newest pack member, Rocco

Saturday, July 14th:

I knew that once Little Red felt safe here, her progress would be fast, and it really has been.  She has not had the courage to visit the right side of the house, the long hallway where my children’s bedrooms are.  But Sarah thought it was time, so she took her into her room, and Red loved it.   What’s more important is that Red felt safe, and now she has conquered the entire house without being harmed, so her self-esteem sky rocketed through the roof!  That night she ran all over the house, playing catch me if you can, with my pack, jumping on the couch, off the couch, and taking hide and go seek to a new level!  It was the first time she played in the house with ease and freedom, and I know that she felt joy, real joy.  Even thought she has a long way to go, I think she’s ready to bond with her new human, and adjust to her new home!  Woo hoo Little Red!



StarSpark Gems Custom-Designed TDL Keepsakes

Creator of StarSpark Gems, Lynn & Marion Cheney have launched custom-designed keepsakes for The Dog Liberator.  We have completed the process of finalizing our designs, and are offering the keepsakes along with a starter European-style charm bracelet, however, each piece can be worn on a necklace.

Each piece is custom designed and hand-made by Lynn using .999 pure silver.

We are thrilled and honored to be offering commemorative charms throughout the year which will represent milestones or very special dogs that have touched the hearts of our rescue.  Our first piece will be of a Border Collie, of course!

The TDL 2011 Border Collie


Probably the most well known of the herding breeds, the Border Collie  Charm is hand made of Precious Metal Clay (PMC) of pure, .999 silver.  The charm is 7/8” from ear to chest, with a bail added that will  accommodate any European style bracelet, as well as neck cords and chains up to omegas.

The Border Collie Charm can be worn on a necklace (provided) or on our exclusive charm bracelet (shown below).

A portion of the proceeds from every sale will be donated to The Dog Liberator.


The bracelet is a mixed metals piece of silver plate, copper, alloys, natural stones, crystals and lampworked and Murano glass charms.  These were collected and purchased from around globe, specifically Czech Republic, Australia and the Orient.  Some of the stones, beads and dangles included on our bracelets are:





TDL Commemorative Charm & Bracelete



I received my sample bracelet in the mail last week, and I was blown away.  It looks like something that I would see in a Tiffany’s catalog.  I showed it to Cyndy Doty, and we both agreed, the pictures don’t do it justice.  Here’s another closer look.

They are available for purchase now, and will be available at our Reunion on November 5th.


TDL Keepsakes

Email Lynn to order yours today at mcheney5@cfl.rr.com or you can contact her at 321-632-7770.  You may also visit her StarSpark Gem Collections Website.


The Thundershirt and The New and Improved Velveteen, the Deaf/Blind Aussie

This is Joan’s diary, which details her progress with Velveteen. Amazingly, the folks at Thundershirt have sent us several sizes, and I just ordered a small for a new 20 pound female deaf/blind Aussie coming to us this weekend. It proves that whatever issues the dog has, there’s a solution out there, and sometimes it’s takes a host of ideas to help a confused dog. In Velveteen’s case, the next step is to get her a vibrating collar to work on recall and reward. Stay tuned as Velveteen’s progress continues rapidly!


Joan’s Diary of Velveteen, the Deaf/Blind Aussie:

On 11/20/10 Velveteen came home with me. Carson was afraid of her during the ride home. Velveteen kept nipping at the air, and barked at him in the back seat. I crated her the first night. Velveteen never slept, and at least 15-20 times she would bark and howl. There was nothing I could do to comfort her. How do I communicate with a deaf and almost blind dog? When I let her out of her crate, she paced and barked.

The next day I was exhausted! She and the cat do not get along. It may be that she has violated the cat’s space in trying to get her smell and to check him out. Velveteen is not aggressive, but she was too curious of the cat.

So, I called for help. Gisele suggested leaving the light on all night long, and putting a wind-up clock in her crate. She also suggested putting an article of my used clothing, or a used towel in her crate so my sent would be with her. I started using Rescue Remedy as well.

Instead of using a squirt bottle, I started wetting my fingers with water and gently wafting droplets at her every time she barked day or night.

She wasn’t afraid of this but stopped barking immediately and she seemed to know it was a correction. She walks with Carson on a leash well and loved it. Outside where there is more space the two dogs seemed fine.

That evening she barked about 10 times. I gave her more Rescue Remedy and a little Arnica for any pain issues.

I called Fritzi in Connecticut on 11/22/10 for help in communicating with Velveteen. Fritzi recently adopted Sassafras, a deaf Old English Sheepdog from The Dog Liberator. I explained that Velveteen is a very sweet, loving dog. Fritzi gave me some pointers and a lot of encouragement. She is crated when I leave for short periods of time during the day and has separation anxiety as well. I can hear her barking/shrieking through the open windows. I must learn to communicate with her. In between the pacing, barking, howling, there are glimpses of a sweet, affectionate, loving dog who is trapped in a deaf/almost blind body but never whines or complains and walks well and even plays with Carson in the yard. One of the sites Fritzi recommened was http://www.deafdogs.org/

On 11/23/10 very little changed. I took Velveteen to groomer and she loved being bathed and massaged. Very, very good girl for the groomers and crated well for them after grooming.

On 11/24/10 I had a very busy day and was gone for several hours. It was dark when I got home, and Velveteen beside herself barking/howling/screeching. UGHHH! What have I done? This poor precious girl.

On Thanksgiving day, Velveteen was much more quiet and was happy around my elderly parents. Out of nowhere Velveteen jumped up on my mother, who was in a recliner and “hugs her and places her head on my Mom’s chest. Mom spent time petting and massaging her for about 10 minutes and Velveteen didn’t move. Where did that come from? During dinner Velveteen was underfoot and pacing but calmer. Barking continued that night while I tried to sleep but it was only 6-8 times.

On 11/26/10 the Thundershirt that Gisele requested arrived.  I put it on Velveteen immediately and she enjoyed the touching and the wrap. She wore it from about 2PM through the night and only barked once in the early morning. Now this is progress! She barks a few times during the day but the water seems to be working and she stops right away.

On 11/27/10 I noticed that Carson was beginning to try to play with Velveteen outside, but she is not interested and runs around him. He is no longer fearful unless she barks at him, which she doesn’t do outside in the yard. She wore the Thundershirt all day and nite.

On 11/28/10 Velveteen slept the entire evening! Finally! I had to check on her to make sure she was still breathing. Heavy, snoring, wonderful sleep. Amen! Even
when she woke up she did not bark. She once again jumped up on my Mom and continued the “bonding” experience. She really hugs my Mom with both front paws around her waist. It is amazing to see and feel the love. She has never done that to me. I can cuddle her but not like that.

On 11/29/10 Velveteen is still gravitating toward my Mom and my Dad. She is definitely more calm. I took the Thundershirt off for a couple of hours and took her for a walk. Interestingly, my Mom took a fall about 3Am in the guest bedroom. Velveteen’s crate is in-between my bedroom and my Mom’s bedroom. My Dad called to me and as I walked past Velveteen’s crate I noticed she was standing in the crate “starring” in the direction of my Mom’s room. Even though there is a wall that prevents Velveteen from seeing my Mother, she was completely still and not barking and remained that way until the accident was resolved. She went back to sleep and slept through the night barking only once at 7 AM, which is close to our waking time. I watched her snore and sleep like a rock.

On 11/30/10 my parents went back home, but Velveteen seems to be looking for them. She had a great walk as usual and good interaction with Carson outside.

Velveteen is a very sweet and loving angel and in my opinion has come a long way. I truly believe the Thundershirt helped tremendously. It makes perfect sense and seemed to calm her almost immediately. Was it only that? I do not know but I love the shirt and what it does for her.

This I know for sure, Velveteen is a wonderful angel who is pretty well behaved and never had an accident in the house. She wants to please and is a cuddler at heart. She loves her walks and spins around when the leash comes out. I think she likes elderly individuals and seems comforted by them. I pray she finds her forever home soon. I love her precious little spirit! She deserves the best life has to offer her. I have started her on a skin and coat product from Life’s Abundance http://www.healthypetnet.com because I felt she needed a little skin treatment.

Seemed a little dry and her coat needed a little luster. She eats well and walks on the leash better than Carson. She now walks 4 miles a day. This precious girl loves to cuddle and be in the light. Updates in a more timely fashion will be forth coming.

Velveteen’s original blog spot can be viewed here.

Donate a Kuranda Bed

Kuranda Beds are the beds of choice for dogs. They are designed to provide orthopedic support and comfort, and are a special blessing to dogs recovering from surgery or suffering joint pain. When Gisele’s senior border collie was approaching her last days, she parked herself on a Kuranda bed ~ it was the only place she could be comfortable. When my Basset/Lab Ralph is suffering pain in his knees, he retreats to his Kuranda bed. Even my foster puppies love it because it lets them engage in double-decker play, some on top and some underneath! We love them because they are easy to clean, are weather-proof, and the aluminum-framed ones are chew-proof!

If you would like to donate one, please click on the icon below. And, as always, thank you for your support!

Donate a Bed
Looking for a meaningful and lasting gift for a Pet Lover? Donate a Kuranda dog bed to one of our dogs in the name of a friend or family member. A personalized Gift Card will be mailed to them to inform them of the wonderful gift you have selected for them.
Donate a Kuranda dog bed.

Holly, thanks for doing this. During the last few weeks of my Reckless’ life, she loved her Kuranda bed. When she couldn’t walk anymore, but wanted to go outside, friends would literally help me lift her while on her bed outdoors. It kind of served as a stretcher. These beds are awesome, thanks. Gisele


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