I've never said a nice thing about little dogs. Or white dogs. This is the story of a little white dog.
Annie, an Italian Greyhound (we think), came to the Gang with Big Red, a red fawn greyhound, from Salt Lake City. Their owner had brought them to 2nd Chance Greyhounds in SLC, as he didn't want them anymore.
They were in very poor health, and we thought about 11 years old. 2nd Chance did all the medical work, (over $1000) and the Gang took them in to find them a home. We didn't know much about their past, but our assumption was that they needed to go to a home together, since it appeared they had been together for a long time. Finding an adopter to take two older dogs is always a bit problematic. Annie was also very shy, and would hide under furniture when strangers came around. She hated to be picked up, and didn't appear to know what giving or receiving affection was all about.
One of my adopters had a cousin who was willing to take both dogs. I brought them to her home, with medical instructions, free glucosamine, shark cartilage and the promise that we would stay in touch. I hadn't met the woman, and had just been going on the word of my good adopters, and an extended phone conversation I had with her. Unfortunately, I didn't like her when I met her, but I was too chicken to not give her the dogs. Plus I didn't think I would find someone who would take two old dogs (both not beauties) with medical needs. I tried to stay in touch, using my adopters to give me updates too, but this woman was not very easy to deal with. One year later she called me to return the dogs as she was moving in 4 days. Annie and Red came back to me in even worse medical condition from the year before. Annie had tumors all over her body, toe nails that curled under and was 21 pounds. IGs usually weigh about 12.
And so it began, the second rehabilitation of Annie and Red. Red got well quickly with Adequan and acupuncture, and went into a loving greyhound home in SLC. Annie had the tumors removed, the nails clipped, and went on a strick 10 kibble, twice a day diet. She hated it. She is a very food oriented girl, probably from not having very many other pleasures in her life. When I am in the kitchen, which is usually only to make food for the dogs, Annie starts her food dance. Whirling and twirling, and jumping at the other dog's mouths, barking in that shrill little dog bark - all in anticipation of the food she is going to get. I usually throw a pot down just to shut her up.
To also help take the weight off, I took her for walks and runs every day with the other dogs. I have a safe place where I walk my dogs, off leash. If any other people pull up in a car with their dogs, I quickly put leashes on all my guys - not that they would hurt other dogs individually, but packs running towards a new dog can always be a potential for problems.
One day, about two weeks into Annie's rehab program, I'm walking everyone, and a car pulls up. So I quickly put leashes on Marm, Regis, and a few others. Winslow and Beauty are fine in greeting new dogs, and I didn't even think about Annie being a problem. The next thing I know is that she is tearing off like a banshee after a big black dog. Growling and yipping and snapping at his heels as he runs away from this terror in white. I'm screaming her name, sure that I will have a dead dog on my hands as soon as the big black dog realizes what is going on. And then he stops and turns. And Annie, in sheer terror of being confronted, puts on the brakes, tries to backpedal, and trips over her coat, and does a backward somersault - just as I'm arriving on the scene, many greyhounds in tow. The black dog's owner and I couldn't stop laughing.
We now let all the other dogs greet newcomers, and the terror is usually in my arms making all kinds of bizarre noises about what she's going to do if she gets her mouth on that other dog. She is such a crack up.
I've never owned a small dog, so I had to do lots of research on the internet to find out about food, and clothing, and medical and personality. When she came to me so fat, I really didn't know if she was part Jack Russell and IG, or what. I was hoping no terrorist was in her, but sometimes her behaviors - like the attack on other breeds of dogs - make me think she is part JRT. Her body is more coarse looking then the little petite IGs I see in people's arms and she is as svelt as she can get, (which is about 12 - 15 pounds depending on how much food she can steal from the other dogs when I'm not looking). Most of her behaviors though, appear to be pure IG. Not housebroken when I got her, she sleeps curled under the covers every night, needs a coat all the time, (that girl has a bigger wardrobe than any of my greyhounds) and has a leaping ability that all point to IG. I've found that puppy mills breed many of these, because they are cute and little. But then people get them, and can't housebreak them, or they break legs or have other medical issues, and so the lucky ones are turned into rescue groups.
I'm pretty sure the Gang will always have a rescued little one from now on - thanks to the Annie Bananie.