Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
Training: I’ve taught bird care / training techniques
Posted January 27, 2016
Her beautiful smile called to me from her online photo. I rushed to the pound only to find I was second in line that morning waiting for her as the doors opened. Luckily the first gentleman walked out on her. You see, she had cherry eye, a common problem for cocker spaniels. She was operated on the day before the pound released her for adoption. The folks there emphasized that the problem could return and how expensive and time consuming it would be to treat. That must have scared the first guy off, but she was so sweet and friendly, we took her home anyway, leaving just as others were coming in to look at her. She was a popular girl!
The first month was trying. She barked and growled and wanted to eat our cat. My husband wanted to return her to the pound that very night, but I persisted. We kept her in the home office away from the cat. She stayed there and outside while I patiently trained her. First, a baby gate at the door with it cracked open. Every day, I opened the door more. I'd feed the cat to entice her to come closer while at the same time giving my dog good treats if she'd sit without barking or growling. Closer . . . closer . . . until one day, they would both eat on either side of the gate. One month, and they were living in peace and harmony.
What can I say? She's a friendly dog, friendly enough to meet the strict qualifications for boarding at the local doggy daycare, where dogs must pass a four hour people/dog socialization test. See her there and you'd never know how unpredictable her reaction can be on a leash. I tried going to a trainer, but now I just take a long detour around people and pets on our daily walks. And there's something about the mailman. I have no idea why, but she barks so viciously at him that she frightens him. Everyone who visits here are surprised when I tell them that. "But she's so sweet."
The cherry eye exploded in her other eye, and the operated eye . . . I'm not sure what happened there. The vet eye specialists (there were two) said they'd never seen surgery done like that before. I guess it must have been vet students working at the shelter. They botched the initial surgery. So now, my dog is on eye medication and seeing an eye specialist and the vet bills are through the roof.
She is the sweetest, most wonderful dog, though. She's not a barker, except on occasion. She's mellow and she follows me around all day, yet she can sleep alone at night in my office without whining. The kids love her as much as I do, and we're all glad we didn't give up the first night and send her back to the pound.