fosterdogs, Hadley, Lilliana's puppies, oph, puppies, Uncategorized

Hadley 2.0: the evolution of a frightened foster dog

DSC_1764So, everything I read said we should wait for Hadley to come out of her crate on her own. And I get that. She is insecure and needs to know she has a safe place to go to, but here’s the thing – some of us need to be pushed from the nest.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of change. I like to have my little routine in my little world. Things like software updates, new technology, attending public events, even parties make me anxious. There’s no avoiding most of them, so I plunge ahead, stuffing my worries and nerves aside. And you know what? Almost always it goes well. And then I’m happily chatting with new people or marveling at how much easier my work is with this new whiz-bang system. I wasn’t going to venture out of my crate on my own, but once you force me – hey, this is pretty great!

I think Hadley and I are kindred spirits on this one.

Three days ago, I let her out of her crate in the morning and then I closed it behind her. At first, she seemed worried. She clamored up on her couch cushion cave and hunkered down. But now it’s been three days and she is boldly trotting through the kitchen, snagging a bag of cookies abandoned by some kid, and slinking back to the couch, hoping we don’t notice. Nick follows her out and retrieves the cookies and a moment later she is back, sniffing around the backpacks.

I had to shut Gracie’s crate also because Hadley would only take up residence there, so Gracie claimed the Frank bed. The first time Hadley attempted to join her there, Gracie snarled and Hadley scooted away, but an hour later, Hadley boldly claimed her portion of the bed and Gracie backed down.


Taking Hadley out this morning, she fearlessly approached one of the cats and was game to chase it if it weren’t for that silly leash. Next she grabbed a stick and carried it around with her as we toured the yard.

Who is this dog?

The puppies have also been key to Hadley’s recent blossoming. She LOVES the puppies. As Looney Tunes Abominable Snow Rabbit would say, she’d like to hug them and love them and name them George. To keep the puppies safe from Hadley’s overly enthusiastic affection, we take the same approach we did when an older sibling wanted to hold the newest baby we brought home. We get her comfortable on the couch and then we hand her the swaddled infant, or in this case the wiggling bundle of happy. Then we supervise the interaction.


For their part, the puppies LOVE Hadley, climbing over and under her, lounging on top of her, chewing her tail, and giving her all manner of kisses. We have to keep all the action up on the couch and supervised because Hadley can get overly excited and forget her size, plus Gracie is pretty much the neighborhood bully who trots by, snarling mean threats at them.

Sneezewort REALLY loves Hadley
Foxglove and Pigweed playing tag overtop Hadley
Snap Dragon and Foxglove doubleteaming Hadley


Pigweed gets a little too wild and is subjected to the big dog smack down

It’s so awesome to see Hadley’s fun side, it makes up for the walks where I have to carry her back because she is overcome with what can only be described as a panic attack and she flattens herself against the ground and refuses to move. Fear still rules her days, but hopefully when forced to face a few of her fears, she’s learning that her fear is pretty unfounded and once more, there’s treats out there in the big bad world, plus gentle touches, cats to chase, puppies to wrestle, and ear buds to munch.

The puppies have all now been claimed by adopters, so there’s no pressure to advertise their cuteness, still I can’t resist and regularly toss out the better pics on Facebook and twitter. They have a growing number of fans all over the world

Foxglove – big handsome boy
Pigweed – can’t take a bad picture of this gorgeous pup
Begonia and Sneezewort
Everybody’s sleeping but Snap Dragon – he’ll make the best watch dog.
My favorite sight of all!

3 thoughts on “Hadley 2.0: the evolution of a frightened foster dog”

  1. I am so glad Hadley is finally starting to enjoy life a little. All the puppies are just sooooo cute! It will be lonely for you and Hadley when they are gone. Hopefully they will be there long enough for Hadley to come further out of her shell. Hope she does not revert back when they are gone.


    1. She is remarkable with the puppies. And she’s doing pretty well with the kids who have been visiting during the holidays. She’s not eager to meet them, but she’s not hiding in her crate either (I’ve left it open now for the few days since there’s so much chaos in the house, but she isn’t going in very often!).


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