Age: 1.5 Years
Foster Home: Sheila
Vanessa crossed the Bridge in March, 2013 and her person wrote this wonderful tribute:
Where Squirrels are Slow.Run free, Vanessa!
Update: Vanessa was adopted in December, 2005. We've received the following updates from her new family:
12/12/05 Vanessa is doing so well! I'm thrilled with her progress, so much faster than I would have thought. Vanessa has been reasonably friendly toward my husband as well. He petted her for quite a while last night, especially after he gave her a few treats! She shows a wagging, happy tail now - kind of a mood meter for her I think. ;-) She's figured out that the fenced yard is where potty happens and she finally went this morning when I let her off the leash. She walks pretty well on the leash, but wasn't interested in going to the bathroom with a human that close. Guess I can't blame her...she has figured out the routine at the door and comes right in with Maggie, so recall wasn't a problem for her off leash in the fenced yard. I did stay out there with her though, didn't want her to make a dash and climb over the fence (she didn't give any indication of wanting to do that). Kept her in her crate last night since she hadn't gone potty outside yet, and she was happy to get out this morning. No accidents in the house - hooray for Vanessa! Went right back into her crate when asked to "kennel up" for her breakfast. What a great appetite she has! She's been busy investigating the house. Hasn't attempted the stairs yet, and so far isn't playing with her toys. I guess that will come as she gets more comfortable with us. We are so thrilled to have lovely Vanessa here with us! My husband thinks she's just beautiful too.
12/13/05 Vanessa is playing now! I took her fuzzy ball toy, from her adoption pack, and squeezed it to squeak and she was interested in playing... so we played fetch for a while (she seems to know "give" as the release word). We played for a while and when we stopped she asked me for more by jumping up and putting her paws on my waist... we're making progress much faster than I thought we would. She has reached up and given my husband a kiss on the face. She also lets him pet her if he doesn't look at her directly. He let her outside in the fenced yard this morning, and as long as he stayed away from the doorway she came back in for him too. Maggie was funny while we played. When 'Nessa went past with the ball, she'd growl a little, but her tail stayed up in the air and was soft (not stiff) so I wasn't too worried. Maggie is a little jealous of the attention, but she's doing well now. 'Nessa just came over and sat next to me for some petting, then laid next to my chair. What a sweetie!
12/17/05 This morning 'Nessa went all out trying to get Maggie to play with her. Maggie went along better than I've ever seen her do before. Lots of soft, wide sweeping tail wagging from Maggie while 'Nessa leapt into the air, play bowed and chased her own tail. Then she grabbed one of my socks and took off with it... And the chase was on for me. Maggie stayed upstairs with my husband for petting - she's no dummy!I'm amazed with Vanessa's intelligence. She'll look at things and you can almost see her mind working out solutions. For example, she had her nose high in the air sniffing out something on the dining room table. Then she circled and found a chair pulled out far enough that she could jump up on it. She was about to get on the table when I told her "no, 'Nessa" and she got right back down on the floor. Of course, I pushed the chair back in under the table too! She has also learned that there is a whole playground under the bed upstairs. She can crouch and crawl around under there with amazing speed and agility. She's taken to herding Maggie, which is rather amusing to me (not nearly as much so to Maggie!) since she uses mostly her stare and body blocking to keep Maggie where she wants her. Mostly that means away from me. 'Nessa is quite possessive of me, even though she will back off if I ask her to. Quite a playful girl too... we've been enjoying a lot of playtime every day. I so enjoy a dog that will play!
I think it is time to start looking into obedience classes for our little girl. There may be one starting early next month. Between that and the sheep exposure on January 7th she'll have plenty to keep her mind busy. So our little girl has become quite confident and assertive in less than a week. Who would ever have guessed that?
1/2/06 Vanessa has been an absolute delight! She has rejuvenated my older dog, Maggie, and has been such fun for me.
I am taking her to be tested on sheep this weekend and it will be interesting to see how she does on things she is supposed to herd. Maggie is a bit annoyed to be herded, but she's getting used to it and will growl to back Vanessa off.
Vanessa has also learned how to do a high speed dash under the bed with a toy and scrambles around under there for a while before bursting out full of play. Sounds like a herd of elephants up there when I'm downstairs in the kitchen. She has also shown me the futility of thinking I can pick out a toy she'll like. Her favorite is an an empty plastic drinking water bottle, evidently she likes the crackling noise it makes when she chomps it and jumps on it. Balls, sqeaker toys, tugs and even socks are toys to her when she gets crazy and wants to play.
She has been a delight in the house, no accidents at all! She's quiet and settles well after her playtime. She's affectionate and lovable even with my husband which we really didn't expect from her description on the website.
02/04/2006 We did the sheep exposure in January and she was pretty timid when it was her turn in the round pen with the sheep. Didn't interact with the sheep at all, just cowered by the gate. Disappointing, but she warmed up to the idea of herding as the day went on. By the end of the day, she was crouching and posing outside the pen or pressing her muzzle through the fence as far as she could as if to say "I can help, I really can!" so I guess she'll get another chance in the spring.
Vanessa is also signed up for an obedience class for beginner adult dogs. That should help with some of her issues. I try to take her out for a ride periodically and usually she does pretty well. Took her to Mom's yesterday, she got sick on the way up when James drove, but was fine on the way home when I drove the car. No idea if there is any connection with who drives, but it is something I'll be more aware of in the future.
Overall, she's a happy, playful girl with some issues that time may help to overcome with patience and opportunities when she's ready.
10/31/2008 I can't believe it has been almost three years with Vanessa! She's been a delightful companion and has made such a wonderful change in temperament over the years. She's now completed some agility training and has been encouraged to compete by the trainer... I'd prefer to keep doing it just for fun and to keep her amused, she has such a sense of humor!
I take her to the dog park most every day, and she loves to run and play with the other dogs. Amazingly enough, she also goes up to most of the people now too - checking for treats, of course, such a food-motivated little darling...
She's turned into a fantastic companion - she is truly a remarkable success story, and I owe it all to you at the rescue.