It’s been about two months now since Hannah went to live in foster care. Several of our dogs have found wonderful foster homes since the first cold spell hit Atlanta, but this one was extra special. Hannah didn’t just need a foster home; she needed to learn how to love.

Hannah was one of 50+ dogs who were neglected and abandoned at an out-of-state rescue last year. She came to us in April, but spent the first several months, running circles around her pen and refusing to let any of us approach her. The shelter that had saved her said she tested positive for heartworm, so we knew we had to do something.

And soon.

We turned to Eldad Hagar’s videos of rescuing wild dogs to learn some techniques. In early November, we were able catch her with a pole and then began the long process of gaining her trust and teaching her love. We could only give her so much attention, though. She needed dedicated, daily, one-on-one attention. Enter, Pam and Bonnie.

The patience and love they and their pack have shown her has already helped turn this frightened, little girl learn confidence and trust. And the best news? She’s not heartworm positive after all!!

Here’s an update from Pam …

Of course, the biggest news is that Hannah is heartworm negative.  The rescue was given no paperwork on her, but they were told that she was HW+.  Everyone was planning for the time when she was calm enough to go through treatment.  Now that won’t be necessary! She has gradually put on a little much-needed weight.  She might benefit from a teeth cleaning, but has no immediate dental issues. All-in-all, she seems like a healthy girl, estimated to be about 5 years old and about 15 1/2 lbs.  She’s had her annual shots.

The morning walk (M-F):  It is dark, but Ernie is awake, so Hannah knows it is time to leave the crate.  With more calm than Ernie, she waits at the front door, having bravely learned that this is the place to go in the predawn hour.  She points her nose and tentatively stretches it toward the harness; a little tail nub wag and she is ready.  She carefully places herself between Ernie and Bonnie and prances and trots around the neighborhood. Smelling the smells, watching Ernie, and looking up at Bonnie. Each morning, there is a little more joy in her step. Each morning, new and also routine.

We found a second-hand Premier Easy Walk harness at Second Life, and she has responded well to it. She is the best walker we have ever had as a foster.  Also, the one Bonnie and Ernie have most enjoyed having along with them for their morning ritual.

She now shares the pack water bowls.  She eagerly joins the pack at meal time, but occasionally one or more of the others get a little too rambunctious and it takes a few tries and some darting around to finish her meal. She’d still definitely prefer that the humans not be too close while she eats, but that is improving.  She knows where treats are and will join the crowd with excitement.  She will consistently take a treat from my hand.  The others are required to sit, but Hannah is just required to show up.

Now Hannah’s hang-out spot is in an open crate in the family room.  Throughout the day, when all of the dogs are snoozing, this is where Hannah will be.  The latest transition is a crate upstairs where the rest of the family/pack sleep.  As she became more comfortable, she did not like being left alone in her crate downstairs and let her discomfort or displeasure be known by barking.

Hannah has stealthily taken first one green ball and then 2 into her crate.  Subsequently, at different times, she has taken a stuffed or no-stuffing toy or a rope toy into her crate.  A few times, she has even had her own play/chew session out in the open.  Outside, she does not usually engage directly in games of tug or ball, but she will occasionally join in the ball chase and has swooped in and grabbed it when others weren’t paying attention and had her own run-around with it.  Most recently, she has joined in on some mad chases around the back yard with some or all members of the pack.  She seems to love to run full-out and it is a joy to watch.

Donate to Hannah

Monthly Sponsorship Options

Hannah’s Wish List

Want to give something to Hannah’s foster parents? She likes Nylabones, no-fill toys and Chuck-It balls. Visit our Wish List and send us something to share with them!