HANNAH

Hannah is ten years old, and has had a difficult year. Somewhat unusual in rescue, her original owner took commendable care of her for most of her life. When he moved to a place where he couldn't have dogs, his grandmother took Hannah. At some point, apparently, other relatives entered the household and the grandson found Hannah tied out in her yard, neglected, hungry and very ill. He spent $3000 at the vet's to save her from a bout of pyometriosis, and finally turned her over to a rescue contact he trusted to find her a good good home.

We've had Hannah for about a month. She's recovered nicely from surgery and begun to get her weight back. She still needs a few pounds on her, but is a sweet, easy dog to be around. She's perfectly housebroken and will fritz around or pace to let you know she needs to go out. If you just let her out occasionally it's never an issue.

She is completely deaf as far as we can tell, and with so many dogs around we don't have a real chance to work with her on hand signals. Janie has tried a bit of this, and is encouraged so far. We believe she'd respond well to that training, especially if little treats were involved! She's a bright girl, and very attentive. She learned to catch treats out of the air very quickly, and enjoys the game. She has also gotten proficient at eating neatly from a fork or spoon, which is helpful if she ever needs medication someday.

She's excellent around our other 13 or so rescue dogs and six house cats. We don't have children but believe she'd be absolutely fine around them. At first a bit shy when outside with the other dogs, she is blossoming nicely and now hangs around with everyone. The Great Danes no longer intimidate her by their size and clumsiness, and she just goes along with the crowd. She's very considerate of other dogs, always careful to step daintily between the various furry lumps when crossing the room. If she were in a two-dog family she'd probably tend to be polite and submissive, possibly playful if they initiated it.

At first Hannah was very -- perhaps overly -- attached to Janie, and would sometimes bark for a minute or two when Janie went out the door. Eventually I started discouraging this by going over and tapping her lightly on the rear, and shaking my head and forefinger at her when she looked around at me. She seemed to pick up on this cue very quickly. She still does it now and then, but I don't push the issue since it's a very quiet bark and sometimes not worth getting up to reinforce. She genuinely wants to do the right thing, and it's just a matter of explaining it to her adequately.

She shows no chewing tendencies at all, nor other unpleasant habits as far as we can see. Occasionally she seems to get chilled easily, probably because of the surgery and losing so much weight. Until she picks up another 8-10 pounds or so, we just throw a towel over her, about once a week when she shivers a bit in her sleep, and on cold days we put a little sweater on her. We suspect this will pass with time, anyhow. This chilling seems mostly to happen on our cold floor and not when she's on one of the dog beds.

Hannah seems to be about in the middle of the spectrum for activity, neither a couch potato nor a nervous pacer. She enjoys going outside for walks and does fine on the lead. At first she's always a bit excited and pulls a wee bit, but soon settles down to a calm walk. Most of her outside visits are with the other dogs and off-lead, rather than walked on a lead, so the lead is still new and exciting for her. If she were walked every day that exuberance would likely tone down. She is enthusiastic about everything you do with her, and loves every little bit of attention, but if you have other things to do she just quietly lies down next to you and waits. She's pretty malleable, and would adapt to most lifestyles that weren't extremely physically demanding.

12/19/06

Email Jackie Threatte at ccdal@comcast.net for more information or to request an application form.

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