Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Ebony and Ginger Project - "Serena"


Prior post:
For those not familiar with the goals of this project, it is to help rehome pets that find themselves in difficult situations or shelters. Although I have not done much on it in the last 12 months, due to a severely fractured dominant arm in Sept 09 (fully healed) and sinus surgery in July 10 (healing), I have a law school classmate who needs to find a new home for her dog, "Serena."

Serena is a mixed breed, 60 lb, 1 year 4 month spayed female, living in Austin, Texas. The current owners have had her for about a year, adopting her from a local shelter. Serena is housebroken and extremely bright and trainable. Her current parents easily taught her basic commands like sit, (lay)down, and target. She likes people and has lots of energy, and she loves belly rubs! She has done extremely well with the children in her current home - ages 5 and 11 - and they apparently deeply love Serena. I would assume that Serena is a natural alpha-type female. That would likely make her a good guardian for her person(s). According to her current owner, she is extremely loving with people, is smart, and has a great personality.

The potential homes do need to know about the recent issues Serena has had with other dogs in her home, which is why she has to be rehomed relatively quickly. Serena, as an alpha, developed a serious conflict with another dog in the home. Serena needs a home that will allow her to be high energy, since she has it, and it sounds like she still has a puppy in her. One animal behavioralist does not believe Serena is automatically aggressive toward other dogs, and thought the problems may be the personalities of the particular dogs involved. As noted, Serena gets along with the human members of her current household well.

Given my own experience with dogs, Serena likely would need either a home without other dogs/pets, or owners who are pretty skilled and patient enough to integrate her into their existing pack of comparable sized dogs (by doing such things as separating them at feeding, sleeping, and alone times until their pack roles are well defined, etc.). An alpha female can often do well also with a single neutered male, if they are properly integrated. Serena might benefit from some socialization efforts, as well. Given her larger size, longer legs, and higher energy, Serena would be an excellent companion to a family wanting a dog who is affectionate and likes to snuggle. A single female owner, particularly a runner, might particularly like this dog since Serena would be a good guardian for her.

Part of dog ownership is finding a good home that fits each dog, and Serena sounds like she is still looking for that perfect fit for her forever home. Our dog "Ginger" was like that - she is an AWESOME dog, and there were concerns that Ginger would not integrate in with other dogs. However, my parents who are VERY skilled with dogs have successfully put Ginger in with their other 3 dogs, for 18 months now, and of course Ginger is the alpha and their roles are now defined. While there is no guaranty that Serena can be similarly integrated with other dogs, a family skilled with dogs might still consider visiting her and see what they think. Consider the tips for helping with that process if you have other dogs (Edit - These tips have now been moved to a new post on August 30, 2010).

Please feel free to forward this link to those that might want to adopt Serena from her owners. Any inquiries can be directed to her owner, Melissa, at (512) 289-1255.

As previously noted on August 13th, Serena shows a great ability to be integrated into a home with other dogs, and she is doing well in such a home for several weeks. While Serena is staying with the dog trainer, she is living among his personal "pack" of dogs. That pack contains dogs of both sexes and varying sizes and breeds (pit bulls, greyhound, whippet, chihuahua, hound, lab, and others). Serena has been there about a week and has had no problems, having integrated beautifully into the group. This is great to see, but she only has three more weeks before she has to leave; time is growing short for her to find her new home!

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