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.

Harry Potter the Corgi in ACD Clothing ~ Adopted

Harry Potter is quite the little fellow. He is a Corgi through and through in personality and appearance, with one exception. When he got dressed in the morning, he reached into his closet and accidentally pulled out an Australian Cattle Dog suit! I think it looks quite dashing on him, but it is a bit, well, unusual. Amy, his foster, has done a wonderful job of documenting his story. Rather than summarize it, I’m just going to put the diary here. She’ll continue to update it in the comments section of this blog, so make sure you read them. Also, check out his extensive collection of photos in his facebook photo album. Enjoy Amy’s diary!:


Foster Diary of Harry Potter,

so named because – although he’s starting out a timid, withdrawn orphan of a dog – given time and patience, he’ll show us the corgi “magic” hidden inside!

Nov. 24, 2010:
I visit Harry Potter, a 4-year-old corgi/Australian Cattle Dog mix at a rural North Central Florida animal shelter. An owner surrender (the excuse was too many dogs), this boy weighs 26 lbs. and – wonder of wonders! – is heartworm negative. Inside the shelter, Harry is excitable and anxious, looking up at the ceiling, running in circles, and barking anxiously at the noisy old ceiling fan above his pen. He looks like my Pembroke Welsh Corgi – in ACD clothes! His coat, which has the colors and pattern of an Australian Cattle Dog’s, is tighter and sleeker than most corgis I’ve seen. Harry reminds me of Chicken Little the way he’s running in circles and staring at the sky. In any case, he’s been barking so much, he’s hoarse from the effort. We head outside to the play yard, where Harry is friendly and people-oriented, eager for attention and affection. He needs a chance and TDL is going to give him one! The ride home is uneventful; Harry sleeps in his crate like a champ.

Nov. 25-27, 2010:
Harry Potter meets my pack: Chas, the border collie/Labrador retriever; Scout, the whippet/JRT; and Shelby, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. He’s aloof and stand-offish, clinging to me and following me wherever I go. Contrary to typical corgi behavior, Harry doesn’t bark or run or play. The only thing he wants to do is sleep and be right by my side. Whenever the other dogs approach, he growls and places himself between me and them. I correct him appropriately and I think he’s starting to get the idea that: 1) my dogs aren’t too worried about what he thinks and 2) I’m not going to put up with it anyway. My feeling is that he’s just insecure and exhausted from his 1-month plus stint at the shelter. Let’s face it, being in a noisy shelter right underneath the loud, non-stop squeaking of a ceiling fan for a month is a lot for any dog to take, especially a corgi. Corgis tend to be excitable – we corgi people say “enthusiastic” – and active dogs. Harry probably never stopped barking and running in circles while he was there – the shelter staff told me that’s what he was known for! I can’t wait to see him tear off across my yard after a squirrel, barking at the top of his lungs (Holly warns me I will eat these words). I know there’s some corgi “magic” in there somewhere. For now, however, Harry sleeps.
He has made friends with my two smaller dogs, but still growls at Chas, the border collie/lab mix. I suspect he’s intimidated by Chas’ size and the fact that – easygoing and laid-back as he is – Chas is the pack leader. I have a feeling they’ll come to an “agreement” one way or the other. I’ve decided to turn them out together to sort it out on their own.
Note: Harry has shown some resource aggression toward other dogs with respect to food and toys. I separate my dogs at feeding time; Harry goes into his crate to eat. He growls and barks at the other dogs if they approach his crate while he’s eating. The good news is the longer he’s here, the less he does it. (He has never shown aggression toward people; in fact, I take his food and toys away from him on a regular basis to remind him who’s boss. He always just rolls over on his back.) For this reason, however, I would recommend that Harry go to a home with no small children. Like most corgis, he needs to know who’s boss and sometimes those lines aren’t so clear when little ones are involved.

Nov. 27, 2010 p.m.:
After three days of silence, Harry Potter finally found his voice! He’s outside running around and playing with my corgi, Shelby. They spotted a cat when I turned them out for the last time tonight – that was all it took! My neighbors may not appreciate all that obnoxious corgi barking, but it’s music to my ears. Better still, Chas and Harry seem to have come to some sort of a truce. Life is good!

Nov. 28, 2010:
Breakthrough! Harry Potter was actually grooming Chas this morning. Prior to this, these two weren’t on speaking terms. This means Harry has an even greater chance of being adopted into a multi-dog household. He’s learned that he doesn’t have to be top dog – it’s a good thing!

Dec. 8, 2010
Harry Potter has come so far in his acceptance of other dogs. Due to limited foster availability and a huge influx of dogs, I now have two additional fosters – Cardigan Welsh Corgi sisters Piccadilly and Penny Lane. My mom is having her annual Christmas Party bash this weekend, and, as a result, has asked me to keep her two dogs, Holly (border collie/shepherd mix) and Itsy Bitsy (Pembroke Welsh Corgi) until Sunday morning. That’s a grand total of eight dogs here at my little three-bedroom, two-bath bungalow! Thank God my mom’s party is over Saturday night and she picks up her dogs the next morning! In any case, Harry has taken this sudden doubling of our numbers in stride. He greets everyone with the same curiosity and shows absolutely no aggression. This tells me he will have no trouble in a multiple-dog household (I mean, who actually OWNS and LIVES with eight dogs, right?). Harry has accepted and now plays regularly with Chas, my border collie/lab mix he originally did not like. He does have a special affinity for the ladies, due in part, I think, to the fact that he was four-years-old when he was neutered. I know he would be especially pleased to be adopted into a house with at least one other FEMALE dog, as he has grown particularly fond of Scout, my female JRT/whippet mix. I believe Harry thinks he is flirting with her – he licks her face and gnaws on her cheeks and ears. I guess that’s courting to dogs – I’ll stick with flowers and jewelry, thank you very much!

Dec. 11, 2010
Harry Potter is now an experienced rescue transporter! Tonight he helped me transport six puppies from Wildwood to Holly’s house in Winter Park. He rode shotgun (of course!) and babysat the puppies in Holly’s backyard while I helped myself to some of her homemade pizza (yummy!). Holly was so impressed with his super-soft, super-shiny coat, I think I heard her asking him about his hair care secrets as we were leaving. She’ll probably deny it, but I know what I heard …

Dec. 15, 2010
Harry Potter is a lover of a dog! He has become such a sweet boy, blending so nicely into my pack. He gets along just fine with my dogs – still guards his toys, so I guess that’s his “thing” – but no longer growls at the other dogs over feeding time. I separate my dogs at feeding time – no free-for-alls here! – and I think Harry has accepted that his food is perfectly safe and no other dog is going to take it from him.

HE HAS NEVER GROWLED AT OR ACTED ANY WAY OTHER THAN EXTREMELY SUBMISSIVE TOWARD ME OR ANY OTHER PERSON. I wanted to make that clear because I believe some folks may have gotten the wrong idea after reading the early entries of this blog. I take Harry’s food, treats, toys, etc. away from him on a regular basis and he offers absolutely no resistance. If he’s doing something I don’t want him doing, all I have to do is snap my fingers and he stops in his tracks and comes right back to me. Harry’s greatest desire is to sleep at your feet. No kidding! If I’m in a chair, he’s right beside me. He sleeps next to my bed. If I go to another room, Harry Potter’s hot on my heels. This is a dog that will follow his human to the ends of the earth. One kind word and a scratch behind the ears and he’ll be yours forever!

Just a note about bath time: Harry loves warm soaks in the tub! Who knew? When I bathed him earlier this week, he enjoyed it so much he actually sat down and closed his eyes!

December 30th Update:

I just received the type of phone call that keeps me in rescue. Amy, Harry’s foster, called to say that he had been adopted. “Holly, it was like he’s been waiting for them all along. He knew them. And they were so happy to meet him. The dad had lost his childhood Corgi years ago and had never been able to replace him. Harry just sat right down in his lap. And Emma, the 2-year-old daughter? I was worried about how Harry would do with her. He happily walked along side her with complete acceptance. It made me cry to see him with the family that he waited so long for.”

It makes me cry, too, because I remember the Harry the Amy described to me the first time she got him, the dog who was spinning underneath a ceiling fan, hoarse from barking, with no purpose in his life. Amy saved him. She truly saved him! She turned him from a nervous shelter dog into a loving family pet who this evening walked out the door on a leash being held by a 2-year-old. And that, my friends, is why we do what we do!

5 thoughts on “Harry Potter the Corgi in ACD Clothing ~ Adopted

  1. Amy, this is unbelievable stuff, you rock woman! Thanks for the detailed information, it makes such a difference to finding a forever home for these little guys who are so misunderstood!

  2. Hello,

    I sent an email earlier today to the address for the site, hope that's the correct place to contact. My husband and I are very interested in Mr. Harry, he seems Wonderful!! Looking forward to hearing from someone soon – thank you. Carol Davis

  3. Hello- Im the 'dad' who adopted Harry and all we can say is thank you for the work you do.

    As of right now, he is laying down next to me and my wife like he has been our dog for years. Reggie was my childhood Corgi and although he can never be replaced, Harry is like finding a missing piece to our family.

    FYI Amy-
    He hasn't tried to chase he the cat because the cat, Spanky, is actually about the same size as Harry and unafraid. The cat also, we believe, thinks he's a dog. They met when we first came home (as Spanky greats us like a dog) Harry gave him a little sniff and that was it. No hissing, no barking, and no real drama… its really like he was just coming home to be with his family.

  4. We have a similar situation. We also have a corgi in red ACD clothes. We rescued he and his brother from a shelter that receives a large number of animals from Amish puppy mills in northern IN. We went for one dog but left with two. They obviously were a bonded pair, the farmer had said they were brothers. Jed looks like a corgi except has red heeler hair pattern and his brother is a tall lanky blue heeler. Genetically they are full blooded brothers (we had then checked). We get quite a few strange looks when we explain it. On their vet paperwork it is listed first what they look like so Jed is a Corgi/Blue Heeler and reverse for Eli. I was told that the Amish had been selling many litters like them labeled as Australian Corgis. We just call them our babies. Beat of luck to Reggie and his new family.

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