It all started with a phone call. One I wish I never would have made. Two female German Shepherds needing to be re-homed, the family is moving out of state and won't be taking them along. The black and tan shepherd found a new family right away. That left Belle, a pretty white, almost 2 year old German Shepherd. People don't seem to want the white shepherds as much as they do the others. I know from experience if a home is not found in time, she will end up at our local high kill shelter. All of our rescues are full, as soon as dogs are pulled from the shelter, more are being dropped off.
After several nights listening to hubby ask me "where is my white German Shepherd?", I gave in, and made the call, the call I now regret making. The very nice lady that owns Belle, told me all about her. "She is a little timid and shy at first, but after a few seconds, she will warm up to strangers." She is missing her sister, the other Shepherd they re-homed. We spent a half an hour talking and she filled me in on everything there was to know about Belle. I told her I didn't want to see her go to the shelter, and if she fit in with my family, and no one else came to adopt her, then hubby and I would.
Two days later I get a call, asking me to please come meet Belle, and lets see how things go. Hubby believed we would be leaving her house with Belle that evening. I assured him, we would just be evaluating her. I must admit, we both had our hopes up. We didn't need another dog, and often times we tell each other we don't want another, but then we admit to ourselves that if by chance the right one came along, we would take that opportunity.
On the drive there, we were already discussing how she would be spending the weekends with hubby at work, and weekdays with me. As we approached the driveway, there she was, peaking out from behind her current owner. Long, tall, graceful, beautiful, white Belle, carrying a tennis ball in her mouth, very thin, as she has quit eating since her sister was adopted. She would drop her ball, and hubby and I would take turns throwing it. Never once, would she come close enough to either of us to allow us to pet her. She wouldn't retrieve her ball from our hands, if we didn't throw it. Instead, she would cower with her tail tucked under her, stretch as far as she could, then run and hide behind her owner. She let out a few growls every now and then. After awhile we finally went inside and sat down, hoping if we ignored her she would come to us. She clearly liked men better then women, and that is okay, as she did manage to sneak up to hubby and lick his arm and face very quickly; then just as quickly backed away with her tail tucked, and climbed across the sofa back to hide under her owners legs. This time a few feet away from me, with another low growl.
No matter how long we stayed, she wasn't going to warm up to us. Needless to say, we were very disappointed when we drove away. I know with lots of time and patience, and the right experienced dog owner, she would come around, but sadly, our home and our schedule would not be right for her. She has all the makings of a fear biter. With running the childcare in my home, with me alone with her and the other dogs during the day, we have to admit, she would be too much of a risk here.
I don't know what will happen to her. I don't know what her future holds, or even if she has a future. I just wanted to hold her, and tell her everything was going to be okay, instead, as we drove away, I had this overwhelming feeling that we failed her. I can only hope the right family comes along for her.