From Basket Case to Honor Student!
We looked at literally hundreds of dog adoption photos online before we found one that seemed to really shout out to us, "please pick me!" That was "Brenda" at Beagles and Buddies... now named "Brandy". We adopted her back in August 2003, after only meeting her briefly and letting her meet our other dog, "Sammie", a large husky-shepherd mix. Brandy seemed very relaxed and agreeable at B&B, and we knew she had the temperament we were looking for. Unfortunately, when we got her home, she was extremely nervous and afraid of everything. She wouldn't come out of the bushes except to eat. When she did finally begin to settle in a bit, our other dog got jealous when there was food nearby and bit her! That began the training, for both Brandy and Sammie.
We got them over the fighting, the barking, and eventually the digging. With time, we noticed that Sammie and Brandy were beginning to form more of a bond together. In fact, we discovered they had invented some games to play together while we were away at work. Sammie would entice Brandy to chase her, and they would chase each other full-speed around the yard until they were tired. Pretty soon, Brandy learned to get Sammie going too, and now they even do doggie-battle wrestling together. Brandy never understood what toys were about, either. She didn't know how to play with a ball, or tug on a rag, or even chew on a rawhide! My husband spent a lot of extra time with her and now she not only knows how to play "tug", but she really loves it!
In the meantime, I had enrolled her in our local beginning dog obedience class. Brandy began to look forward to visiting with her very best doggie friends each week, and we practiced our exercises regularly. We had worked especially hard the final week to prepare for graduation, and we were ready! We did the individual exercises and we did great, even with some of the other dogs getting rowdy in the background. Then we completed the group exercises. The winners were announced, and Brandy got 1st place with a score of 198 out of 200! GOOD GIRL!
She has been with us for about 7 months now, and I have to say that she has finally grown into the great dog we always thought she could be. What a difference, from basket case to honor student! We get a lot of compliments on her, and people are amazed to learn that she was a rescue dog, saying, "Who would throw away such a beautiful dog like that?" I just tell them that I don't know, but I'm glad that she found us. We have just enrolled in our first canine agility (dog games) class, so we'll have to send another update when we finish with that.
Thank you Beagles and Buddies, for giving Brandy a chance to prove herself and for bringing her into our lives. She is a beloved part of our family!
--Rob & Lori Critchfield