Missy, the mystery dog

February 17, 2013

Missy has been a member of my household for two weeks, now, and she has experienced so many new things. She and the rest of my pack have found their relationships.

The first time I left her home, I put her in the bedroom, my two alphas in the living room, and closed the door between them. When I came home, it was as if she didn’t know I would be back. She was quite relieved. The second time I left her at home, with the two alphas, I left the door open, so Dakota would have access to my bed, Missy would have hers, and Gideon would have the couch, if he wanted. I was worried, but need not have been. They were all fine.

In the two weeks she has lived with us, she sits, stays, comes, goes where I point, lays down on her bed when told, gets in the car, gets in the back, but “down” is the hardest order she has to obey, as she likes to get up on me, whether sitting, standing, or laying down. She knows it, but has trouble obeying.

The other night, one of my two cats decided to hide after she was fed, so I wouldn’t put her outside. I said out loud, “Where is the cat? Where did she go?” To my surprise, Missy started sniffing around, following a path into the bathroom. I followed. I watched her sniff between things, under things, and then alert behind the bathtub. Damn, that is where the cat was! I gave her lots of congratulations, but I was astounded. How did she even know the word “”cat?” She is either brilliant or psychic.

What a gal!

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February 7, 2013

Trying to learn who she is, and I am learning she is the sweetest, smartest dog I have ever had find me. I will never know how she came to me. I wish I could read her mind better. She has become thoroughly, and completely attached. She needs to stay close to me, or watch me, constantly. I cannot go to the bathroom alone … reminds me of when my kids were little. It is only when I am safely in bed does she lay on her own bed, right near mine. I know she doesn’t talk, except through her eyes, and her behavior. She still is not barking or otherwise making any sounds. I wish I were a better dog whisperer.

I took her to the vet Wednesday. She did not want to get in the car, and then, when she did, with much help from me, she shook for the first 1/2 hour or more. After I got her in the car at home, she wanted out, so I was concerned about stopping anywhere, lest she try to escape. She never did. She found her spot on the passenger side back seat, and was comfortable. She got out easily at the Vet, and was not fearful there. She enjoyed the little girl who wanted to be friends, the staff, who fell in love with her, and the only procedure she objected to was having her temperature taken. We postponed any shots or other things until her next visit in a month.

She played a lot of ball catching with her last owner, per her canine teeth, the vet assistant said. She is not chipped. She is not spayed. Probably not de-barked, just trying to get her confidence about her place in the pack, per the vet. She is between 1 and 2 years old, and in good health, especially considering her travels.

She got back into the car at the vets with confidence, and happily. I wasn’t leaving her.

When we got home, I let her out with the others off leash for the first time. She couldn’t get any privacy to do her “business” so snipped at Gideon. Dakota, Bear, and Missy came in when asked, but I had to put Missy into the bathroom so that Miranda, my most skittish dog, would come in, which I did. Gideon could not be found, until later. Thursday, I let them all out together, and she did really well.

Missy was very insecure, as could be expected, But is adapting very fast. There is a fine line I must tread in making her feel welcome, and making my other dogs not feel displaced. But we made a lot of progress on Thursday. She is not snipping at the others, and is wanting to play with them. The others are not sure, after her initial snarling. We need to work out her place in our pack … Our family. But each day she settles in more and more, finds her place, and everyone becomes a little more comfortable than they were the day before. She and Dakota are deciding who will be number one in this pack. Gideon and the others have always bowed to Dakota’s decisions, so we are 1/2 way there.

I’ve received a few inquiries, but so far, all for males. I have become very attached, just in four days. However, if there is a heartbroken owner out there, I will relinquish her, sadly.

I stopped for lunch at a Chinese buffet. I got two fortune cookies. One said, “a great reward will come to you.” The second said, “do not stray from the path that fate has laid out for you.” I gave Missy the cookies, and decided she is both my fate and my reward. I am just glad a Great Dane or St. Bernard didn’t show up!

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February 5, 2013:

Well, she easily made it through her first day in her new found home. She has managed to cower all four of my other dogs – individually, and as a pack. Amazing, as they are all twice as big as she is. I imagine her snarling at them, “You ain’t nothin’ I just survived weeks in the wilds with mountain lions, coyotes, and foxes. You think you scare me? Ha, this is MY human now! Know what I went thru to find her? I walked miles and miles through the wilderness. Yup, she’s mine now!” And it is true. She has won my heart. Not over the others, but in addition too. I worked hard all day to make sure the others did not feel neglected. Whew, I had no idea the turn my day would take when I woke up.

She ate 4 cups of dog food yesterday, spread throughout the day so she didn’t get sick. She scarfed the last one as hungrily as she did the first. it will take some time to put all that weight back on, so I may have to add some things to her diet.

I took her out on a leash, twice, and she did very well, although not her “business.” She is either leash trained, or not wanting to get more than inches away from me, borne out by her inside behavior. Not fond of the great outdoors, at the moment. That’s okay. She can have a few mistakes inside, as long as she doesn’t make a habit of it. She gets some special consideration for a while.

She needed constant reassurance yesterday, so my day was completely rearranged to accommodate her needs, assimilate her into my tribe, make her feel safe, above all. She followed me everywhere, and whenever I sat, stood, or walked, she was right there sitting at my feet. She wanted up in my bed, but it is too tall, and I did not want to encourage a tick-infested dog into my bed. So, I laid a big fluffy bath towel near the back window door, where I was within sight. She can watch the world outside and me, too.

I have yet to hear her bark, yelp, or make any sound other than this slight snarl she used with the other dogs to establish her place in the pack. They all listened.

I called the shelters in Monterey and San Luis Obispo, posted everywhere, checked Fido Finder, Craigslist, and did what I could to find her “other” human. I emailed and took calls all day. At sunset, we were all settled in for the night, including the cats.

About 9 pm, Missy started acting a little differently. She gave out a quiet whimper, the only sound I had heard her make all day, with the exception of the quiet little dominance, leave me alone snarls I had heard directed at my dogs. She was wandering through the house, so I decided since she needed to go outside to go potty. I had taken my leg off, was in my pjs, and dogs don’t go out at night up here, due to mountain lions.

I got up, put my leg on, didn’t bother getting dressed, grabbed the leash, led her to the door and opened it. Dakota got out, but Missy took one look at the dark, and decided she didn’t want to go after all. I can only imagine the scary nights she shivered and hid through recently, but I reassured her and led her out. Dakota stayed with us, and Missy stayed close to me. We went to a dirt area, we went to a grassy area. All she did was sit. I gave up and told her we weren’t going out anymore tonight. Then, she looked at me with those sweet, loving eyes again. I pretended I didn’t notice her, and she went back to her spot and laid down. Smart dog.

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February 4, 2013:

Well, I had quite the surprise this morning.

My routine is that when the sun comes over the hill, I get up, let the dogs out, and pee … In that order. On nice mornings, like this am, I leave the door open so any of the dogs that want to come back in, can.

After I pee, I get back in bed. Sometimes I go back to sleep, but mostly, I don’t. This morning, I heard a dog next to my bed, looked down to see which one it was, and was surprised to see a new face greeting me. Surprise, surprise …

This is the face that greeted me this morning:

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She is very skinny and covered with tics. She is very sweet, comes up to me, whether I am standing or sitting, and immediately sits. I fed her two cups of dry food, which she scarfed. She would have eaten the whole bag, but I don’t want her barfing, so I’ll give her another two cups later this afternoon. We are working on the tics.

She is a border collie mix, possibly with terrier, as her coat is wiry, not silky like a BC. She has a collar, but no tags.She does not bark, and seems to come from a one dog household, as she snarls whenever one of my dogs gets near her. She has very long legs, but probably only weighs 20-25 lbs – not sure as I haven’t tried to pick her up. She is patient with the tic picking, so far, and doesn’t object, at all.

If anyone recognizes this dog, please call me at 831-818-8026. I am sure there is a heartbroken owner somewhere. She immediately took to me, so she seems to be well-loved – or just so grateful for a place and food out of the wild. Pass the word. I will post this to FB and Wild Big Sur, also, so it can be easily shared. Much as I am taken with this dog, and would easily add her to my pack, I am happy to reunite her with her owner.

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5 Responses to “Missy, the mystery dog”

  1. From all you describe I wonder if “something” unexpected happened to Missy’s previous human.
    Also, I have seen research that gives evidence that dogs–at least some of them–are quite capable of identifying/learning human “words”. So, Missy may indeed be “brilliant.”
    Hope she continues to adjust well to life with you and your pack.

  2. You have a heart. And I am sure one day somehow you will get the reward for your generosity. dog training nyc

  3. Hey, how is Missy these days, BSK?

  4. Missy is busy, happy, and healthy. She’ll be going in to get spade soon.

    Sent from my iPhone

  5. hey there! tonight i received a phone call about my ad on craigslist regarding a dog i found in Big Sur last weekend, and it was a guy recommending that i reach out to you with my post about this dog, and maybe you could further release news of this pup and maybe help find his family if they are somewhere in Big Sur…i’m not sure how much longer i can afford to hold on to him :\ but anything that will help get the word out there would be awesome!

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