The Dog Liberator™

The Dog Liberator rescues abandoned dogs throughout the Southeast. Based in Central Florida, this non-profit organization fosters all of their dogs in a home environment. Founded in 2009, all dogs are fully vetted, spayed or neutered prior to adoption. The Dog Liberator focuses in rescuing the herding breed, which consists of Border Collies, Shepherds, Sheepdogs, Aussies, Collies, and Deaf/Blind Dogs.

Cowgirl, the Australian Cattle Dog (Blue Heeler) ~ Adopted

Cowgirl, the Australian Cattle Dog (Blue Heeler) ~ Adopted

The e-mail started like so many others: “These dogs just came into the shelter. Can you take them?”

Are we at Amy's house yet?

Nadia Caron-Davis, a wonderful volunteer for Friends of Citrus County Animal Services (FOCCAS), e-mails me whenever herding dogs come into my local shelter. She’d attached photos to her most recent e-mail showing three female Australian Cattle Dogs, one of which was 10+ lbs. overweight, and one very sick looking female border collie. Apparently all four dogs had come from the same source. I had two foster dogs at the time, so I replied that I could take one, pending temperament testing. Nadia responded that wasn’t a problem … she’d let me know in a few days.

Several days later, Nadia e-mailed the information I’d requested. Some good news, a lot of not-so-good news. The good news was that all the ACDs were friendly toward people and other dogs and ignored cats. It appeared they were littermates and approximately five years old. Unfortunately, two of the girls had some hair loss due to flea and/or food allergies and were heartworm positive. The unusual-looking blue merle girl with red points and white eyelashes miraculously had no allergies and was heartworm negative. However, she was the shyest of the three. All of the dogs had worn or missing teeth, most likely from chewing on chains they’d been tied with or on the doors or sides of an outdoor kennel. The female border collie, also around five years old, had significant medical issues and most likely would’ve been put down if a good Samaritan hadn’t come along and adopted her in the hopes of providing as much comfort and love possible for the time she had left.

Nadia’s question to me again was, “Can you take any of them?” I thought for a moment and responded, “The shelter’s open late tonight. I’ll meet you there after work.”

Taking time to smell the flowers.

Several hours and three dogs later, I had my decision. Actually, as so often happens, the dogs made the decision for me. Although her sisters were friendlier initially, the little blue merle girl with the white eyelashes captured my heart. It took her 10 minutes or so to warm up to me, but when she did, she sat down next to me and put her paw on my leg so I would pet her. If I stopped petting her, she’d put it there again. That was my sign: She’s the one! Arrangements were made for Nadia to transport my girl, who I’d named “Cowgirl,” to me the following week. In the meantime, one of Cowgirl’s littermates was adopted! Wonderful news!

So here I sit, Cowgirl by my side. So far, she’s been a perfect lady — quiet and demure. I’m waiting for the rough and tumble Cattle Dog to come out! lol Until then, I’ll let Cowgirl show me exactly who she is. What I do know is that she’s approximately five years old, weighs 35 lbs., and is spayed and fully vetted. Cowgirl rides well in the car and didn’t bat a single white eyelash when I introduced her to my crew. She walks in the heel position on the leash and has excellent off-leash recall. Oh, and did I mention that she’s housetrained?

Cowgirl is being fostered at my home in the Ocala area. You can view her photo album on Facebook.  If you are interested in adopting her, please review “How to Adopt From Us” and email your information to me at

Cowgirl likes to herd corgis!

Sept. 26, 2011: Today I took Cowgirl to see Dr. Bailey for a check up and a second heartworm test. As I wrote earlier, the other three dogs that accompanied Cowgirl to Animal Services were heartworm positive; I just couldn’t believe that she wasn’t heartworm positive as well. Unfortunately, the second test proved me right (I’d much rather be wrong!). Dr. Bailey also confirmed that Cowgirl is around five years old. She said all things considered Cowgirl’s heart and lungs sound good and her teeth look pretty good as well. Hey, some positives — we’ll take it!

I’ll be starting Cowgirl on the slow kill heartworm treatment immediately using the supply of Doxycycline and Prednisone I purchased at the vet’s office today. In addition, Cowgirl’s adopter will receive a year’s supply of Heartgard to continue with her treatment.

And Cowgirl? Well, she couldn’t be any less concerned about being heartworm positive. In fact, today she decided to try her hand at herding corgis. Get along little dogies/corgis … same difference, right?

Scratch my belly, please.

Sept. 29, 2011: I have to say, I’m just loving this girl! Cowgirl has turned into a real love muffin who loves to be petted and scratched. She’s definitely a velcro dog, following me from room to room and sleeping beside my bed. Not one to catch frisbees or retrieve balls, Cowgirl is a companion — a loyal companion — all the way. When we go for walks around the neighborhood, Cowgirl walks right by my side. I leave the leash on — just in case — but her off-leash recall is excellent.

Cowgirl is submissive with people and other dogs and has fit right in with my pack. She’s just so easygoing! I honestly believe she’s one of those dogs that would do equally well as an only dog and in a multi-dog household. She’s also devoted to her person, something that won’t surprise anyone who’s familiar with her breed. It doesn’t matter what you do or say, Cowgirl just looks at you adoringly, as if to say, “You hung the moon, didn’t you?” Wish my two dogs would take some notes! lol

Cowgirl's soulful eyes

Oct. 3, 2011: This morning, Cowgirl started her slow kill heartworm treatment meds. She’s pretty good at avoiding the pills, but I’ve found a new way to make sure she swallows them, no questions asked. I just wrap them in a slice of deli meat and down the hatch they go!

This evening, I took Cowgirl outside just before dusk to take some new photos. Now, I don’t have the best camera (actually, it’s a pretty crappy camera — $59.95 on sale at WalMart), but every once in a while I’m able to capture something special, even if the photo quality isn’t the best. I put Cowgirl in the bed of my truck for a quick photo shoot — she is a “cowgirl” after all! — and she just turned on the charisma, posing, smiling, and even laughing for the camera. It occurred to me as I clicked away that Cowgirl’s demeanor has undergone a fundamental change in the past few days. She’s perkier and smiles more often. Her tail wags more and there’s a lightness to her step that wasn’t there before. But there’s still that soulfulness to her eyes that just gets to me. It’s there in some of tonight’s photos. You can see it if you look. I may be waxing poetic here, but I see loyalty and devotion in those eyes, like she’d follow her person to the ends of the earth. I can’t wait for that person to come along. What a jewel he or she will have!

She's super excited about Halloween.

Oct. 14, 2011: Cowgirl’s Halloween costume came in the mail yesterday, courtesy of Gisele. Of course, I had to put it on her and make sure it was the “perfect” fit. And, of course, I had my camera handy. As you can see, Cowgirl was less than enthused with her new look. I sure had a good time, though! lol

Oct. 20, 2011: I just had to take a moment to say what a joy Cowgirl is and how lucky her people will be when they find her. She is the picture of devotion. And now that it’s cooler and everyone is feeling friskier, she’s getting her puppy playfulness back. I’m fostering a female Corgi, Pumpkin, and I also have a Corgi of my own. Cowgirl has appointed herself “Corgi Wrangler,” and tries to round them up when they start playing a little too boisterously. It’s so comical to watch because she’s constantly looking for their heels to “heel” them. They barely have legs — good luck trying to find their heels while they’re running! I haven’t been able to get it on camera yet, but as soon as I do, I’ll be sure to add the video to this post. Stay tuned … and be prepared to laugh!

Cowgirl just loves her pumpkin pajamas -- NOT!

Oct. 23, 2011: Okay, I didn’t get video of Cowgirl herding the two Corgis, but I did get something almost as funny. Earlier this month, Gisele sent a package with several Halloween costumes. I’ve already taken photos of Cowgirl wearing the pumpkin costume (as you’ll recall, she was oh-so-thrilled!). Today, we did a little photo shoot with the pumpkin-print pajamas Gisele sent. Cowgirl was really into it, as you can see from the photo! lol

Oct. 30, 2011: ADOPTED! Cowgirl just left with the wonderful Sheldon and Anita Wynne of Vero Beach. The couple lost their beloved 12-year-old Australian Cattle Dog, Cassie, about a year ago. They and their 6-year-old lab have missed Cassie so much, they decided it was time to consider adding another ACD to the family. I think our gentle Cowgirl is the perfect choice, don’t you?!? Vero Beach, welcome your newest Dog Liberator dog!  



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