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Ambush 1 Year Update

I was so sad to see the recent article about the very shy dog that came back to CDHS. It would be really great if I could share our story. I know every dog is different and I am so thankful we have a much different outcome with our adoption.

January 5th is one year since we adopted Ambush. She is the second very shy and timid dog we adopted. If I could say one thing to anyone adopting a shy, withdrawn pup, I would say, “Patience, patience, and more patience.” She has been a tough case, but it has been truly amazing to be on the journey with her.

She was straight legged, stiff, and vibrated with shakes when we first met her. I saw a little spark of playfulness when one of the fantastic CDHS staff got down on her hands and knees across the room from Ambush. Her tail came up for a just a bit. I also learned from watching that staff person and I took over the ‘treat lady’ role when Ambush came home. It’s was my little secret with her and now I am her favorite adopted family member!

I have worked hard on earning her trust. At first she could only sit on the opposite end of the couch, facing away from everybody. We had to carry her outside and I even brought the water dish to her because I was afraid she wasn’t getting any those first few days.

It has taken Ambush much longer to feel safe with us than the other adopted dog. We heaped praise on her and celebrated every first, from the wag of her tail to the first kiss on my nose and the first time she found her funny little bark. She is absolutely adorable.

I think for Ambush, the power of the pack has helped her tremendously. She came to a home with 3 other dogs. She has been so inquisitive and smart from the first day. She constantly watches them and learns much from them. She learned to play gentle with the smaller dogs and is just a hoot to watch!

Now Ambush trusts me enough to sit and stay when I ask her to so I can pick her up. When I am home, she is actually very demanding with all of us. She will bark and kick her back feet when she wants a treat or to play – she literally hops and bounces through the house. She can be flat out obnoxious if someone sits on the couch with food!

After a year she is finally starting to be playful and happy even when I am not home. She is even curious enough to go and sniff the hands of visitors too. Ambush fits perfectly in our little pack. She might never do well in unfamiliar settings, but that’s OK. She is so amazingly brave to let herself trust us. She gets lots of love, tons of praise, and more patience than I knew I had.

I can’t thank you enough for giving pets the chance to be loved and have a safe, happy life. I hardly recognize that scared little dog in the picture we met a year ago. The other picture is Ambush in my face wanting my cheese slice. She is so not afraid when anyone has food!