New Puppy? Here’s 5 tips on how to add them to your pack!

We have just recently become a 4 dog family, and this got me thinking about the best ways of integrating Jack into the pack. The status of the existing pack is very clear. First there was Lucy, and then about a year later, I adopted Oscar. About seven years later, we met Kobe. They are on the totem pole if you will, in that order. And now, one year later, enter Jack. How can I be sure we keep our perfectly happy homeostasis while welcoming this little guy to our family?

Whether it is your first dog or your fourth dog, adding a new furry friend to your family can be tricky. Following a few important steps can help make sure everyone builds a loving relationship with each other. I’ve listed below what I feel are the 5 MOST important tips to adding a new pup to your pack.

#1: GO SLOW!

I cannot emphasize this enough. The #1 rule with introducing a new pet to any setting is the 333 rule:

3 Days: Compared to the shelter, your home is a bright and shiny new world. Your dog is going to be overwhelmed with all the new sights, scents, and space. There’s likely to be a lot of excitement, a lot of energy, and a lot of unpredictability. This is their main focus for at least days 1-3.

3 Weeks: After about 3 weeks, your pup is starting to understand your routine and getting more comfortable in their new home. Their personality will start to shine through and they will really start playing with their new pack members. They should still be monitored closely during this time. Don’t let your guard down just because everyone is being friendly so far.

3 Months: Your dog knows that your home is their home now. Yay! This is a great time to sign up for a group obedience training class if you haven’t already. Training is a fantastic way to bond with your pup, and it helps them continue to be introduced to new settings, people and dogs. I signed Kobe up for basic obedience when he was 6 months old (3 months after we adopted him). When we started, he was terrified to be in the car, to meet new people, of basically everything. By the end of the 6 week course, he was so much more confident!

The timeline is different for every dog. They are individuals and should be cared for that way!

#2: Respect your other dogs.

Your other dogs may not be ready to be BFFs with the new puppy right away. It is important that you know your dogs, and that you read their signals. They are depending on you to keep them safe! For my pack, Oscar is always a go to when it comes to introducing a puppy. Puppies are HIS JAM. Kobe is very friendly with other dogs, but he is HIGH ENERGY and a very rough & tumble pup. Lucy is vision impaired, and she always wants to lick other dogs faces, so to keep her safe, she is always the last intro. For the first couple of days, I always keep the puppy (the new, unpredictable friend) on a leash when with the other dogs. This helps me keep control of his actions and allows me to quickly remove him if needed. I also only allow individual interactions for at least the first day or two. This again helps keep control of the situation, and lets me watch both dogs carefully. If anyone gives the slightest indication that they are not happy, the play time is calmly but quickly stopped. Interactions should be done in short, small spurts, with the time increasing a little each round. Be mindful of cherished toys or space. If your dog has a favorite spot on the couch, do not let the puppy come running full force to jump in that space. If your dog is having cuddle time with you, make sure the puppy is not allowed to leap into your lap and steal your attention. This will help make sure you are keeping the new friend safe while respecting your pack.

#3: Set everyone up for success.

Know what you’re getting into! If your dog doesn’t do well with in-your-face, high energy dogs, then maybe don’t adopt a working breed as they typically are bouncy energetic friends. If you have a human baby, look for dogs who are more mellow and less vocal. Don’t get a dog without really considering what this means for you and anyone else in your family. Are you prepared to keep your pets separated for awhile until they are comfortable with each other? Do you know how to recognize when your dog is unhappy? Do you know how much more money this new pet will cost on a monthly basis? For example, a large breed dog eats a lot more food than a small breed. If you adopt a dog on a whim, you may very well be setting yourself and/or your pack up for failure. Be mindful of what it means to your existing pack to bring home a new dog. Are you prepared to give the time it takes to ensure a long lasting, successful relationship for all involved? No matter how friendly your dog may be, do NOT expect them to love every dog they meet. Some dogs just do not mesh well. Research, be aware of the attributes you are looking for in a new dog, and be patient to find the right one!

#4: Provide clear boundaries for everyone.

It is important for your new pup to have boundaries. He needs to know where his space is, what he isn’t allowed to do, etc. But it is also important to reinforce any boundaries for your existing pack. They need to know what your expectations are for them now that there is someone new sharing their space. It is also important for them to know that just because there is a new baby around, they haven’t lost your love and attention. Some dogs may not need any extra attention. Take Lucy for example. She could care less when new friends are here. She is a very confident dog and never waivers in her self appointed status of Queen Bee. Oscar is a mama’s boy and he will ALWAYS check in with me when a new dog is around. He does a drive by pounce to make sure he’s still my #1 guy, and then he goes back to puppyland. Kobe also likes some 1:1 attention. As I mentioned above, it’s so important to know your dogs. Because I am aware of Oscar & Kobe’s needs, I make sure I give them some individual time with the Mama so that they don’t have to be jealous of the new baby getting attention. I also make sure the existing pack still gets time together without the puppy, to reinforce their bond and remind them that everyone is still friends!

#5: Celebrate all successes, big and small!

Remember to give yourself, your pack and the new puppy some grace. Celebrate all of the things, big and small! If playtime doesn’t go well today, try again tomorrow. If a little tiff happens, calmly separate and try again later, and give TONS of praise when it goes well. I truly believe dogs feed off of your energy. If your pack feels a vibe from you that they are being good doggos, then they will be more likely to have a successful integration with any new friends. If you are feeling anxious, nervous or jittery, your dog WILL feel this. They will think there is a reason for them to be nervous too…and this may affect how they feel about this new friend you’ve brought home. So take a deep breath, feel the calm vibes, and celebrate each success your pack has!

Bonus Tip: Foster for a local shelter or rescue!

If you are thinking of getting your dog a friend but you aren’t sure if they are ready for that, or you aren’t ready yourself for a new perma-dog…I highly recommend fostering! I fostered over 25 dogs for Last Hope Rescue, and I learned SO much about dogs. But most importantly, I learned so much about Lucy & Oscar (my only pack members at the time). Fostering helped me see what Oscar & Lucy each needed when being introduced to a new dog, how to communicate with them that a new friend is a good thing, and so much more. I never saw myself as a 4-dog person. In fact, for 7 years of having just Lucy & Oscar, I insisted that I would always only have the two. But certain circumstances allowed me to consider adding a new pack member, and this has been successful twice now, all thanks to my fostering experience! And please, please, PLEASE don’t say “oh but I’d adopt them all” or “it would be too hard to say goodbye”. Trust me, you can do it, the dogs need you, and your soul will be so glad you did!

Feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions about fostering, adopting or dogs in general!

Scruffy Princess

I think most of you follow my FB page, but in case you don’t….I never announced that Sammy was adopted! It happened very quickly. A previous LHR adopter was interested in him, so I popped over to their house so they could meet him in person. It was basically love at first sight, and Sammy was their’s the next day! He is with a wonderful couple, who have a young baby girl, and their previous LHR pup is pretty much a female-version of Sammy, behaviors/personality wise! Happiness!

So moving on to the next foster….in comes this scruffy princess, Annie!

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Annie was found preggers and alone by a local vet. She held on to Annie until she had her babies and nursed them until old enough to be separated. All but one of the puppies have been adopted! Annie unfortunately has heartworms, so she’s been having to go through treatment. Luckily she is a pretty calm pup, so she’s been able to avoid full time crate rest for the most part.

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Annie is absolutely one of the easiest fosters I have, and she’s definitely going to be a hard one to say goodbye too! She’s well behaved, house trained, and loves everyone she meets, two-legged & four-legged included.

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I mean seriously people…is she not one of THE cutest things you’ve ever seen?!? I would really, really love it if someone I know would adopt her, because I just love her so much. Any takers out there? Friends? Family? She’s an awesome pup! You won’t regret it!

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Annie’s perfect home would be with someone who’s home often, and would be willing to take her wherever dogs are welcomed. She LOVES to be with humans, and expects to be nearby as much as possible. Her future home should allow dogs on beds, because scruffy princesses deserve to sleep next to their beloved humans. She is great with dogs, so she’d love a home with another furry friend…however, I don’t think this is required for her, as long as she’ll gets tons of attention and love from her people. Annie is crate & house trained, loves to chew on bones, and is freakin’ adorable. What more could you want in a dog?

That all being said, Annie is not quite ready for adoption yet. She just had her last heartworm injection last week. So, we have to give her about 6-8 weeks, and then it will be safe to have her spayed. Then finally, she will be ready to go to a forever home. If you know of someone though, that might be worthy of having my sweet scruffy princess in their home, send them our way…and I’ll consider it. ūüėČ

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If you’d like to donate to the rescue in honor of Annie and other pups like her, we sure would appreciate it! You can donate by going to¬†www.lasthoperescue.org and click the Donate tab!

Have a great week, friends!

xoxo

Happiness!!

Today is Piper’s one year adoptiversary! She is one of my special pup’s, who I personally requested¬†to save from the Gainseville shelter. Little did I know, she was coming to us with two broken legs! They were in the process of healing, but the shelter didn’t mention it to us. Luckily the ortho vet said she just needed time to heal. I honestly thought this was going to put a huge damper on her getting adopted…but it didn’t! I shared Piper on my personal FB page, and turns out she looked just like a dog that a friend’s parents used to have. We discussed Piper, and long story short, she had a pending application after only about 2 weeks in my home! And, the adopters only live about a mile from my parent’s house! Anywho, so today marks a special day! The day when the sweet, golden goddess Piper found her forever home!

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Here’s some pictures of Piper in her forever home!

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I can’t say thank you enough to her wonderful parents! It is a fabulous feeling to see Piper being loved and cared for the way she deserves. I love my foster pups & their awesome families, that is for sure!!

Happy living, Golden Goddess!!! 

xoxo

Sammy’s Search…

Friends! Sammy is still here, waiting, wishing, wondering where his family is! Adoptions for the rescue have been pretty slow. I think because of the holidays, people are traveling, etc so adoptions aren’t booming. That being said, Sammy has gotten very little interest, and I have no idea why! (Well, he’s had a couple people inquire, however they didn’t fit his needs.)

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So, I thought I’d share his adorable goofy face, along with a list of what he’s looking for, while begging YOU to share this post, in hopes of finally finding his perfect match!

Sammy’s Singles Ad

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I am a young stud muffin (of course, the true essence of my studliness has been removed). I am a caramel color, with golden brown eyes, with which I will look deep into your soul. I will keep any pesky beings out of your yard, by prancing around the yard in all my glory, barking when necessary (which is often)! If you like to sing, I will be happy to sing with you. You’ll learn quickly that I have a lovely howling singing voice. I am the KING of cuddling, so be sure you don’t mind sharing your couch. Seriously, I’m the full package so choose me before someone else does!!

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Sammy’s Must Haves…

-another medium to large dog in the home for confidence building

-non-dominant canine friend who won’t get jealous when he¬†leans in for some smooches from his friends (human or 4-legged!)

-patient parents, who are willing to give him the time and training he needs

-squirrels to chase (but not catch)

-have multiple bed options. Sammy is a bed and couch hog! If someone is in the bed he wants, he will wander around and whine, until he gets his way or finally gives up!

If you or anyone you know is looking for a really sweet pup, please send them our way! Better yet, forward this on to everyone you know and ask them to do the same!

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www.facebook.com/LastHopeRescueFL & LastHopeRescueFL@gmail.com

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 Good night friends! 

xoxo

 

 

 

Holy Adoptiversaries, man!

So, not only did we recently celebrate Oscar’s adoptiversary, but I also have two foster dogs that were adopted around this time as well!

Cleo, now Zailey, was adopted one year ago! She was the smallest pup I’ve ever fostered! Her and her sister pup, Carly, were rescued from a home where they were left outside in the freezing cold. Cleo craved human attention! Her favorite place to be was perched up on top of her crate, where she could be safe while watching things going on. She was adopted by a wonderful young lady, and is happy, healthy, and loved! Check out the post where she was introduced to the blogosphere:¬†Meet Cleo!

Here is a recent picture of her!

 

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Another pup who was adopted one year ago today, is my sweet Petey!! If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you know the many trials & tribulations that I went through with this guy. If you don’t know about all that he went through, check out some previous posts: Petey’s Problems¬†&¬†Bittersweet but Happy Tails!

Petey with his forever kiddo and his foster kiddo!
Petey with his forever kiddo and his foster kiddo!

Petey is one of the few dogs that I actually cried over having to let go. (That’s NOT to say that I don’t love all of them, but some are just more emotional than others!) I had Petey for a long time, and I honestly thought he would never be adopted. I came to terms with that, and thought of him as my perma-foster dog. He even has his own Christmas ornament here! I was not willing to let him go, just to be returned again, so I had decided in my mind and in my heart, that he would just stay with me for the rest of his years. Then came along a sweet little family of three. The lady, Connie, is someone who knew the rescue president (Angela) pretty well, and she inquired about Petey. Before I even listened to what she had to say, I said “NO.” Angela insisted that I meet them, and at least see how I felt. I still said no. This was nothing against the family whatsoever. I just didn’t want Petey to go through it again. I took Petey to an event that weekend, and Connie and her husband Jim were there. They met Petey, and we chatted. I found out that Connie was home very often, which was one of the biggest concerns for ol’ man Pete. We discussed Petey for a long time, and a few days later, I was bringing Petey for a trial stay. I was brutally honest with them, explaining Petey’s needs, and also telling them what I expected of a new home for Petey. Well, the rest is history…he was adopted, and is completely adored by them! And even better, they only live about a mile away, so I get to see him (and his family) pretty often! Lesson learned: Never say never…expect the unexpected…yada yada! ūüėČ

Here are some of my favorite Petey pictures, in honor of his adoptiversary!

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Happy livin’ Zailey & Petey!!!¬†

xoxo

 

New Year, New Challenges #PGSG #52Snapshots

Sweet! A fun new challenge to start the year off! I am definitely going to participate! Here is the info…and my picture of the week is below! ūüôā

Reblogging from It’s Dog or Nothing: http://itsdogornothing.com/new-year-new-challenges/

“Are you interested in improving your photography or just joining a fun challenge? The Lazy Pit bull has started a new challenge, and is welcoming everyone to join in! You don‚Äôt have to be a pet blogger, or any blogger for that matter! All you need is a social media platform to share your wonderful photographs. When you post, just make sure you use #PBSG and #52Snapshots so we can all see your wonderful submissions!”

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So, here is week 1: New: 

I met some new doggie friends yesterday! These two pups are in the rescue, and needed some new pictures. So I popped over to their foster mom’s house to say hello and take some photos of them! Both Sarah, an itty bitty pibble, & Odie, a Lab Golden mix, are adoptable through Last Hope Rescue!

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Happy New Year, friends! 

xoxo

New Year Resolutions

It’s that time again…time when many people begin¬†to make resolutions. Choosing things they want to accomplish over the next year.

I could say the typical things, like lose weight & save money…which ARE on the list, but I also thought I’d share some other things on my list…

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-sign up to volunteer on the Animal Rescue Team for the Humane Society-this means I’d get to deploy on their missions when they have a need

-continue working on Oscar’s training. I want him to be the best pibble around of course! I really want to get him to stop licking on command, and to stay put in the kitchen until I release him to visit friends.

-teach the dogs to ring a bell when they want to go out. They’ve already ruined one set of curtains by scratching them too much when they want to go out!

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-I’d also like to try out making some doggie treats at home. They are so much healthier!

-Walk Oscar more in public places. This really goes along with his training, but he needs more practice in walking by people and dogs without reacting (whether it be barking, or just wanting to cover them in slobbery kisses!)

Those are just a few of the things I’d like to accomplish in the coming year. What about you? What are your goals for 2015, dog related or not?

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Goodnight friends! 

xoxo

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a “Thank You”

If you are my “real life FB friend” then you already know this story since I shared it last night, but I wanted to share with the rest of my blogosphere friends too!

I volunteered for awhile at the local shelter, but I haven’t been there since April! Before that, I was going every other weekend, usually on Saturday and Sundays. Time just got away from me with being busy with every day life, my own dogs, the rescue….and I just didn’t make it back to the shelter. I had a really hard time never knowing what happened to the dogs that I loved there. As a foster parent with the rescue, I get to choose who my dog goes to. With the shelter, you have no say. I’d walk out each day, never knowing if the dog I spent time with would be adopted, by a good or bad person, or even put down. It was really hard on me, especially because of my love for the bully breed and the shelter always being overcrowded with them. In fact, in the blog post that you’ll see mentioned below, was a dog named Ruby. She is part of the reason I started to volunteer less and less at the shelter. She was so terrified. I never even got to pet her because she wouldn’t move from the corner. I networked for her, and tried so hard to find a rescue that would take her. Then one day I called to check on her, and she had been put down. I was heartbroken and cried my eyes out…for a dog whom I had never even touched.

I still share the shelter dogs from time to time, along with dogs from a few other local rescues. Networking is so important and DOES save lives! Last night, I got proof of just that!

I received the nicest message on my Tails of a Foster Mom FB page, from someone I have never met in person, never talked to, and never even knew she saw my blog. Here is what she said:

“I wanted to tell you thank you. You don’t know me, but you are one of the reasons that I ended up adopting my dog. In June 2013 you posted some pictures on your blog of the dogs from the Tallahassee Animal Shelter and I don’t remember how I came across it exactly, but I ended up looking at a picture of one particular dog who would stick his paws under the kennel door so that people would pet him as they passed. His name was Kail. I had been looking into getting a dog for some time, so I thought I could go look at him. Needless to say we fell in love instantly and he came home with us a day later. A year and a half later and he’s still the best thing ever. His name is now Anaximander (Nax for short) and he has a cat brother and a doggie I think it was fate that I ended up looking at your blog that day and I thank you for taking that picture and posting it for the world to see. Nax is now the happiest dog on earth, and spoiled rotten every day. I just thought you would like to know that you were the reason that a loving dog that was tossed aside got his second chance and is living life again. Thank you so very much, Lindsey and Anaximander”

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Picture courtesy of Lindsey and Nax!

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Picture courtesy of Lindsey and Nax!

 

I just cannot explain how much this message meant to me! I recognized her pup as soon as I saw his beautiful¬†mug, and am so happy to hear of the wonderful life he is living! Sometimes it feels like it’s pointless, to do all of this rescue work, when there are still so many backyard breeders, abusers, and homeless pets. Thanks to Lindsey’s sweet message though, I feel renewed in my passion to keep trying to make a difference in the lives of these animals.

Thank you to all of you who read my blog, share adoptable dogs, and advocate for these wonderful animals. And a BIG thank you to Lindsey for sharing her story. Happy living, Lindsey & Nax!!!

To see my original post, where Lindsey first saw Nax (previously Kail), click HERE!

Don’t forget to encourage your friends & family to adopt, when they are looking for a new furry friend!

Tallahassee Animal Shelter’s adoptable pets:¬†http://www.talgov.com/animals/onlinekennel.aspx

Last Hope Rescue’s adoptable pets:¬†https://www.facebook.com/LastHopeRescueFL/app_137541772984354

Have a great day, friends! 

xoxo

Meet Sammy!

Say hello to my 18th foster! This guy is Sammy.

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He has been in the rescue for a few months. His previous foster has to travel multiple times over the next several months, so we had to place Sammy in a new foster home. There was nowhere for him to go, so he joined Crazy Doglandia to become a part of my pack!

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The first 3 days were hell rough. He was very confused, stressed, and vocal. He likes to share his discontentment with the neighborhood, by whining and barking and whining and barking. Did I mention he whined and barked a lot?!

Because of his nervous energy, I took dog introductions VERY slow. For the first time ever, Oscar was not the first dog to welcome our foster. Instead, I let Mia meet Sammy first. I knew she’d be great since she is confident, social, happy and submissive. They were friends immediately. Sammy knew there were other friends for him to meet though, and he kept on whining. So the next day, I introduced Lucy. Although she can be vocal, she too is confident and social, so I knew she wouldn’t be affected by Sammy’s nervous energy. All the while, Oscar and Sammy had met several times, I just wasn’t allowing full play yet.

After a few days, Sammy settled in a bit, so then came Oscar’s turn. My word for Oscar is “easy”, when he is allowed to play but has to be gentle. So, I finally took¬†just the two boys out, telling¬†Oscar “easy” several times, and they started to play. As usual, Oscar¬†made me proud and was a total rock star with Sammy!

Now that Sammy had officially made friends with everyone individually, it was time to have multiple dog play time! First I allowed Mia, Lucy, and Sammy to play together. They did fabulously! Then I let Oscar take Lucy’s place, and they too did great together. Finally, all four dogs were allowed to play at the same time…holy dog herd! They all love to run and chase each other, and have a blast together. Sammy definitely thrives around dogs, so his forever home MUST have at least one other medium-large dog for him to pal around with!

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Sammy is only about 6-7 months old, and has long lanky legs. I think he is a Belgian Malinois mix. He has the black muzzle, black-tipped fur, and has a lot of their traits:¬†Watchful, Protective, Alert, Friendly, Hard-working, Confident, Stubborn, Active..ok, he’s not confident, but everything else pretty much describes Sammy to a T! He also has a lot of “working dog” qualities. For example, when he is chasing the dogs, he nips at their butts, which is very typical of a herding/working dog. I also think that is why he whines when there is nothing for him to do, and it takes him longer to settle down, unlike my couch potato dogs! He is a really sweet pup, and smart too. He is house and crate trained. Sammy needs LOTS of work on the leash, so that will be the top¬†priority as far as what needs to be worked on!

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On other news, Mia has an adoption pending!!! I won’t say any more until it’s a done deal…but I’m excited to share the news, once everything is official!!

Have a great day, friends!

xoxo

Mia is Awesome…

and here’s why…

1. She is friggin adorable.

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2. She is crate trained. I can say “Mia, kennel!” at any time, and she comes running!

3. She is smart, and highly treat motivated. This makes it so much easier to train a puppy.

4. She has freckles on her ear. Freckles, people!

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5. She loves to be loved! She loves to give kisses, and nudges my arm when she wants some attention.

6. She entertains herself. Whether it is with a Nylabone, rope, or ball, she is constantly tossing toys in the air to herself, and then chasing after them!

7. She’s seriously cute!

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8. She is great with dogs, and while excited when meeting, she knows how to properly speak dog now, by communicating that she is here to play!

9. She LOVES to go under the bed. Every time my door is opened, she bolts into my room and slides under the bed as if she is making a home run! She also easily gets out, and listens when I say “Mia, let’s go!”

10. She is obsessed with socks! If you know anything about my sweet pibble, you know he has obsessions (red pillow, blankets, food), so I can always love a dog who is passionate about something…that something for Mia, is socks.

Seriously people, why is she not adopted yet?!? She is such a great pup, and will be a fantastic addition to a family! Please share to help network for her, and send any interested people to LastHopeRescueFL@gmail.com…though, they’ll have to be pretty awesome themselves in order to pass my inspection! ūüėČ

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Have a great day, friends!

Xoxo