Monday, August 17, 2015

Introducing Anica!

Yesterday we picked up Temporary Dog #28: a six-month-old female Border Terrier mix named Anica. Currently she's about 20 pounds, which means her adult weight is likely to come in at somewhere in the 25-27 pound range once she fills out and develops a little more muscle. At the moment she's a bit underweight, probably from shelter stress.

Anica landed in a North Carolina shelter when her previous owner, who had acquired her as a puppy, decided that he didn't have the time or energy for a dog. He dropped her off at the shelter, where she was pulled by our rescue partners and slated for transport up to PA. After a couple of weeks with our rescue partners, she made her way up here.

She's only been here for a little over 24 hours, so it's premature for me to try making any detailed evaluations at this point. So far, however, Anica seems to be a great little dog: affectionate, snuggly, gentle, and very very sweet. She's been sociable and polite with Dog Mob -- even though, as usual, Pongu's not making that easy for her. (Last night Pongu decided to rush up to Anica's crate and yell at her every single time he heard a noise he didn't like, whether or not it came from her. Pongu yelled at her for scratching, whining, and shifting position in her sleep, but he also yelled at her because there was a truck with squeaky brakes outside, or because Peter opened the bedroom door to use the bathroom, or because Pongu was having a bad dream and clearly that was all Anica's fault.)

The first order of business, as usual, has been potty training, crate training, and leash walking. I can't tell whether Anica has had any formal training on any of these points or if she's just a naturally easygoing dog; either way, she seems to be catching on pretty quickly. We did have a potty accident last night, but so far it's only been the one, and she's pottied outside pretty consistently since then. She's been mostly quiet in the crate apart from occasional sighs and complaints when she gets bored.

Anica has been fairly easy on leash -- I've just been walking her on a flat collar, no need for a front-clip harness so far -- and seems to be rapidly getting used to walks in the city, although she has shown a tendency to snap up dropped food on the sidewalks and I suspect she's going to be pretty interested in squirrels once she's a little more comfortable. But no big problems on that front, at least not in the first day.

My very broad preliminary assessment is that she's a sweet and easy dog with no major issues. Anica would be a good choice for a novice owner or for a family looking for a child-friendly pet. I think she could do well as either a second dog or an only pet; she's dog-social and enjoys playing with other dogs, but she doesn't seem to be overly needy. I haven't seen any signs of separation anxiety or resource guarding at this time (although SA sometimes needs a little longer to manifest; this early, she's not bonded to me and therefore doesn't get too worried when I'm not around).

So that's the first look at Anica. We'll start foundational training either tonight or tomorrow, and hopefully we'll be able to find a nice home for this little dog before too long.

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