Paisley was picked up on Halloween down in Houston by our volunteer Anabel. She was from an owner who was "downsizing" their dogs. It wasn't until Anabel got her home, to temporarily foster her until I could come and pick up, that Anabel discovered that poor Paisley was petrified...of everything. Anabel couldn't get within 10 feet of Paisley when she would deficate all over herself because her tail was tucked under her so tightly.
The following Wednesday, I met Anabel to pick up Paisley to foster her. I wasn't sure what to expect when I saw her. She was adorable...a mini doodle for sure. I put her in a crate in the back of my car so she would feel safe for the long ride home. She was silent all the way home. When we got home, Paisley went straight into the bathtub. Poor baby was covered in fleas and ticks! The water ran so brown from the blood and flea dirt in her fur that I had to wash her 3 times! She didn't protest at all...in fact, she seemed to know I was trying to help her feel better.
I can truly say that I've never seen a dog so terrified before. To the point that she rolled herself in a ball and wouldn't walk for 2 days when we brought her home! The third day that I had her, she finally began to walk around my home and explored a bit. I tried to ignore her so as not to scare her. I raised my arm in the kitchen and she shrunk down into a ball and urinated all over herself! This is when I realized that this poor little dog had been beaten!...badly. I really wish she could tell me of all the horrors she had endured in the past so that I could truly understand her and help to "make it all go away".
So, the next few days I spent sitting still and throwing treats to Paisley at a distance of 15 feet or so. Finally, she would let me toss the treat close enough that I could pet her when she went to retrieve it. The rest of our time together was spent with me trying to "catch" her to let her outside or to feed her. She spends a lot of time retreating to her crate and sometimes won't come out for a few hours. My kids call it "her safe zone". Whenever we can't find her...she is usually in her safe zone.
Everyday we take new "baby steps" with our trust level with each other. Everytime I try to put a leash on her, she rolls back up in her little ball and won't walk. I try to be super patient and tell her that she's still a good girl. She rides well in the car and seems to enjoy her trips to pick up the kids at school...just don't ask her to walk to the car :)...I still have to carry her. Luckily she is a mini. She enjoys my kids and seems to be warming up to them more quickly than adults. She has also found her place in my pack and is drawn to my doodle, Lexi (who we call our doodle ambassador to our fosters).
Tonight, she and I went into the back bedroom and began some training. I got her to sit twice and she actually took treats from my hand...for the first time! I was so proud! She is still so hand shy...I'm trying to teach her that human hands can be the source of good things, like pets and treats.
Everyday she is warming up more and more and runs from my family less. She is now joining us in the family room in the evenings to lounge with all of the other dogs...instead of retreating to her kennel.

I am hoping for an angel of an adopter to apply for this sweet little girl. It is going to take a really patient person to provide a home for my sweet Paisley. She is reachable and so wants to be loved...in her own time. She so deserves a happy ending...I pray we find one for her.

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Comment by Nina W, Georgia Director on November 21, 2010 at 4:09pm
Oh poor Paisley, what an awful life she must of had. But that is all in the past now. Thanks Tracy for helping show Paisley the better side of humans.
Comment by Nancy, Ned, Clancy, and Charlie on November 18, 2010 at 7:39pm
Paisley is so cute. Thank you for beginning the transformation. Paisley will surely need a special forever owner, but the bond they will create will be very special.
Comment by Liz and Seamus on November 18, 2010 at 1:18pm
Tracy, You're doing such good work with lil' miss Paisley. She and your Lexi are adorable together. There's nothing safer than a 4 legged mentor! I love the expression on Lexi's face, with that cocked head. Looks like she is saying "Well of course I'm taking care of this little girl, Mom"....
Comment by Allyson Sullivan on November 18, 2010 at 9:48am
This makes me so unbelievably sad. Tracy, I am sure you can love her and get her to come around. It sounds like she is slowing doing better. Thank you for the story.
Comment by Kim and the doodle boys on November 18, 2010 at 3:53am
Hopefully with your love and patience she will be snuggling with you soon. It is so maddening to see what people can do to animals! Thank you for taking the time this little girl needs.
Comment by Deborah and Lettie on November 17, 2010 at 10:45pm
OMG is right. Tears in my eyes for this poor thing. I have a rescued Bassweiler that I brought home when he was three months old. He's know 3 years old and he's still so scared of everything despite all the love and kindness you can give him. Please give Paisley a hug when you can get close enough and thank you for saving her life.
Comment by Jeannine Smith, Vice President on November 17, 2010 at 10:41pm
OMG, my heart breaks for Paisley! However I know she is in the right hands with you Tracy...you and your family will show her what love is all about and how life is supposed to be!
Comment by Tracy Farmer on November 17, 2010 at 10:32pm

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