Saturday, May 28th, 2011:
Well, I found my puppy today --- her name's Hannah (formerly Mina), and she's from Taiwan!
What happened was, I went to the Silicon Valley Humane Society this morning, on the off-chance I might find a dog today. The Humane Society said that their fostered dogs would be at the facility today from 12-2, and also that a local rescue group would also be bringing some of their dogs. I really didn't think anything would happen today, but it did, and I'm really happy.
As soon as I saw her, I fell in love with her. The rescue group, the NorCal Rescue Organization, works along with a Taiwan Animal Rescue group, and brings dogs who had been abandoned in Taiwan here to America. Both seem to be very caring organizations and are very thorough and painstaking in making sure their dogs go to good, caring homes. I had to fill out a three-page application form, but as soon as she read my responses to the questions, the rescue group worker approved my application.
Hannah is what they call a "Formosan Terrier," which they say are the majority of the dogs they find as strays in Taiwan. She comes very well cared-for, microchipped, spayed, and has already gotten a whole array of puppy vaccines and shots. She's a curious girl, bright, and very responsive. She already comes when I call her, and they say she already is house-trained. She had never used a doggy-door before, but when I showed it to her just a few minutes ago, she seemed to understand what it was for (though I think she's not yet used to the swinging flapping of the door yet).
Here is a short video I made, just after bringing her home:
Now it's time to play with her.....
A quick photo:
Sunday, May 29th, 2011:
Lots of new discoveries today....
Formosan Mountain Dog:
First off, this morning I did a web search for "Formosan Terriers" and couldn't find that particular term anywhere. But what I did find were lots of references to a "Formosan Mountain Dog" or just plain "Formosan" dog. From the many descriptions and photos, it seems that this must be what Hannah is! It seems it's the most common breed in Taiwan and is often termed Taiwan's national dog. Here are a couple of descriptive sites: Sarah's Dogs and Wikipedia.
I am discovering that Hannah is a really smart puppy (of course, whose dog owner probably doesn't claim this?). For example, in less than a day, she has learned to use the dog door! She had already been house-trained, but had never seen a dog door before. So, when I brought her home yesterday, every time we needed to go in the back yard, I wouldn't let her go out with me through the French doors; I would try to make her go through the dog door. Now, the dog door I have is a large size door, and its slightly thick rubber flap is a bit heavy and has magnetic catches on the bottom — a bit scary for a little puppy. Because of this, I would hold the flap up for her as she went through the opening, and I would let it drag across her back as she went through, so she could get the feel of it. All day yesterday and this morning I had to do that; Hannah was still a bit scared to push through it herself. But around noon today, as I was in my computer room typing, all of a sudden I heard a loud "flap!" I got up to investigate, and, sure enough, Hannah had gone out the door herself for the first time! She went out to poop and then chose to relax in the sun. She has gone in and out on her own a few times today; I am really surprised that she has learned this so quickly!
Today I took her out on a walk in the early morning and late afternoon. She's a good walker, too! (I'm trying to apply Cesar Millan's principles here!) She (aside from her natural puppy exuberance) doesn't pull ahead on the leash and is seeming to get the idea of walking alongside me. She doesn't get excited when dogs bark as we pass. I'm also trying to teach her to stop and sit (and not forge across the street) as we come to a curb.
Hannah and Maggie:
Maggie (my cat) has been taking her time getting to know Hannah. When I first brought Hannah home, I kept her in the travel crate and set it in the living room. I called Maggie over, and she very slowly, warily approached the crate, stopping at around three feet from the crate. I could tell Maggie was very curious, but wasn't yet willing to come face-to-face with Hannah.
This morning, I was working on my computer and Maggie was sitting on the computer desk. Hannah came into the room, so I closed the computer room door, to see what the two would do. Maggie just sat there looking down at Hannah, who was lying (falling asleep) on the floor at my feet.
Hannah's been really mellow all along, with Maggie looking at her; she hasn't barked once at her, and I think that's making Maggie a bit less scared of her. I can tell that Hannah is curious, too, about Maggie, but she seems to know that she shouldn't be the one to make the first move. Maggie still hasn't sniffed Hannah yet, but I'm sure it will eventually happen. Maggie hasn't hissed or anything, either, at Hannah --- she's just being cautious and curious.....
Hannah seems to handle being alone well. I have left her in her crate for an hour or so for short errands, and she doesn't seem to have any problem with it. She seems to like her crate, and, more often than not, falls promptly asleep when she's put into the crate. I have placed the crate upstairs, next to my bed, and I've found she makes trips on her own up the stairs to go to her crate, even without me telling her to. It's her refuge, I guess.
She also seems to like going outside in the back on her own, now that she is not afraid of the dog door. I've seen her a few times out there, just lazing in the sun, on the deck or on the lawn. So, it seems, she's quite adaptable; she loves the attention and companionship I give her, yet she also can be okay on her own.
At the moment, she seems almost too good to be true!!!
A Quick Movie (taken with my digital camera, so not the best quality...):