Hi, everyone! I'm new to the forum so I thought I'd introduce myself and my dogs here!
I'm 19 and I work at a no-kill shelter based in Sydney (Monika's Doggie Rescue). I've been working there since I was 16 and I'm absolutely hooked on dogs! I have been my whole life, but more so since focusing less on horseriding and more on dog rescue and rehabilitation. Animals are my passion. Dogs are a huge part of my life and anything and everything to do with them interests me. How they think, why they develop issues, training, grooming, etc.
Less of the boring stuff, now for the dogs! There are four dogs in my house at present -- I live with my parents -- and my 'pack' consists of two of them. Our other dogs are Jessie (an 11yo Bichon Frise) and Cleo (a 4yo black/tan Miniature Pinscher).
'My' dogs are, firstly, Mischa, a 6yo Miniature Pinscher who was our second dog after my dad discovered the breed and looked for a reputable breeder. We had to go quite some distance (8 hours by car!) to get her, and the Min Pin can be a willful breed, but they are incredibly smart and loyal. Mischa is a bit of a princess, but she's feisty and fun and that's why I adore her! She is the ideal jogging partner -- she NEVER wears herself out!
Carl is my absolute best friend. To cut a very long strong short, he was brought to Doggie Rescue in late 2007 as an untouchable, extremely fearful dog. Nobody could touch him, let alone feed him, and he stayed confined to an area where he didn't have to interact with humans whatsoever. He weighed around 7 kilos then (he now weighs close to 15kg). He wasn't aggressive unless approached when he made it clear he had no desire to be, and as a result, many of the staff and volunteers got bitten attempting to make friends with him. He seemed to want to be invisible, shrinking into the smallest corner.
I didn't realise there was anything wrong with him apart from obvious shyness when I was working and I, as part of my routine, fed the dogs in his area treats and petted them after my shift. One day, he came up and propped himself on my knee (I was squatting) while the other dogs were around and from then on, he started treating me as 'his person.' Carl has been very severely abused, more so than any of the 8000+ dogs that have walked through our rescue's doors, as testimonies from feeding volunteers and staff have told me! It took me months of convincing for my parents to allow me to bring him home, since there was no hope for him whatsoever at DR. The biting and aggression continued because people couldn't read his body language and leave him alone.
By May last year, I had him home, and the rest is history! Carl has serious, deep-seated issues I thought I wouldn't be able to fix whatsoever, but he has completely done a 180 since coming home with me. He is still incredibly wary of strangers but he tolerates pats and has always been fantastic with other dogs. He used to jump at EVERY noise and never be able to relax, but has since come out of his shell in a huge way. I had to find a way to channel his negative energy and increase his self-confidence at the same time, so as soon as I got him home, we took up swimming to start with, then agility, flyball, TV trick training and he has recently been rollerblading along Manly Beach!
He is an incredible dog who went from being running feral at Blacktown to sleeping, cuddled up to my other dog on my bed tonight. He's a 100% devoted, obedient, intelligent and overall amazing dog. He is definitely my canine soulmate!
Carl is a Staffy cross Cairn terrier. A strange mix, if I've ever seen one. He has the coat of a cairn but the build of a Staffy (his jaw and chest in particular, as well as muscle definition -- HUGE). One of my coworkers has a pair of gumboots that he tore right through as testament to his jaw power!
Anyway, enough of the drivel! Sorry for the novel! As you can tell I am slightly overenthusiastic about dogs.
Here are some pics.