Dottie is a pitbull mix that was euphemistically described as a "terrier" mix by the shelter where she landed as a pitiful stray.
Dottie is a medium-sized dog with a pristine short white coat and brindle spots, accented by a dot on the top of her head and freckles on her nose—hence her name. She is very feminine and gentle and athletic.
The shelter where Dottie was impounded as a stray was rural and poor and gassed their dogs if they could not find homes for them. However, the staff tried their best to find homes for the dogs through networking with other rescues and shelters. This was they way Dottie found herself on a transport to Minnesota last year, one of several dogs saved from death, and set on a journey to a new state to try their luck at finding a new home that would care about them.
Dottie landed in a shelter outside of Winona, MN. The shelter volunteers committed to working with Dottie and channeled her energy with loving attention and walks. They were careful to try to find a home that would understand the unique needs of a dog like Dottie given her heritage.
A family who wanted Dottie stepped forward. The shelter was familiar with the family, as one of the adults was a volunteer dog walker. Some of the shelter board was against this adoption, but in the end it was decided to relent and let the family adopt Dottie as they were enthusiastic about her.
At first all seemed to go well, but perhaps the family became complacent or careless. They allowed one of the kids in the family to tease Dottie with some "tweety bird" fuzzy slippers and she ended up nipping the foot of one of the slippers, whereupon the family returned her to the shelter.
Now Dottie was considered "unadoptable" because she had nipped the slippers, and even though it was because she was being teased, the shelter felt the extenuating circumstances were not enough to allow her to be offered for adoption. The conclusion was that Dottie would need to be put down.
In desperation, one of the dedicated board members of the shelter called HFL and asked us to consider Dottie.
Although we never condone nipping or biting from dogs, situations are often gray and not black and white; the totality of the circumstances involved in the incident must be examined. The dog cannot talk and defend itself, and many times the incident does not warrant the execution of the animal. Such was the case we felt with Dottie, and HFL reached out to give her another chance.
Since Dottie has arrived we have come to know her as a sweet, affectionate, and playful girl. Dottie loves bounding through the trees and the tall grasses out in the exercise fields, but will quickly return when called for a pet or a kiss. She is also quick to drop and roll over for her favorite of all things, a belly rub.
She has never indicated any aggression or territoriality with the staff or her two roommates, Beetlejuice, a Doberman/Collie cross who loves to test her tolerance, and Shane, a young Doberman who seeks direction after spending his first years of life on a 2-foot chain, which she is happy to offer him with the most gentle assertion.
Dottie is an easy-going and energetic girl, who is always first to ask for attention. She loves her play time and finds great joy in each toy that Shane brings to her to romp with, and she finds comfort in her friends when a storm approaches, which Dottie is fearful of.
In fact, the staff thought that Dottie had headed for the hills one night when she had apparently escaped over the fence, as she had done a few times when she first arrived, and remained completely invisible for 2 hours. To our delight and astonishment (and after hours of frantic searching) a shaking and adorably scared Dottie emerged from under the safety of her futon to let us know she hadn't in fact left, but was just too scared of the weather to tell us at the time. We figured that it was possibly her fear of storms that caused her to be displaced from her first home. To avoid "losing" Dottie again, we installed a hot wire in her run to remind her to keep four paws on the ground and off the fences! She has since learned that the safest place for her to be is in her bed in the safety of her townhouse, where the staff can sit and soothe her through her moments of fear.
Dottie has not tried escaping since. Her loving trust in and affection for her human companions makes us think that Dottie would be a terrific candidate to work in Home For Life's Renaissance Program to earn her Certified Therapy Dog title and offer her love where it is also needed.
Dottie has become very happy living at Home For Life®. She knows she is unconditionally loved by the staff and is appreciated for her sweetness and spunk. She has been given a fashionable red and navy polka dot collar to accentuate her "dottiness." She is a clean, energetic, athletic, beautiful and sweet dog and it is too hard to think about the close calls she had that may have spelled her demise!
Now that Dottie has found her home at Home For Life®, she can let all of her fears rest and know that there will always be a safe and happy place for her to call her own, never again having to worry about being left unsure or unwanted, never having to face the storm alone. Among her canine friends and the staff that care for her, she has truly created a place for herself in our animal community and our hearts as well.
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