Bailey has a story. It begins with C. He works in a town next to ours out of a residential area. He used to go into work everyday and see this stray dog. He would come home and tell me about how he tried to make friends with her and would offer her food, but she would never come to him. He said that if he could catch her, she would come home with him and be our dog. She was a great playmate for the outside dog on the corner and often slept in random yards if the grass or snow was high enough. C had seen her all around town, once she was trotting up the middle of main street with a dead rabbit in her mouth. Someone called animal control because she became more aggressive and defensive - chasing kids and chasing people away from the mailboxes. They set traps. They couldn't catch her - she always took the bait and eluded them. Finally, animal control called in someone to dart her with a tranquilizer.
She woke up in a strange kennel and went berserk. She wouldn't let anyone near her. It was a kill shelter and their only option was to euthanize her since she was not compatible with adoption. The guy that walks the dogs and cleans up the shelter saw something in her and begged for her life. They allowed him some time to work with her. She transformed into a totally different dog. She became calm and docile, and would walk on a leash very well.
C knew she had been caught. He saw the man walking her down the street one day and stopped him and asked after her. He came home and told me the story, ending with - and we need to go see the dog at the shelter. On Wednesday last week, we went to the shelter and they were able to let us see the dog. She was shy at first, then responded to me and began wrapping herself around me and plopping herself in my lap. She was a little more wary of C. The vet tech told us that they all loved this little dog and she was super sweet, good with other dogs, and hadn't show any signs of aggression since her initial reaction to being caught and kenneled. They were all surprised by the transformation. I accused C of setting it up so that the dog would crawl into my lap - he says that he had nothing to do with that. He began asking about adopting her and they told him that they were concerned about that, because since she had been at-large in this town, they couldn't adopt her out here - which is great, because we live in the next town over.
The plan was to get her fixed and microchipped on Friday and pick her up that evening so that we could have the whole weekend to acclimate her to our life and our dogs. When C picked her up, it turns out that she was already fixed (they found the scar), but that she had some broken teeth, so they had performed about $600 worth of dental work on her (pulled broken teeth and such). We were grateful and I had been concerned about that because we could tell she was missing some teeth upon meeting her - it's a rough life to live wild. So, she came home with some painkillers, antibiotics, and soft food.
C introduced her to our crew, which was a little touch and go for awhile. No one was hysterical or tried to bite anyone, a huge plus for our dogs. Bailey (we had to rename her anyway due to the name the shelter assigned her being my mom's name), came in and jumped on the couch, curled up next to me, and went to sleep. We, of course, have a lot of concerns about her past and introducing another dog into our pack, but so far, she has fit right in. I don't think our dogs realize that she is a permanent addition yet, but they will.
C, multitasking, and the two heelers watching for any scraps that may fall. We can't be sure what type of dog Bailey is, but we think that there is a lot of red heeler and maybe some sheltie or border collie? It became clear to us that she was someone's dog previously, because she knows houses: she knows where the door is and how to whine or find us to go outside, she knows how to beg (and is fond of people food as that is what she lived off of for months), knows that the trash is full of yummy things (we are trying to prevent her from getting into ours), knows how to jump up on the couch and bed, curl up and sleep at our feet and knows that she HATES baths. When I was giving treats to Bella and Boris, Bailey came over and sat right down, wanting her treat too. She tends to show Boris some teeth when he gets in her face and Bella has given warning growls a few times when Bailey is too close. For the most part, she is already house broken and is both eager to go outside and to come back inside. She is fairly clingy like Boris - follows us from room to room. I think she is still figuring out her place in the pack, but that she really likes being here. She may have to get used (again) to being an inside dog and that will come over time.