Zee is a 2-3 year old, 25 lb. spayed female in El Cerrito, CA.
We took Zee in as a foster after she had been picked up by the city pound with a severe leg injury (a degloving injury with a bone infection). She was extremely traumatized and completely shut down. It took several months before her leg healed enough to no longer be at risk of amputation. In spite of the physical healing, she was still a very insecure dog and we decided to adopt her rather than put her through the process of being returned to a kennel or potentially bounced around to different fosters. She was not a "perfect fit" for our family, but we had hopes that as she became more secure, a different dog would emerge.
She has indeed come out of her shell and is wonderful dog, but not really suited for a family with kids. Though she hasn't exhibited any aggression towards anyone in our household, she is very focused on me and uninterested in anyone else, which is a bummer for my other family members who would like a family dog.
Deciding to rehome her has been an agonizing decision, as I think long-term stability is what she needs most, but ultimately, her personality doesn't quite suit our family and our continued ambivalence about keeping her is denying her someone who can give her the security she deserves.
She's completely housetrained and is great on leash (no pulling at all). She's a great hiking companion and is also good off leash- she will stay with me while off leash. That being said, she is an avid squirrel-chaser, so off leash walks must be in a safe location. She's generally quite good with other dogs, though she gets overwhelmed at dog parks when a group of dogs start running around, and will turn into a "heeler" (i.e., ankle-bite and bark, which no one appreciates) and it seems to stress her out, so I stopped taking her at our trainer's advice. She does really well with one-on-one play time with friendly dogs, but she can be fairly picky about who she is interested in. Many dogs she will just ignore. I have no idea how she would be with a cat.
Her leg injury, though healed, resulted in limited range of motion in her right front ankle and it does seem to slow her down just a little bit. She does not limp but after a fair amount of exercise, you can see she will shift weight to her left side, so I sometimes wonder if it ever hurts. She is not reactive to it being touched and is very tolerant of handling in general. She has a sweet temperament and is affectionate, but she's very leery of strangers. During the first few months we had her, she did some ankle-biting when encountering people who made her particularly nervous (and we could never figure out what exactly made her more nervous of certain people). That hasn't happened in a long time, but it's a potential we still keep our eyes out for. (She has exhibited some "heeler nipping". This has always been ankle biting, when someone she is nervous of turns their back. Though we never figured out what specifically provokes this in her, we were able to identify early signs and were able to interrupt this behavior. She hasn't done it to anyone in at least 6 months. We've had her for 10 months.)
She's been very tolerant of the kids who have been in and out of our home (in fact, she seems much less scared of kids than adults) but she does always try to insert herself between me and my son, which I have interpreted as a subtle form of "resource guarding" and is one of the factors in our decision to rehome her.
She is also a vocal dog and we have worked hard at managing her "talking" She does not bark incessantly (she not a nuisance barker, she is quiet when home alone) but she will bark to get attention, which is often at a moment when you least have attention to give her. This has honestly been the only training difficulty we've had and I think part of it was that it caught us off guard, as she did not say a peep for the first 4 months.
She’s a good car passenger and does really well bopping around town when I do errands with her. She is content to sleep in the car while I go in and out of stores and I think she prefers this to being left at home. She is VERY food motivated, which is great in terms of training and motivation, but she did chew a hole in one of my sweaters when I left treats in the pocket, and she got into the garbage a number of times before we put the garbage bin under lockdown, so being attentive to that is a must.
She is a very, very sensitive dog and will retreat emotionally if someone raises their voice at her. This is a dog that needs someone who is skilled at positive reinforcement training and can manage their emotions well around her. I have not been perfect in this and have witnessed the "2 steps back" that has resulted the few times I've yelled at her in frustration, so she really needs someone who has patience and willingness treat her with kid gloves.
I think Zee would be an amazing dog for a single, retired person who is happy to take her with them most of the time. She really has a lot of great qualities. She is a sweet, sweet dog with a tender, fragile heart who needs someone she can count on and who has a little extra time and energy to help her feel secure.
Zee is in El Cerrito, CA.
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