July 18, 2006
From Christine Eluskie:
Abby came to me on May 5th, 2004 as a stray pup who had been hit by a car and the people that saved her, had not taken her for medical attention. Her leg was probably broken but because it had been past 10 days, there was not
a whole lot that we could do.† Another Rescue
had taken her in and was going to pass her on to APB because I said I
would foster her.† She had already been shuffled around between 3
different people by now.†
†††† She bonded very quickly and did not leave my side.† She was the sweetest little thing and was only 6-7 months old and already had lived a rough life.† When I took her for our first walk, she didnít know how to really walk on a leash yet and then she saw my neighbor leaf blowing, she went crazy, barking and lunging at him.† I had to take her back home.†
†††† I then called up a friend who is a trainer at Kern Road Vet and she let me bring Abby to obedience school for free to get her socialized and see how she was around other people and men.† She clearly loved women.† Abby did wonderful in obedience, she was very good and treat motivated.† She still did not do well around men.† She barked viciously and lunged towards them.† I didnít feel she was a bite risk but I didnít know a lot about this.† I just knew she was the most loving little pup and must have had such a hard beginning with some man probably hurting her so she didnít trust them.†
†††† APB had me take her to the behaviorist Brenda Aloff for some one-on-one training and she taught me a lot about how to handle different situations with Abby.† She was pretty amazing.† We worked on the training but because I didnít have a lot of visitors that were men except family members she wasnít getting enough exposure.†
†††† Even with my family members she still always barked and forgot who you were.† She was okay when they were there but seemed to have a short-term memory.† When my dog sitter, Mike, met Abby, it was love at first sight.† She was very good with him.† She loved him and gave him kisses on their first meeting.† They would watch Abby for free when they watched my 2 because she was my foster and it was their way to help out too.† Maybe they bonded so well because Mike had also been hit by a car too, like Abby.†
†††† Things werenít getting better but I just knew she would never actually bite anyone.† She just felt threatened and tried to sound mean.† She couldnít get into the prison dog program in Ohio because they didnít take Pit Mixes.† Abby is a Jack Russell/Pit Mix.††
†††† Winter was now approaching and Abby could still not be listed up for adoption yet because of this fear aggression of men.† I didnít know what else to do.† Then, one of our other volunteers mentioned about Abby going on the road with her husband, Mike, who is a truck driver.† She said he had taken fear aggressive dogs before and they came home no longer afraid of men.† This was Abbyís next adventure.†
†††† It was January 2005 and Abby was going out on the road.† I had bonded so much with her and we were doing a transport to get her to Grand Rapids where Mike was. When I gave her to the other volunteer, I cried all the way home.††
†††† You see, Abby had this way of reeling you in and stealing your heart.† I missed her so much.† Well, she made it to Mike & Laurelís and was going to go out on the road with Mike and his resident trucking dog, Suzie.† Mike updated me on how she was doing and sent me emails and pictures.† She was going up to men at the truck stops and greeting them.† She bonded with Mike and I do believe her fear of men went away.† Abby was on the road for 2 months with Mike.† Mike had said, she passed with flying colors and had proven to be a superb Road Dog.†
†††† †I couldnít wait to get her back.† I picked her up from Laurel at Pet Parade and she was awesome.† She turned into a little lover with men now.
†††† It was now March and after my board members approval and seeing a new Abby, she finally got to be listed on the website as available.†
†††† It had now been a year since I first got Abby.† I was going to be manning the Pet Sitters International booth at the Pet-A-Palooza in June 2005.†† They let me bring my APB flyers and pass them out.† My girl, Chloe, an American Pit Bull Terrier was with me†too.† A gentleman come up, saw the APB flyers and said he was looking for a dog like Chloe; but a little smaller, an active dog that could keep up with him when he runs and one that would do well in a truck because he was a truck driver.†
†††† My jaw dropped open and I about fell over.† I happened to have my write up on Abby and her pictures too.† I told him I had the perfect little dog for him and she was part Pit /part JRT and she had tons of energy and never stops and the best part of all, she was already a road dog.† I couldnít believe this. It was like it was fate.† His name was Frank and he was definitely interested in Abby.† I gave him my number and information.† He was leaving the next day to go on the road and we kept in touch throughout the†following 9 weeks.† In the meantime, a woman that had another dog the same age as Abby had filled out an application on Abby.† She sounded like a wonderful home.† I had told her that Frank had already filled out an application but we had not been able to do a home check until he came back home from being on the road.† She understood the situation.† I felt it was in Abbyís best interest to be with someone 24/7 as opposed to being alone during the day.† She was starved for attention and wanted it all the time.†
†††† Frank finally came home and wanted to meet Abby that same day.† Abby was great with him and immediately jumped in his truck.† She even got to meet his young grand daughters which she had not been around children and she did great.† I decided to take Abby home with me so Frank could spend time with his grandkids and we did the adoption on a Sunday.†
†††† Everything went smoothly and they left the next day to go out on the road.† I still talk to Frank regularly to check on my girl and she is doing great.† He says she knows all the sounds of the truck and is his watchdog when he sleeps.† When he is driving, she takes naps but if it is quiet, she lets out a bark to make sure Frank is okay and awake.† He said he couldnít have asked for a better dog because of her obedience and her trucking experience and she is so affectionate.† Franks says that when they are on the road, she knows she is working (except when they have their daily Frisbee playtime) and when they go home, she gets to be a dog and play with the grandkids and be a silly again.†
†††† If it wasnít for Mikeís help with Abby, I think she would still be with me, which isnít a bad thing but now she gets to be with her human 24/7 and get the attention and love she so deserves but was denied when she was a puppy.
††††††††† My Letter to Christine:
††††††††† Thought you would like an update on this wonderful dog.† Abby has progressed wonderfully in the weeks she has been with me and I am really going to miss her, but I know she will get a good loving home, now that† she is ready.††††Here is Abby relaxing on my bunk along side a snoozing Suzie, my resident Bovier.
†††† She is very protective, or she seems to be when she is in the truck and she see's humans walking by. She barks in a deep threatening bark, as if she is a dog several times her size. I see no problem in this, as even the best dogs are territorial and protective to a certain degree. The only time I have a problem with it is when I am sleeping, and she sees someone walking several blocks away. LOL
†††† Anyway, get her out of the truck on a leash, and she is a totally different lady. When I first got her and took her out, she seemed real timid of people, but would approach them with a little coaching, or perhaps bribes (using doggie treats). Bribes are no longer needed now, infact, she is often so eager to meet someone new that she will bark (not the same threatening bark, but an excited "hey, I wanna meet you" bark) and dance on her hind legs at the tight end of the leash.
†††† When the people (mostly men, but some women too) stop to pet her, she gets real excited, as if she is meeting an old friend she hasn't seen in a long time.† I always explain what I am doing and they find it hard to believe that Abby was once "timid" to the point of being aggressive, and agree that she would make a good companion.†
†††† In this picture she is loving up with a man I met in a rest area near the Summit of Vail Pass (I-70 in Colorado). I had originally stopped to talk to this man and his wife who had a truck load of sled-dogs (seen in the background), and had just completed a competition not far from here.† They said most of their "TEAM" were rescues from a local "Husky" rescue in Colorado. This picture was taken during the time she was getting over her "timidness", and her tail is down.
†††† But she is not† like this now. Now, her tail is almost always up in the "Hi, How Are Ya",† confident mode. That's all she lacked, in my opinion, was confidence.† She gains confidence with a confident human.
†††† She is often 'getting' into something, like the "kitty crunchies" in the litter box, but a sharp "NO!" will get her to stop, and she looks at me so pitifully..........She is a little snuggle bunny, and jockeys for position and sometimes irritates me because I find myself "trapped" and cannot turnover when sleeping. She LOVES to ride and sits in the passenger seat and stares out the windshield for long periods of time, as if she is interested in where she is going.†
†††† She loves the snow and I discovered today that she loves to swim too. I stopped at Echo Lake in Utah and walked down to the water, something I haven't been able to do for several years because of the drought and low water levels. Anyway, I threw a stick into the water and she did not hesitate in jumping in and swimming out to retrieve it.†
†††† I had to take away all her 'squeeky" toys you left with her, because I discovered that she will "eat" them, right down to the squeak.
†††† Only once, did I let her out without her leash (in an area she couldn't get away in, nor in danger of being squished by a truck) but it still took me about 15 minutes to get her under control and put her on her leash. She DOES love to run, and sniff, and run and sniff, and sniff some more. LOL
†††† She "cries" when I leave the truck (leave HER) and is always very glad to see me when I return and gives me lots of kisses.
†††† Well, anyway, I believe I have done what I can, and she should be ready for adoption soon.
†††††††††††††† Michael Hankins
†††††††††††††††††††† A Bull in the China Shop