Along came Sookie

The phone conversation went something like this …

Suze: “So there’s this pocket Pittie with mange and a little Shepherd mix that is good with cats. What do you think?”


Charlie: “I thought you were going to the shelter to take pictures.”

Suze: “I was. I am. But the Center is over flowing and someone needs to come home with me tonight.”

Sookie’s bio said she was housetrained and good with cats – pretty much a no-brainer for Charlie. She was sitting at the front of the kennel with a pitiful look on her hangdog face. I stepped inside to greet her and was captivated by the timid little girl as she flicked my hand with her soft tongue.

Sookie (ID: 74447)

Yep, she needed to come home with me so we could work on building up her confidence, and I have the best mentor for this: Ivy Ohana at

I had J make a copy of Sookie’s surrender form (the sheet where the former owner answers questions to give staff and potential adopters an idea of personality and any special needs) to take with me so that I could expand on her extensive WCAC Web bio …

My name is Sookie and I am a 2 year old spayed female shepherd mix. My previous family could not longer care for me but left lots of good information so I could find a great new home. According to my previous family I am mostly HOUSETRAINED, good with KIDS, good with other DOGS, and even good with CATS. My previous family also said I have been clicker trained (please ask staff if you’re not sure what that means). I Know “SIT” and I take treats very nicely. My previous family said that I can be a little shy in new situations so a calm low key household would probably be best for me. I seem like a very sweet girl with a gentle soul. Sine I’m already spayed my adoption fee is only $45 and I can go home with you today!

Highlighting the word “housetrained” worked on me ‘cause I completely missed the word “almost”, which is why I cocked my head like a dog hearing an unfamiliar sound when I read her sheet and it said that Sookie had spent most of her time outside. Apparently she spent her days outside and came in when the family got home at night. I’m thinking she had a fenced in yard to run in, as I was having absolutely no luck getting her to go the bathroom on walks or while on the lead off the front porch.  Unfortunately she waited until we left the house (her previous family said she was afraid of crates so we let her have the run of most of the house) and relieved herself in the dining room. Fortunately we had just recently gotten rid of the last of the carpeting in the house, replacing it with hardwood flooring.

Check boxes indicated she was “very active” and a “couch potato” – more head cocking by foster mamma. The “likes to chase small animals” box was also checked – apparently she lived with lions and tigers in her previous life.

I was excited to see that she had been “clicker trained” because I’ve started assisting a fabulous new trainer, Robin Barrows, at Teamworks Dog Training. I decided to go ahead and “charge the clicker” since that was everyone’s homework for class on Saturday. I got her food and the clicker. She sat politely in front of me. I clicked – she about jumped out of her skin. I fed her a piece of food. I clicked – she jumped again. We did this for a dozen or so bites of food. She did eventually not jump as much.

She does know “sit” and is very good about doing it for treats and the like. She is extremely skittish and jumps at strange noises. After three days with us she is getting less so – she just needed to gain trust in her new surroundings.

Tic Tac and she are working out their relationship – working on it might be a better way to put it, but they’re getting there. Tic Tac keeps “attacking” Sookie and has even started biting her ears. Sookie finally had enough this afternoon and snapped at him. I think Tic Tac has gained just a touch of respect for Sookie’s personal space.

Or not …

If this sweet girl sounds like she would fit in your family, click here and send me an email ( We’ll arrange a meet and greet date.

1 thought on “Along came Sookie

  1. I tweaked this post as I was reminded today that making assumptions makes me an ass. You never know the journey that brought a pet to the shelter, nor can you know what’s going on with them after just a short time in their new surroundings – that would be the second set of new surroundings within just a couple of days.

    In trying to be funny I made some glib comments that I shouldn’t have. Check back soon as I’ll have a new post about Sookie’s emerging personality as she been with us for a week now.

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