By Sinead Kennedy and Dog(s)

Started on: 05/18/09 23:08:56
Medium: Visual

My sister adopted a mix breed puppy a few months ago and named her Shelby. Shelby was found in an alfalfa field in Mexico, where a man who lived in his van found her and had her live with him in the van for awhile. This man, who is suspected to have used more than necessary force on her, then travelled up to Los Angeles where she ended up with my sisters neighbor. My sister's neighbor already had too many dogs, so decided Shelby needed a new home.... and that's where my sister came in.
Shelby is a sweet and energetic puppy, however, she loves to act out. She is now a year old and has had a hard first year of life, going from place to place and family to family, nevermind a history of abuse. She had endless energy, will chew anything, and throws fits when left alone. She will never be seen just lying down, and we get worried anytime she is out of sight because she is most likely up to no good. She doesn't like to cuddle like most dogs, and would rather play and run. There is the rare moment in the morning when she will come and spoon and sleep on the bed. She is a very complex animal, and amazingly cute and sweet most of the time, but has been kicked out of a doggy day care and training classes seem to be doing no good.

My sister claims Shelby and I are lost souls. I don't know if I agree with this, but I have noticed that Shelby does respond well to me. So, I decided to do everything I could have done anyway that day, but take Shelby along with me. I got coffee in the morning, Shelby had water. I biked back to the house while Shelby ran next to me with her leash on. She started tugging a different direction part way through the bike ride, and we were in no hurry, so I decided to follow her. She started running down the pier where I had been before, but never to the end. There at the end, was an aquarium and replica of a Great White Shark! Shelby and I played around there for awhile, and since I was so grateful she led me to this place, decided to let her take the lead home. We got distracted several times, saying hi to various groups of dogs and beach volleyball players, and finally ended up back at my sisters. After a few hours playing in the waves on the beach (Shelby likes to bite them and jump into them), we went home again and collapsed. She lied still next to me on the ground for awhile, and I just felt this unspoken bond we had formed. I had a great day with Shelby and now feel that I understand her so much better now.
Shelby isn't your ordinary dog. She needs love, but not in the same way people express love to other dogs. She doesn't mind begin pet, but gets bored with it after a few seconds. She really is a great dog, but just has so much energy that she doesn't know what to do with it, and feels happiest just running free.
I've now completed 3 of these Shelby bonding days, and honestly feel like she is my best friend now. My sister says that at the end of these days, she can't get over how calm and content Shelby seems, and wishes she could have the same bond and understanding of Shelby and her personality as I do.
I guess that will have to be Part II

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