- Breed: Australian Shepherd
- Gender: Female, spayed
- Age: 2-5 year old
- Size: 40 pounds
- Good with…
- Dogs? Sometimes! See below!
- Cats? No!
- Kids? No!
Hello! My name is Chloe! I’m an incredibly sweet, affectionate, (but shy/scared) Aussie mix girl!
My former life was rough and scary and left me quite shy and nervous about new people, new places, and unexpected sounds. Before being rescued, I spent some months chained up to a barn and ignored by the people who were supposed to be my people, and where I was before that was also awful, but I try not to think about it. I am thankful every day that the Cornell vet students who came to the farm where I was chained out, offered to take me from those mean people. And I am thankful that those people didn’t want me, and were happy to hand me over. Life has been so different since then! And though I am still slow to trust and still get scared of new things, I have joy and love and care and kindness threaded all throughout my days, and it’s seeping deep into my heart and healing the wounds from my past. The rescue folks promise me that the rest of my life will be filled with kindness and shared joy and no one will ever neglect or be mean to me again. It sounds too good to be true, but I am letting myself hope.
When I first came into the CDR foster program last summer, I was terrified. I hid in the back of my (open) crate and didn’t come out for nearly 2 days. It took an awful lot of courage for me to finally venture out of the crate, and then it was slow going in terms of me building trust and not being so scared all the time. Then, after a few weeks in my foster home, a very strange thing happened. There was this gentle whooshing motion coming from somewhere behind me, and it was very confusing what was going on. Then my foster mom started laughing and had a smile bigger than I’d ever seen and she said, “Chloe! You are wagging your tail for the first time, how wonderful!” She was right! And it did feel wonderful!
I wag my tail all the time now, there is so much to feel happy about. Once I know and trust you, I love you deeply and without reserve–I am extremely affectionate and sweet and adorable and playful with everyone whom I know and trust. I love to follow my foster mom around the house, I love hanging out next to her, I love cuddling with her, and will crawl right up into her lap if she lets me! I am a humungous mush. If I could have my way, I would lay in bed all day long with my person and cuddle!
Here are some fun facts about me:
- I love to sleep in bed with my person. I am extremely cuddly and always want to have some part of me touching you. Therefore, I am also a great heater when it’s cold.
- Though I have great playful energy sometimes, I’m actually somewhat lazy if you allow me to be! I am happy to lounge around the house with you all day long.
- My favorite way to ‘remind’ you to keep petting me is by using my paw to gently nudge you (which apparently makes you fall even more deeply in love with me)!
- My 2nd foster mom says that seeing my tail wag is one of the best feelings in the world.
- I am a very well-mannered lady and like to lay down with my paws crossed. I am also very polite when eating (I take tiny bites and chew thoroughly) and am very gentle when eating out of your hand!
- I enjoy leisurely ‘sniffing expeditions’ around the fenced yard quite a lot!
- Overall, I am a big mush who wants nothing more than a person who is going to love me enough to make up for the lack of love and care I had before coming to CDR. I am a goofy, sometimes hilariously awkward, beautiful, sweet, soft, fun, loving, smart, and loyal girl!
I do want you to understand though, that despite my affectionate ways with people whom I love and trust, I am still quite scared of strangers (especially men) and of new situations, new locations, new activities, and new sights and sounds. I prefer things to be calm and predictable, and I prefer people who are happy, friendly, encouraging, patient, and positive. It takes me a while to get comfortable with just about any new thing, so I need an adopter who is patient, gentle, understanding, and encouraging. It’s good for me to be encouraged to experience new things, but I need to take it very slowly, and before we do any of that, I need first to feel quite safe and secure with you.
And just so you have a picture of what I do when I am scared…I mostly hide or retreat. I hide in my crate or retreat upstairs or to a far corner of the house. If we are outside on leash and I get scared of some noise, I might just freeze in place or want to quickly return home. Sometimes I will bark instead, and this is usually when I can’t hide or retreat (e.g., I am on leash and can’t just leave and hide), or if I am particularly upset (e.g., I can’t get comfortable in the presence of my foster mom’s very nice (they tell me!) male tenant, who lives in the cottage next door).
Men are much scarier to me than are women. I lucked out though, because when my main foster mom went out of the country for a month, a new 2nd foster mom came to stay with me, and she has a boyfriend who visited on some weekends, and I found out that not all men are scary! He is the first man I’ve ever met who I really love! He is a very soft spoken and gentle man, and he was careful to move very slowly when in my presence until I felt more relaxed near him, and he was super generous with the cheese (smoked Gouda is my favorite, just FYI) and turkey breast. And all of those things really did the trick because now he is one of my all-time favorite people! We had loads of snuggle and love time, and I would be very excited when he came to visit! So that’s major progress for sure, but because I am generally much more fearful of men, the rescue folks feel that an adoptive placement for me should probably include a primary caretaker who is female.
I really like going for leashed walks, but can become startled if I hears noises that are unexpected, unfamiliar, very loud, etc. I have gained some comfort in going for hikes at local spots like Buttermilk Falls, Robert Treman State Park, around Beebe lake, and more, but am not one to want to meet lots of strangers or to have kids running up to pet me.That would be scary! I’ve even gotten brave enough on one or two occasions to venture into the water with foster mom #2 when the weather was warmer. I am cautiously willing to try new things, but I need support and encouragement from my safe and loving person.
And…news flash! While I seemed to not like other dogs when I first arrived (lots of growling and snapping), recent events suggest that I love having a smaller, very friendly, male doggy friend who can show me the ropes! My 2nd foster mom’s friend has this great dog named Riley, a Petit Basset Griffon Vandeen, who has been a ‘Doggy Ambassador’ for me. He is a fellow rescue who has been extremely influential in showing me that the world is not such a scary place. But as with all things, I needed to meet him very slowly and very carefully. When my 2nd foster mom was introducing me to Reilly, we went on many, many long leashed walks together (keeping 8-10 feet apart at all times) before we ever interacted off leash in my fenced yard. The rescue folks think I might love a smaller doggy brother who was relaxed and confident and could help me be more like that too.
And speaking of fenced yards…I LOVE to romp around in the fenced yard! And since it takes me some time to feel comfortable going on leashed walks with a new person, the rescue folks feel that an adoptive home with a fenced yard is important for me. Also, I have a very high prey drive, and will bolt to chase after any small critter that I see.
I am a fine eater, and appreciate all kinds of treats. I also love my crate (it’s left open at all times), and I use it as a comforting, safe place in which to retreat anytime I feel scared. I am totally fine being left freely in the house alone—I have never been destructive in any way. I do really appreciate being near my foster mom, but am also all right spending time on my own!
Cohabitation and my ideal adoptive home
I need a very special adopter! One who is very calm, caring, understanding, positive, encouraging, and patient. One with a gentle nature, and preferably some experience with scared/shy/cautious dogs.
Since I get scared of loud or unexpected noises, sights, and movements, I need a home without children or teens, and would do well with a person or couple who have a calm, quiet, mellow lifestyle.
We are not clear yet whether I am ok with cats, but given my high prey drive, my ideal home would not have cats.
And last, we hope that I can have a fenced yard, since I enjoy running around off leash, but cannot be off-leash unless in a securely fenced area. The reason I was chained up to a barn at my previous home was because I kept running off the farm property and not coming back. And when those people initially surrendered me to the Cornell vet students, I bolted with fear, slipped my collar, and took off. It took them 10 days of constant effort to catch me! I am a dog who will likely never be ok off leash unless in a securely fenced yard.
And finally, because whomever adopts me will need to keep working with me to help me continue to increase my confidence, CDR will pay for FOUR in-home training sessions with her adopter and our wonderful trainer (for a local adopter) or online Zoom (like Skype) sessions with same trainer if her adopter is not very local to Ithaca.
If you are interested in adopting me, please fill out an online adoption application and live close to Ithaca , Syracuse, Binghamton, Rochester, or Elmira. We do home visits on every applicant, and can’t do home visits where we don’t have local volunteers.