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Discussion Starter #1
SPOILER ALERT: Long and probably boring!

It occurs to me that I don't think I ever really made a thread about Elsa. I think I just started talking about her like she has always existed. A bunch of DFers know her story from facebook, but I'm so proud of her I'll share more here.

I work for a shelter and when I started this was in our intake kennel:



She had weird scruff all over her body, over grown nails, HW+ and was pregnant upon her arrival from a rural shelter. I started in August after she had had her puppies and our first interaction was pretty funny and maybe a bit scary. I got thrown on a morning shift in the quarantine and intake kennels my first week or so which are private from the public and literally knew nothing about any of the dogs in there. I was cleaning kennels and when I came to hers I went to put a slip lead on her like any dog, and it seemed like a fine thing to do since she was just laying quietly on her bed. Nope. She suddenly bolted to the corner of her kennel practically climbing the wall and making bird noises at me. I was so startled I ended up just backing out of the kennel and leaving her be.

The only real back story I have on her was that she was a stray out in a small town. I never really worked in the quarantine/intake kennels after that much but I become obsessed with dogs that are terrified of people and unable to be handled. No one ever touched her and her days consisted of being let outside on her own with no leash, and let back in her kennel. She avoided people like crazy and spend her time laying on the bed. Fast forward a few months and she was deemed feral and slated to be euthanized because she was thus unadoptable. The seed was planted and I asked if I could foster her, and because she was deemed unadoptable she was not available for foster. I got super obsessed and brought her up with my boyfriend constantly until he agreed that we could bring her home, set her up in the apartment attached to our house, and I could try to work with her. I named her Elsa after Elsa the Lioness.

November 17th, 2011 we brought her home on the day she was supposed to be euthanized. I researched and researched things on feral dogs expecting to work with a feral dog but when I went to load her into a crate for transport it was pretty clear she was not feral. She went into the crate with an easy guiding hand and rode quietly in the car. When we got her set up in the apartment she came out of the crate, smelled my boyfriend (whom she had never met before) and for the first few weeks mostly stayed arms length away and stared at me, like so:



In the time since then I had her spayed and she was treated for HW in January. Her 6 month retest comes up in mid July and since then she's become a really amazing dog. It just seems she was never really socialized at any point, and never really given an opportunity to live a normal dog life. She went from avoiding humans, scared of toys and dog beds, to a pretty fine pal. We're still learning that people are OK, but big mile stones can only be described in photos:









Oh, OK, and maybe a few videos:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=721303352249

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=715222029269

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=725212303679

So she's been here almost 8 months now. After we get her HW retest I will likely start tentatively seeking out her forever home. She has come crazy far for a dog I was honestly expecting to seek out sanctuary best case scenario.
 

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Just a little dusty here....

That Elsa dog is just a treasure.
 

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What a wonderful story ... that you have saved her ... and I sure hope she finds a great forever home. She is a very pretty girl. Do you have any idea what breeds of dog she is? She reminds me of Spaniel and Boxer and Terrier.... I don't know why ..... she just does. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Breed guesses are welcome. I'm off to work but when I get home I will post more photos for the guessing. She is pretty small. 40 lbs and maybe, if I were to guess, 16 inches at the shoulders. She used to have a v-cape as well that has since fallen away to just a smooth single coat.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think her profile changes things up a bit when breed guessing:



Under bite. Likes to show off that toof.



Come at me, bro.

 

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She actually reminds me a bit of a (badly bred) Aussie that I run in agility once in a while. I'll say Aussie x pit, but I'm pretty bad at guessing breeds.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm largely terrible at breed guessing, so we've just been calling her a Pit mix, but it sometimes doesn't fit right. Sometimes she looks Pitty, other times she looks.. like a mutty mutt.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Relevant, I also added her to my dog sleeve. She has been my most meaningful foster, so I feel she deserves a slot on my arm. She's an homage to system failure.

 

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I can't see the pictures well enough... guess you'll have to send her down to me so I can guess in person.

Love ol' Elsa girl. Hate allergy attacks that come around when I hear her story.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I am terrible at updating/posting, and it's been nearly a YEAR since I took Elsa home, but we went to our aforementioned 6 month HW retest in July and got a big fat NEGATIVE. We brought Sham for moral support and she took the blood draw, vaccinations, and handling like a champ. She even accepted treats from the vet and relaxed enough to play with Sham in the office. My boyfriend is editing some nice photo he took of her and one of these years he will finish so I can get her courtesy listed where ever I can and I'll start tentatively seeking her forever home. She's going to be a "project" dog but she's adjusted so perfectly/normally here I am positive she can make it in a new home.

In the mean time, she still enjoys showing off her tooth, putting her stuffies in poop, and her men. That girl loves her Shambles and her foster dad.





 

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It's beautiful to see how you've brought Elsa's personality out. She looks so happy and connected now. What a gift to be able to do that. Bless you.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
She deserves all the credit. She's a great dog, she just needed a place where she could be just that. I wish I met her at another time so she could stay, but after her it will be on to the next one.
 

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What a great picture TWAB! Shammy looks all proud & keep thinking Elsa is a big dog LOL
 
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