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by Kyler Laird last modified 2008-11-09 15:56

German Shepherd Dog, female

joined us: 2008-06-03 (4894 days ago)

This dog has been adopted.

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written by Kyler Laird

Right after getting Nico back to Crystal Creek I got a call about another GSD, Elsa. I don't usually accept owner-surrendered animals but Elsa's owner knows my family, lives in Rensselaer, and suffered from arthritis which was keeping her from giving Elsa the care she needed. As she talked about Elsa I sensed that I had an opportunity to meet a special girl.

2008-06-03: It was storming and my plans in Rensselaer had changed but I drove up to meet Elsa. She was waiting with her owner in the driveway, no collar, no leash. I'd brought Morgan to help me evaluate her and he was much more excited that she was. Elsa was interested but reserved and always under control. I was quite impressed at how she handled herself and she did beautifully with Morgan. She rode home with only a bit of whining and went to the kennel to await a checkup and vaccinations.

I returned to the kennel that evening with my pack. Elsa seemed to have done well in her run and she walked out with Judo and Keowee without any problems. She blended right in with the pack with only minor (but appropriate) hesitation. We stayed in a playgroup area for awhile and then ventured into the park. Elsa stayed fairly close to me, venturing out but checking in with me frequently. Good dog.

2008-06-04: I finally got to the kennel just before close with the intent to bathe Elsa. The bath was busy so I took her outside and she was nabbed for a class. She didn't spend long in class before a tech. came to get her for vaccinations which had been delayed. She was quite excited during the exam. Her heart was racing and she was thrashing a bit but she handled restraint well and allowed her ears to be checked without complaint. Afterward I bathed her and she was such a sweetie. She climbed right into the bath without instruction and seemed to be calmed by the attention. I eventually removed the tether from her. After the bath I took her outside with a small young dog, Garbonzo. He was trying so hard to play with her but she just moved away. She always came back to check with me though. She's such a shepherd.

2008-06-16: Elsa has only shown brief interest in other dogs and always slinks away from any who show an interest in her. I've been trying to ignore her because whenever I give her attention she gets very excited and then anxious when I stop. She's been making steady improvements but today was a breakthrough. I noticed that she was showing interest in Bob the Husky and I wondered if I could capture it in a photo but it was always too brief. Then her interest quickly grew and she's going from sniffing him, to offering play and chasing him around the park. She's a dog! I have great hope for Elsa.

2008-06-19: We have been evaluating a Newfoundland dog, Joe, who is aggressive toward other dogs. Today we had some dogs in the same playgroup area as Joe while he was unmuzzled. Elsa was one of those dogs who didn't bother Joe. They came in close contact several times but she did not cause him to get anxious and aggressive.

2008-06-28: Elsa continues to improve. At playgroups today she was in a distant area. She kept an eye on me but did not seem terribly anxious about me not being with her. She shadows me as I take the dogs into the kennel and I never put a lead on her. Today she met Dexter. After I'd put the other dogs in their runs I let Elsa follow me around the clinic while I handled a stool sample from Dexter. Finally I took the remainder to the outside bin and then walked around to the front - with Elsa staying close to me and coming immediately when I'd call. She is such a sweetie. I'm trying to arrange to test her with a cat soon. She might have a foster home if that goes well. I'll miss her.

2008-06-29: Almost Home Humane Society graciously allowed me to test Elsa and Harley with their cats. Elsa showed some interest in the caged cats but when a wall full of cats hissed and spat at her she headed the other way. Visiting the uncaged house cats, she was again interested but not enough to do anything when the cat jumped away. (Video to follow.) I expect her to quickly learn not to bother cats.

2008-06-30: I neglected to mention that I brought Elsa and Harley home with me a couple nights ago. She's been doing well here. Waynetta, who is such a GSD lover, visited today to exchange crates and we sat and talked outside while the (eight!) dogs mingled. Waynetta thinks Elsa is a special girl. I agree. I'm a bit concerned about Elsa's anxiety but I did leave her for a couple hours out in the house with my dogs and that went well. My bigger concern is that Elsa gets frantic when restrained or lifted. I do a lot of restraining and lifting of the dogs. We're going slowly.

2008-07-02: We just had dinner with a wonderful couple from Indy and they're on their way home with Elsa. Officially they're fostering Elsa but it sounds like she might have found her home. I'm delighted to be able to help great families find each other.

2008-07-05: I miss Elsa but I've gotten some updates from her foster family. I'm delighted that she's doing well and that her family appreciates her.

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