Wow: We have a dog!
I kind of don’t believe it yet, but allow me to introduce you to Pyrrha, formerly known as Lyndi.
On Thursday night, we brought this sweet, super-beautiful, and groggy shepherd home from Southeast German Shepherd Rescue. She had just been spayed that morning, so she was (understandably) really out of it on Thursday and Friday. She handled all of the craziness–our moving, still unpacking, having our sweet in-laws staying with us, and the added pain and disorientation from her surgery–like a champ!
A bit of back story: Pyrrha (*pronounced “peer-ah”) is 14 months old. She was brought into SGSR with about 14 other dogs after a backyard breeder in North Carolina closed his operation. Since then, she’s been fostered by the absolutely wonderful Cassie, who has been a joy to work with and a superb resource already.
Pyrrha is naturally shy, owing most likely to her under-socialization. Up until she was taken in by SGSR, it’s believed that she lived her whole life outside in a kennel. Cassie worked on house training and teaching her how to live indoors with humans. So far, that transition into home living has been very smooth. She loves her crate, which we keep in our bedroom, and sees it as her “safe place.” She goes in there very willingly and often opts to crawl in there herself. She hasn’t shown any signs of separation anxiety, which is great.
I’ve been very relieved to notice how well she’s met and handled all different kinds of people. She is a little timid at first, but always willingly greets people and seems naturally interested in them. She’s also met several babies and little children and handles them graciously. She’s not kissy like a retriever (e.g., sweet Bo), but I already knew to expect that with GSDs. Rather, she likes to politely greet you and then submit to your petting and attention. No jumping, no excessive displays of affection from Pyrrha, but politeness and calmness instead. She’s extremely mellow with people.
We’ve been trying to take her to as many places as possible over the weekend, to the best of our ability, without overwhelming her. She ate outdoors with us at Blue Mountain Brewery and was great. She met lots of new people and children and laid calmly under the table for the duration of our meal.
Our one major issue with her right now is teaching her dog manners. The main consequence of her under-socialization is that she is terrified of other dogs and reacts with growling, snarling, and barking. It’s clear that she has no idea how to greet and interact with other dogs politely. (She was even terrified of a roly-poly lab puppy that we met at the brewery.) We arranged a “play date” with a super-chill Great Pyrenees mix yesterday that did not start out very well–but I’ll write more on that later (and have some photos to share, too).
All in all, we are very, very happy with Pyrrha and can’t wait to learn more about her. It’s been so encouraging to already see her confidence grow, her tail wag, and her tongue hang loose in a happy smile.
Thanks for ALL of your advice, wisdom, and encouragement over this past year! I need it now more than ever! More to come soon!