by Lee Juslin
Daisy, a black Scottie girl, came to an elderly couple as a puppy and was living a calm, secure life with her humans until one of them passed away. Then, within four months the second one died. Since no provisions had been made for Daisy’s care, she was left alone in the house. A son, who already had a German Shepherd, did not want to give Daisy a home and a daughter wanted nothing to do with the situation. Eventually, Scottie Rescue was called and Erica, together with her partner Judy, who had agreed to foster Daisy, made plans to get her.
“I met the son at a rest stop on the Garden State Turnpike. He took Daisy for a walk and I could see that she walked nicely on her leash,” said Erica. “But, when he came to hand her over to me, she became very fierce and tried to bite me. I had him load her into the carrier I brought and put her into my car. She was biting so hard at the carrier that her gums were bleeding. I was a bit surprised as I hadn’t been told of her behavior issues and I was worried about handing her over to Judy.”
After Erica called Judy and explained the situation, Judy made arrangements to isolate Daisy in her home, away from her pack so that the little frightened Scottie could begin to calm down and relax. Wearing welder’s gloves, Judy came into Daisy’s area to bring food and water. She spoke gently to her but made no effort to approach or touch her.
It took a great deal of patience but eventually Daisy came to Judy, sniffed at her, and decided she was trustworthy. Clearly Daisy had not been properly socialized and had no doubt been traumatized by the death of first one and then her second owner. All of the confusion and noise associated with a health emergency turning her calm, settled life upside down had traumatized Daisy. Being left alone in the house had made matters worse.
Unfortunately, everyone, from Judy’s husband to visitors who came into the house, was treated to the fierce, feisty Daisy until she learned to accept and trust them. Erica visited several times until eventually Daisy would approach her and allow Erica to pat her. Judy helped Daisy to learn to trust by placing her in a crate in the middle of the room so she could see and hear the other dogs and humans in the house. In time, Daisy learned to tolerate the other dogs and Judy’s husband, and was allowed to be loose in the house. In addition, Judy made a point of taking Daisy on errands and whenever she took another dog to meet potential adopters.
At eight years old, Daisy is a very healthy Scottie and while she does have trust issues, once she learns to accept someone she makes a good companion. The right home for Daisy would be one with a single adult or a couple who work at home or are only away from home for short periods. Daisy needs someone with terrier experience and the patience to work with her to gain her trust.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Let me get on my soapbox and say as strongly as possible, a major responsibility of pet ownership is making sure your beloved fur kids are cared for after you die or if you must go into a long term facility. We all MUST make provisions in our wills for the continued care of our companion animals. Daisy suffered needlessly because her people did not take responsibility and do this one, simple thing to make her future secure. Thankfully, Scottie Rescue stepped in and has made it possible for Daisy to find a loving, forever home.