The foster home kept her for a while...but they were having trouble with this little girl too. She was a year and a half old, with no manners and a lot of issues. The rescue posted her photo and bio online, without much hope for a suitable adopter. They were ready to have her humanely euthanized.
I lost my heart dog, my basset hound in December...Christmas Eve. I was heartbroken...and couldn't come out of my depression. By January, I was surfing the Aussie rescue sites...looking for a project dog, to take my mind off of my grief. I found Daphne's photo and bio. She was lying in a baby pool...she was a red merle. I had always wanted a red merle, and I had always wanted a dog that would lie down in water like that...so I contacted the rescue rep. I got an earful about Daphne...and the more I heard, the more I was convinced that I had to have her in my life. Trouble was...I was leaving for a month-long trip in Key West. The foster home needed her out, ASAP. I somehow convinced my sister to take this dog into her home as a temporary foster home...my sister had no dog at the time, and lived in a white-carpeted apartment. I will always be grateful to Lauren for doing this.
I met Daphne once before I left...she barked and cried, and wouldn't come near me...but she loved my dogs. I went to Key West, and offered condolences to my sister when she'd call and complain about the lack of housetraining, the paint-peeling bark, and the other assorted issues.
I came home from KW, picked up Daphne and went home. I re-named her Inara, for the courtesan character from "Firefly" the TV show...a strong woman that knows what she wants. I went home with a list from the first foster home...the good stuff came first, though it was a pitifully short list:
*playful great toy drive
*soft mouth with treats
*good with small dogs
*athletic and agile, and incredibly fast
*aggravates other dogs, especially alpha bitches
*no bite inhibition (very serious in a fight)
*hyper-reactive to strangers (barking, fur up on hackles and haunches, runs away, will freeze and whale eye if can't run away)
*barrier aggression (showed marked improvement until the first fight)
*micro attention span (20-40 seconds while training
*can be frantic if separated while you are around, fine in crate otherwise
*counter surfer, practiced thief
*no leash manners
*prey drive (especially if animal is being held)
*requires 1 1/2-2 times normal amount of food
*appreciates things to chew on during quiet time
*rescue remedy helped when she paced
I definitely had my hands full with her...and we had a long road of recovery. She was absolutely crazy for the first year or so...and I gave her my all. My flyball teammates have told me recently that they thought that *I* was crazy for having adopted her. Especially after sweet, placid Harding (my basset) had just died. But I knew that Inara was keeping me sane, in a funny turn of events.
Now, 5 1/2 years later, as she's become such a wonderful, wonderful, girl...I have to remember not to take her lovely behavior for granted. I still thrill with excitement when she makes new friends, even though it's so much easier for her now. There are still issues that were on the original list that are problem behaviors...she still counter surfs, but it's much better now...and she doesn't steal anything from the open pantry shelves. She still has a touch of barrier aggression in her crate (but she's rarely in a crate). She is a loud barker but it's rare to hear her bark now.
She's accomplished so much over the years with me...she is a fantastic flyball dog, and earned her Flyball Dog Grand Champion 40K title this past year. She is an accomplished disc dog (though we have yet to compete...no time!). She earned her Canine Good Citizen (yes! letting a stranger pet her! HUGE!) She has tons of friends, and doesn't immediately get scared by new people. She dosen't bark at the mail carrier! She's helped me raise countless puppies and helped me train numerous foster dogs.
I can't imagine life without her...Happy Birthday to my most wonderful girl. I love you, Inara!