Jazzie started as Chas, shivering in the back corner of her kennel at the shelter. A 1.5-year-old blue heeler type female, full of timid reserve, surrendered by her family because they wanted to keep her sister, but not her. I was volunteering and there on a weekly basis giving recommendations for handling and key things that would benefit the dogs that came in. I was also trying to make sure people used positive reinforcement instead of the standard ol’ training.
I met her, we connected immediately, but I was resistant. I had made a pact with myself about these dogs being for other people. The next time (almost a week later) I met her again she was less happy than she had been the first time, I needed to get her out of there, so I did. I knew that the chance that she would find somebody who could build her confidence and get rid of the baggage was pretty small, she was so smart, I couldn’t let her remain, I couldn’t resist.
I knew her regaining of confidence would be a long process. She was beyond the best socialization period (8-16 weeks) people shy, hand shy, afraid of riding in the car and lacking basic training, but she was very quick and she connected with me.
Now she’s almost 6 years old. She weighs 35 pounds, She is flexible and strong and fast, has medium brown eyes, freckles on her nose and eyelids and a speckled coat. She knows more things than any other dog I’ve ever had and shows no slowing of learning. She can go anywhere, but likes a job to do so she needn’t worry about encroaching unknown people.
She remains suspicious of strangers (which is typical of Australian Cattle Dogs). People like the way she looks, but she doesn’t like them staring at her and will bark at them if she notices prolonged looks. If you wanted to meet her the best thing would be to invite a game of fetch, no snuggles from unknowns for her. She likes riding in cars when she thinks she knows the destination will be fun, loves fast games and complains occassionally when she thinks ‘reward time’ and wasn’t, but is ever so pleased when she figures it out. She has changed my rule about no dogs on furniture and asks to be on my lap for TV movie watching. She’s a great cuddler – very comfortable.
She likes toys and games better than food, but she likes food especially chicken and beef. She works for kibble. Frisbee is her favorite game, but tugging is way up there. The snow is so deep this winter that disc fetching has been difficult (see photos of snow swimming). She also likes hikes in the woods and water swimming. She’s very competitive so whatever some other dog is doing she would like to do better.
She’s very good around horses, doesn’t trust the cat (with reason) and is good around other dogs – but won’t take any guff. She holds grudges if another dog injures her in play. She’s not the dog I could take to Aggressive Dog class and expect no reaction, she doesn’t believe in turning the other cheek, but she’s unlikely to start anything.
Jazzie has the young soul, acquisitive, impulsive, problem solving, liking attention and admiration. Very much about movement and speed. She’s disappointed if she’s not the fastest or doesn’t figure out something the quickest.