Lizzie is a gorgeous red merle Australian Shepherd/Collie mix female with very pale blue eyes and a long flowing tail. She has the long legs, long nose and long tail of a Collie with the red merle coloring of the Aussie. She weighs 40 lbs and is approximately 7 years old.
Poor Lizzie has had a rough start to life. She spent her first 7 years living as an outside dog and judging by her intense fear of strangers, being abused. Loud voices or sounds make Lizzie flinch and if anyone picks up their foot near her, she cowers, expecting to be kicked.
In Good Hands
Last summer, Lizzie was found out in the country, pregnant, starving and very scared. A wonderful family began caring for Lizzie and finding good homes for her two puppies. They had her spayed, heartworm-tested, dewormed, and on monthly flea prevention. They tried to find a good home for Lizzie, but it was challenging. Finally they contacted Healing Hearts Animal Rescue in Madison, TN, because Healing Hearts works with Aussies who have special needs.
Lizzie's rescuers were very generous. In addition to paying for her veterinary care, they also donated a large wire crate, a red Kong chew-proof dog bed, an Easy Walker harness, a large bag of grain-free dry dog food and a small bag of grain-free dry cat food, along with a $60 donation.
Learning to Live Inside
When Lizzie first came to Healing Hearts, she appreciated the large fenced-in yard but was very scared about entering the new world called Inside. Outside she felt comfortable because she knew the rules and could be by herself. Inside was unknown and terrifying. It took about a week before Lizzie would willingly come inside after a potty break. She quickly decided that napping on a soft bed in the cool air conditioning was much better than trying to sleep outside in the heat.
Becoming Part of a Family
Lizzie was frightened by every new thing she encountered. However, she quickly made friends with her doggie foster sisters, Madeline and Blessing. Since Lizzie is extremely submissive, Madeline and Blessing had no problem adding her to the pack. Lizzie quickly learned that she could eat dry food undisturbed as long as she let her sisters eat first. She also developed an adorably sneaky habit of stealing Blessing's chew bones when she is asleep. Once she is sure that Blessing is sound asleep, she snatches her bones and chews on them with great delight. The longer she spends with her new family in their quiet home, the safer Lizzie seems to be feeling.
Lizzie is very frightened of meeting new people and going new places. So her foster mom helped her slowly build up her confidence level. Just walking was scary at first for Lizzie. She flinched away from strangers who passed by, especially men. Gradually, though, Lizzie began to realize that her foster mom and doggie sisters were acting happy and confident. Eventually Lizzie decided that as long as she was with her pack, she felt safe, even walking past strangers.
The Centennial Dog Park was the next stop on Lizzie's journey of recovery. When first released into the park, Lizzie completely froze, too scared to move a muscle. However with gentle encouragement, Lizzie was soon following her foster mom and doggie sisters around the perimeter of the park. Eventually the path circled back up to the center of the park. Lizzie laid down on the ground about ten feet behind the bench her foster mom was sitting at. She greeted many dogs in a friendly manner and seemed to enjoy making new canine friends.
To help Lizzie feel safer around strangers, she came to an Adoption Day at the Hendersonville Tractor Supply in August. Tractor Supply provides a quiet environment with mostly adult customers. Lizzie was very nervous but she allowed a lot of people to pet her and talk to her in quiet, soothing tones. She enjoyed all the compliments she received. Meeting quiet, dog-friendly people who seemed to genuinely like her was a big booster to Lizzie's self esteem. She has acted more confident and less afraid around strangers and new experiences since that Adoption Day.
After a lifetime of living outside, Lizzie's teeth were in horrific condition. Her teeth were stained with green tartar and her breath smelled like something rotting. During her dental cleaning this week, Lizzie had to haven nine teeth removed because they were so badly decayed. In several places, the roots of her teeth had been exposed for so long that repeated infections had left behind scar tissue, holding the gums open. Her vet had to cut out the scar tissue and stitch her gums back together over the holes.
Lizzie also has arthritis, particularly in her back legs. Gentle, easy walks are good for helping her stay as flexible and strong as possible Lizzie would not be a good workout partner or playmate for another dog. Lizzie would much rather nap than do anything active.
The Perfect Family
Lizzie's perfect family would be a quiet home without children. She had a hard time learning housetraining so she would do best in a home where someone can be with her during the day to provide frequent potty breaks. Lizzie would also really benefit from a doggie companion to help show her daily routines and help her learn the rules of her new home.
Lizzie must never be yelled at, because, to her, being yelled at is as scary as being physically hurt. She needs a confident owner who can help her feel safe out on walks. Lizzie is extremely mistrustful of strangers. However, once you earn her trust, she thoroughly enjoys being petted and snuggled. She is the gentlest soul. Lizzie never growls at anyone, on four legs or two. She is great with cats and other dogs. Lizzie is a very sweet, quiet girl who deserves the best home for the years she has left.
Special Needs for a Senior Dog
Because of her age, Lizzie is going to require more medical care than a puppy or younger dog would. At minimum she will need an annual exam, booster shots, and senior blood panel to check for any emerging medical problems. She will need monthly flea and heartworm prevention. Now that her teeth are all clean and her gums are healing, Lizzie's dental health can be maintained by sprinkling PlaqueOff powder in a small amount of canned food. Vetdepot.com offers a 6 month supply of PlaqueOff for a dog of Lizzie's size for just $76 with free shipping. The easiest way to treat Lizzie's arthritis is with a supplement called Dasuquin which contains glucosamine, chondroitin, and green tea. Vetdepot.com offers a soft chew version for $51 for 84 soft chews.
An easy way to pay for unexpected veterinary expenses is with a CareCredit card. Most veterinary offices accept CareCredit because it pays them immediately just like any other credit card. Due to CareCredit's high interest rate, it is best to stick with a no interest repayment plan. As long as the total bill is at least $500 and you pay that amount off within 6 months, there is no interest charged. $500 would cover your dog's annual exam, booster shots, heartworm test, senior blood panel, and 12 months worth of flea and heartworm prevention. CareCredit also provides the reassurance of having extra money set aside for unexpected veterinary expenses.
If you are interested in adopting Lizzie, please email email@example.com. You can also call or text (615) 290-2454. She is located in Nashville, TN. Lizzie's adoption fee is $100. Her adoption requires completion of an adoption application, adoption contract and a home visit. She comes with her leash and harness.