Weezie aka Sheba

3/23/10:  Hi Carol!  
She is crazy.  And I mean that in the best way possible.  I adore her.  She's sooo goofy and quirky!  Here are a few pics:

9/22/09:  Merle has food aggression and I think Weezie has picked up on that a little... and she's pretty neurotic (I say that with love) but I think they love having one another.  They go on long walks together every day and Merle leads and Weezie follows.  It's adorable!  She's hysterical and crazy!

Here are a few pics of Weezie I thought you might enjoy.  She looks quite pensive in a couple of them, doesn't she?  Also pix of her buddy Merel.  Erin
7/14/09:  (1)  Hey Carol, 
      How are you?  I hope things are well.  You mentioned that you're pretty familiar with the breed and to let you know if any issues arise.  Weezie is doing great except for one little thing - I think she's got some major separation anxiety going on and I'm just not sure what to do about it.  I'm hoping you can offer some advice.  
      I spend a little time with them in the morning, I leave for work around 9, come home around 11 to play a bit, give treats, let them out, then come home again around 3ish and again around 5:30.  Last night I had dinner plans so when I came home around 5:30, we played a bit and then I left around 6:30 and it was the first time she's been away from me for more than 2 hours (I came home around 9).  When I got home, she had turned over a lamp, eaten the shade off, had gotten into my office and shredded my wastebasket, many of my files, my mail, chewed the computer power chord, ate my two coffee table books, knocked everything off the coffee table, yanked all the towels off the shelves in the bathroom, took a brand new roll of toilet paper and pulled the entire roll off and had it all over the house (I couldn't help but laugh at that one), got into the recycle box in the kitchen and emptied it of all the boxes, the list goes on and on.  I thought I'd been burglarized.  I came home after the fact - so since she wasn't caught in the act - I couldn't scold her.  I just let her out and cleaned up the mess and put everything out of reach.  She's been getting into things here and there (taking books off shelves and chewing them), but this was the first totally destructive thing she'd done.  So this morning, I spent some time with them, we played outside a bit, they ate, then I gave her a nylabone/ball toy and left around 9:00.  I came back to check on her at 10:30 and she had hopped the chair I had placed in the doorway of my home office (there's no 'door) and gotten into the bathroom- she had basically done it all over again.  Thankfully, I had removed everything important (but once again - she got into the towels, toilet paper, shredded another wastebasket, etc) but I could see she had tried to chew on the computer chord again, which is so dangerous.  I've blocked off that space with a huge club chair, and all power cords have been hidden by other object so they're out of her reach.  However, I'm worried about this.  
     What tips can you offer me that might alleviate this issue?  She's got plenty of toys.  Should I put in a doggie door?  Does she need more exercise?  Can you give me any suggestions of things to try?  Or is this something you think will pass?  She's a delight to be around, but each day she's a little more rambunctious, willful, vocal, and destructive.  Merle on the other hand is becoming better behaved by the day (which is great).  Weezie doesn't seem to be doing any of this out of spite or rebellion, I don't think.  We've been practicing walking on a leash and she's doing great.  And when I get on to her about something, most of the time she'll listen.  
        Any words of advice you can offer would help.  Other than her destructive behavior, she's perfect.  :)  haha     Erin 
                                                                               
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      You are so sweet to get back to me.  I'm wondering if it's just that she was used to so many dogs and now with just one other dog (who mostly sleeps and looks out the window when I'm gone), she's just super bored?  I definitely want to get this figured out but just thinking about giving her back kills me.  I'll only consider that after I've exhausted all efforts and options.  I love her and she's a GREAT dog with a wonderful disposition.  I'm going to work with her and do all I can to make this work out.  I just hate that she's so bored and is acting out.  When you try and scold her, she thinks you're playing with her and just barks back and swats with her arms.  :)  
       I thought about crate training, but that's something I've always been very opposed to.  My roommate crated her pup and my friend who fosters has crate trained a few of the foster pups and has gone from a strong skeptic to a strong believer. However, I feel like a dog of her size and age - who has never been crated - I'm worried it would just be traumatizing for her.  I know it's supposed to be their safety place, but just keeping her cooped up for a couple hours at a time - ugh.  Do you think I should consider it?  I can try and confine her to the kitchen (there aren't any doors though - maybe I could try a large baby gate).  That might be a good starting point and we'll go from there.  
        Anyway, if you think of any other suggestions, I'm all ears.  I do think having her there with all those dogs probably helped...  I doubt she was very high up on the pecking order and just followed the lead of the other pups, but at my house, she seems to be vying for the alpha dog position.  Once I win out and establish myself as the alpha, things should ease up.  Maybe just a little time is all it'll take.  Hope so!  I can't even imagine giving her back.  I feel like I would be failing her, and myself as well!    Thanks again!      Erin
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 Thank you SO much for this email.  Weezie has been doing a little better.  I've barricaded my office so she can't get there anymore and I've taken all the stuff off the coffee tables and have put all books and magazines out of reach.  That has definitely helped.  She's also listening to me a little more.  I haven't had to use the time out place - until last night.  My parents came for a visit with their dog, and from the get-go, she did NOT like their dog.  It was so odd because as soon as she saw him, she decided she hated him and was VERY vocal about it.  She barked the entire night - and my parents and their dog were in their room with the door shut.  No matter what I did, she just kept barking over and over.  At around 2 or 3am I put her outside but had to bring her back in b/c  the barking wouldn't stop and it wasn't fair to the neighbors.  
     I just don't know what's gotten into her or why she's acted this way towards their dog - because he didn't do anything.  He was timid and slightly submissive. She was extremely agitated and anxious and kept trying to start a fight or nip at him.  I stayed up with her all night - just trying to pet her and love on her and calm her down.  But nothing worked.  When I say she barked all night long, I literally mean the entire night and morning. I hate it b/c she was such a sweet girl when we were in Memphis and everyone loved her, and then my mom and dad come to town with their pup - all excited because we were expecting them to all play and have fun, and now my mom and dad are leaving because Weezie just won't have it.  Do you have any advice on socializing her or handling the incessant barking and anxiety towards other dogs?
      Thanks again for all your wisdom and advice.     Erin

6/21/09:  Sheba has been here 10 days and is doing great.  Sometimes a bit vocal with the other dogs, she gets along well with all of them.  She is vocal with her people too.  Not barking, but talking noises.  It is very funny.  It is as if she is trying to make understandable language. 

She has a great personality. She is playful and will tease the other dogs to play. She is great with people.  She is also very agreeable when told to go outside, or move out of the way.  She loves a walk and a car ride.  She is good on leash.  She will watch out the window on rides, but will lay down and sleep when bored. 

She showed much patience during the many hours spent combing and cutting out the many mats she had literally all over.  Her patience saved her from having to be shaved.  What a trooper!  She was great for her bath at the groomers and as always, made everyone smile. 

June 29. 2009:  Sheba and Maggie playing



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