Blondie Bear was the second foster dog we adopted. Cochise was our first. He was our first foster dog and our first “foster failure” (meaning we could not give him up). Blondie was our fifth foster dog and second foster failure. But this time, it wasn’t entirely our fault: Cochise talked us into it. Cochise just loved Blondie and wanted very much for us to keep her.
Cochise is a mentor in our foster dog program; he helps us teach the fosters civilized behavior. He was involved with all three dogs between them, and he was quite fond of Curry, but his attachment to Blondie was evident to all. Maybe he knew what a rough road she had traveled.
Blondie had been taken in by Newport Animal Control. She had been found chained in the back of someone’s yard. She was so severely neglected that they thought at first she was mentally damaged: she seemed autistic. She took little notice of anyone or anything. At the shelter they began working with her. Proper diet and clean water helped her physically, but she still tended to sit just staring at a wall. Then she tested positive for heart worms and they asked if we’d take her on for treatment.
It took very little time after arriving here — and being under Cochise’s guidance — for her to blossom into a personality filled and very well behaved dog. She was very quiet. She’d watch intently when Cochise found something to bark at but she did not bark. It was close to a year before she started speaking up in this way. But she did have her own way of expressing herself. When she was particularly happy — when we would return after being away, sometimes at meal times (especially yummy smelling meals) and when Cochise returned from the animal hospital after being snake bit, she expresses happiness this way:
Blondie ARROOO from Doug Bittinger on Vimeo.
She is totally devoted to us. When Marie was debilitated, Blondie was her constant companion and nurse. I spend my days here on our property. When I go outside, Blondie insists on going outside as well and will sit on the front porch, which offers a commanding view of our side yard. If I go behind something, or go into a building, Blondie issues a clipped chirp of a bark, “Where are you, I can’t see you, where did you go?” It’s a unique sound that she does not use otherwise.
Now that she’s been here a year and a half, she does join in on barking at heinous threats like cats, skunks and the school bus. Blondie is fairly sedate about it most of the time. Cochise puts on a show of ferocity that gives most everyone pause at entering our property. Blondie is not so intimidating – other than her size. At 90 pounds and being built like a bear, she is not one you’d want to tangle with if she were angry.
Blondie is in fact quite playful, and can be pretty silly. Once in a while she gets it in her mind to want to play while indoors and will go gonzo, running and pouncing and peeking around corners. It’s really quite hilarious.
Blondie is Gonzo Girl from Doug Bittinger on Vimeo.
Other times she is playful but quite reserved and lady-like.
A Couple of Cool Canines from Doug Bittinger on Vimeo.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek at our Baby Girl. Thanks for stopping in!
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