And then the urge came to start looking.
I felt that Jasmine wanted me to do this and and I felt strongly it was the best way to honor her memory. Our search had some sad moments, I might get to that at another time.
And then we found this sweet little girl, needing a home.
The little girl was Cookie (yes, we are going to change her name). Dainty, 18 months old, owner surrender Rottweiler female, with the gentlest face. Hubby went to look at her first and she immediately made her way into his heart. Before he left he asked me what would happen if he brought her with him right away. I said that if absolutely necessary it would be OK but I'd really prefer to see how JD and her got along first.
We were leaving for Jasmine's ranch Saturday morning and we decided to stop to see Cookie on the way. If the guys did get along, she could come with us.
Cookie is the sweetest girl alive. She fell in love with JD right away and he warmed up to her very quickly. That settled it, she was coming with us. We still did have the option to change our minds if things weren't working out but I wasn't very worried about that.
Cookie is so happy to belong with somebody, so loving, and JD couldn't have found a better friend.
That settled it. Cookie is now a new member of Jasmine's pack. (because this will always be Jasmine's pack)
This little girl spent most (if not all) of her life tied to a lead line. All she wanted was not to be alone. All she wanted was to be with somebody.
You can imagine that she is sucking up our affection like a sponge.
She is kind of "half wild", with a strong pray drive, and during our meeting she demonstrated her tendency to take off. It was a good thing we got to see that, so we'd be aware of this. We needed to keep her on a lead (fortunately I did pack a long leash) and we need to work on changing her priorities.
The goal is that her desire to stick close with us becomes stronger that her desire to run off chasing things.
We're also working vigorously on her recall as well as I mark and reward every time she checks back on me. (I think she's doing it now just to get the treat, though. But that's fine.)
Her recalls are quite enthusiastic and couple times she really surprised us bouncing back when called when we really didn't think she would have. As long as she notices me calling her, she's happy to come running up.
We are letting her off leash every now and then and she's been doing well with that.
We let her off the leash so she can play with JD, or so she could go make use of Jasmine's den under the trailer, which is a great place to cool down on a hot day.
While on the ranch, Cookie also enjoyed hunting some mice.
She'd make a great mouser, I tell you! We figured we'd let her do that, kept her busy and entertained and mice don't run very far. She actually caught some! At first she didn't know what to do with it, then she figured she'd eat it. Those are field mice, in the middle of nowhere, so no real risk. Her belly didn't really like that idea, though, she upchucked them shortly after.
Otherwise her belly did quite well with all the new treats and goodies. She already tried JD's food with no adverse effects, so she is already switched as well.
She is so happy to belong with somebody.
She seems so happy to have the companionship, she is already keeping an eye on where everybody is and what they're doing.
We couldn't have found a more wonderful dog or a better match for either ourselves or JD.
We have a lot of teaching to do, but she is trying very hard to please everybody.
Poor girl didn't even know how to use man-made structures such as stairs, deck ... she was even slipping on concrete tiles!
But she's learning quickly. And I have to be learning as I go too.
When on a walk in a new place she gets so engrossed in all the smells and sights, when I call her she doesn't even know I'm there at first.
I didn't want to spoil the cue but I needed to get her going from time to time. So instead of using my words in vain, I tried to see what happens if I got running. That works like a charm and she immediately joins me. After a while, when she becomes little less overwhelmed, she starts responding to verbal cues again.
It's a learning process for both of us.
We already had a big medical scare ... but I'll write about it next time.