This beautiful, sweet girl is Azilda; named after a favourite white haired old auntie who was very shaky. Azilda came to us from a life of being a breeding dog in a large-scale breeding for profit facility.  She had no exposure to the world outside of the kennel, had no socialization to people other than the kennel owners and experienced nothing in her life but an overcrowded, loud, barn. Azilda weighs 15 lbs and is a 9-year-old Bichon Frise who just had her last litter of puppies. When none of her puppies survived, she was discarded. She arrived in my care a terrified, dirty, and trembling angel. Her life instantly changed for the better the moment that she came into foster care.

Azilda’s triumphs are subtle and slow in coming. She is very wary of people but curious. She likes to observe from the safety of her dog bed or crate. She likes to keep an eye on the people around her and makes great eye contact. She will accept gentle pets and scratches behind the ear while she is safely in her bed. If you pick her up and put her on your lap, she calmly lays there and accepts the pets and scratches. She will approach to accept a treat; she loves liver treats! Her leash skills are non-existent at this point. She is too timid yet to walk on leash. She has let me brush her, but since she was shaved down to the skin, there isn’t much hair yet to brush, but it is coming in nicely.

She likes to follow me but keeps her distance. When she is trying to come back into the house, she doesn’t like you to make eye contact. She would rather “sneak” past your turned back. I think that she is afraid of being caught by you. When we go outside, I usually lead the dogs out to the grass. She needs a home with direct access to a secure fenced in yard to do her business.  The fencing can’t have any gaps or holes. Because she is a fearful dog, if she were to sneak out a hole in the fence she would be gone and would be lost as she has no sense of the world outside her yard and on leash with her people.  She hasn’t figured out how to ask to go outside, but she does get up from her bed suddenly and starts pacing a little bit. This is a good indication that it is time to take her outside.

During the day she will lay in her dog bed or crate (door open), keeping an eye on all the household activity. We feed her in her crate to keep my other dogs away from her food. She is a good eater, she eats quickly and enthusiastically. Azilda’s mouth was in desperate need or dental care and she needed to have 20 teeth removed, but she healed quickly and happily eats her dry kibble. She does a little bit of resource guarding with the other dogs, particularly when she is eating. Other than that, she gets along fine with my other 2 small dogs, following them around, learning the ropes. At night she sleeps in our room in her dog bed. She is happy there until morning.

We are just starting to see moments of joy and happiness in her. She has started to run back into the house to get her treat for peeing outside. Her little skip looks very happy. I have only seen her wag her tail a few times, and those few times have just melted my heart. She rewards me for coming home with a brief greeting and tail wag. She responds to her name, but generally does not come when she is called. I can entice her to approach with treats. She is untried with cats or children. I don’t think children would be a good fit, as she scares easily, and again is a flight risk so care needs to be taken around doors and gates to ensure her safety. She hasn’t had the opportunity to try stairs yet, so I’m not sure how she would do with stairs. She will need to be carried up and down if there are stairs in her home.  Azilda has no experience with toys and has yet to figure out the point of them. She has barked a couple of times, usually when I leave for work, she barks for a minute and then settles down. She isn’t very vocal.

Azilda’s ideal dream home would be a quiet home, possibly with a senior, definitely no children or visiting children. She will need patience and understanding while she is learning about her new world and new life. She isn’t very active so she would do well in a more sedate environment. Since she doesn’t come when called and runs away from us when we approach her, a secure fenced yard is a must or a ground floor apartment with direct access outside where she would always be leashed while outside. She won’t do well having to negotiate stairs, the elevator or a busy apartment building lobby.  She would certainly benefit from obedience training. She needs someone who will treat her like the queen that she is and will coax her to shine and become more confident. She is so sweet and just needs someone who will be patient with her while she slowly blossoms.