The Chronicles of Indy - 1.
Indy is a beautiful Jack Russell Terrier. Unfortunately her life has been less than wonderful. Turned in to the AZ JR Rescue at the age of 10 months, she was adopted by a family that did almost nothing with her. They complained that she was aggressive towards other dogs, didn’t know how to do anything and, after 7 years of obvious discontent, turned her back into the rescue. She’s been here since the beginning of 2011.
Indy doesn’t do well in a kennel situation. It stresses her beyond her capacity to maintain a semblance of sanity. Despite the best efforts of everyone at this fabulous facility, she jumps constantly and somewhere along the way fell and broke one of her ribs that has healed incorrectly. Upon observing her many times now it occurred to me that she wasn’t hearing what anybody was saying to her. She turned off her ears as well as her brain, and the stress of going inside to her kennel made her eyes wide and her body shake. It was as if she retreated to some unknown place, almost as if she was autistic, to cope with the stress of losing her home and being in a kennel.
Since she didn’t seem to hear what anybody had to say, I decided to see how she behaved given physical stimuli. Would she respond if I touched her in reward for good behavior? Respond she did. Her heart rate slowed, her jumping stopped and she sat down whenever I came near. She was rewarded with a love and a few minutes of hands on pets and strokes. Words still meant nothing to her.
Whenever I brought her into the barn we walked right by her space and out the front door, the relief on her face was visible in the softening of her eyes and large exhale of breath. We walked on leash for awhile, working on heel and sit. She did well as long as I touched her in some way. “Good dog” meant nothing. A stroke on the head was all she sought.
It’s tough to adopt out a dog that seems to live in her own world and pointedly ignores everything going on around her. I pondered about what to do to give this brilliant little animal the chance she deserved. Foster care is limited these days and most need to foster dogs that will get along with others, not one of Indy’s strong points at the moment.
Tomorrow Indy begins a new phase in her life, one that will hopefully bring her out of her shell and help her find a forever home. I hope you join us in her journey towards adoption and a new life.
Photo by Suzanne Sylvester 2011
For the next blog about Indy's progress follow this link: http://sharkeypup.com/blog/blog/210711050448/The-Chronicles-of-Indy--2.-The-Trip-To-Someplace-Else.htm