WE HAVE A NEW DOG!
Following the death of our beloved Tipper, my husband and I immediately agreed we wanted another dog. Actually, we have had dogs for almost 40 years. Our first dog, a sweet white dog with black eyes and ears (who our son appropriately named Peek-a-boo) was a mixed breed. No idea what his lineage was. Our second dog was a short-lived failed attempt--we adopted a Welsh terrier from the local humane society, only to have the dog run away every time we opened the front door. Back to the humane society he went.
Then we had two English setters (bench type, not field) in succession. Shannon was 7 years old when we got her, and she lived 6 more years. We loved the placidness of the setters, so we rescued a year old setter named Wanda. She was the dog preceding Tipper. English setters are a wonderful breed, especially if you want a laid-back calm gentle dog.
You know the story of Tipper, and how she came to us. Her death left us bereft, stunned, and deeply saddened. And, it leads to the next chapter in our lives with dogs.
We don't know her whole story, but we do know some of it. I began looking at local dog rescue websites. I usually selected "border collie" or "Australian shepherd" as the breed. I also looked at local humane society listings. Most of the latter had only pit bulls. I know these dogs can be sweet, but I am cautious when the dogs have already been surrendered at least once. I don't know what may have happened to them in their formative puppy months. Anyway, I came upon this dog.
She wasn't named Ziva when we got her. Her name was a frou-frou wimpy name. When we got her home, we could tell she was going to be a character. A sassy, black-haired lively character. So, Ziva popped into my mind (NCIS fans, anyone?) and Ziva she is. (Besides, Ziva means "Illustrious Splendor" in Hebrew--sounds like an apt named for a dog to begin her new life.)
The dog rescue group we got her from had transported her and her litter mates from somewhere in Kentucky. Her mother was a golden retriever, who was allowed to run loose, unspayed. Not surprisingly, she got pregnant, apparently by at least two different fathers. The puppies in litter are too dissimilar. Ziva's father may have been an Australian shepherd or a border collie.
The woman who owned the golden retriever allowed the puppies to run in a pack for almost a year, then called local dog authorities in Kentucky complaining of a wild pack of dogs. Ahem. Of course, she knew the truth was different, and finally owned up that in fact these puppies were from her dog. They landed in a kill shelter, where our local dog rescue group found them and transported them to Pennsylvania.
The rescue people were thrilled that we wanted her. They told us that frequently black dogs are the first to be killed in a kill shelter. I was shocked. Here was something of which I had not ever heard--but there is apparently a known issue among dog rescue people: the black dog syndrome.
Well, Ziva is now safe with us. She has much to learn. She has not lived in a house, so stairs were a puzzlement to her. She had apparently not seen television, as she took one look at our set, and began barking. She appears to be mostly house-trained. However, she seems to want company for sleeping. Her first night with us, she entered her crate just fine, but after about 15 minutes began whining louder and louder, until she finally burst into yipping barks. After two tries to calm her down, I gave in and slept in the same room with her.
I think we would to well to enroll her in obedience school, and maybe find some other outlet for her high energy.
OK--resume your blog reading. . .
Photos of Ziva come from the dog rescue site.