This cutie is Widget. She is a four-year-old Yorkshire Terrier/Shih Tzu cross, weighing in at approximately 15lbs and she has the most beautiful coat, with the typical Yorkie tan and various shades of grey colouring. She is definitely more Shih Tzu in the body, with a broader chest and slightly shorter legs, but she looks very terrier in her face…she turns heads everywhere she goes with people stopping us to ask ‘what breed is she?’ quite often. She might be on the smaller side, but she is a tough little dog, definitely not a princess and she is up for exploring and adventure.

Widget was a breeding female in a puppy mill and had actually just finished with a litter when she came to us as she was still producing milk. As you can imagine, she was very confused, scared and anxious. She really lacked exposure to the world outside of the barn she was in. She knew nothing of collars and leashes, walks, going to the bathroom outside, car rides, eating out of a bowl, toys, treats, etc…but she was curious, and that has served her very well! She is really beginning to understand how awesome life can be!

One thing to know about Widget right off the bat is that I often describe her as more ‘cat like’ in her personality. She is sweet and curious, but independent and not needy. If you are looking for a velcro dog, one that will be on your lap cuddling all the time, well that just isn’t Widget. She is beginning to seek out affection more and more, but as of right now, she is happy to be in the same room with you, to go for a walk, go for a care ride to explore a new location, but she isn’t going to be showering you with kisses for awhile and may not ever be that girl. She loves to get up on the couch and watch Netflix but is more apt to lay on the other end of it or snuggle up to one of the other dogs in her foster home. She is very quiet, the only time she has ever made a sound was when I would leave the room or house and she would howl…she wants you near, she does actually like you and comes over for scratches regularly, she just won’t to be hanging all over you or will like for you to be hanging all over her. She is very easy to live with, is a ‘no muss, no fuss’ kind of girl. If you think that is the companionship you are looking for, keep reading as she has so much to offer!

In the house, Widget has only had two accidents, and both were me trying to figure her out and her not knowing how to tell you she needs to go outside. She still is learning how to come let you know she has to go, but she knows going outside is the right thing to do and she will pace quickly, sniffing the ground trying to indicate that it is time. She loves a routine and once one was established with her in her foster home, her behaviour and bathroom schedule became very predictable. She is crate trained and has not had an accident in her crate, except for one time when she had gastro issues adjusting to a quality food…and that was absolutely not her fault, she just wasn’t feeling well. In the morning, I open the crate door and she bee lines it through the house to the back door…in fact she does this every single time you let her out of her crate…she is a creature of habit and catches on to the rhythm of her home quickly.

Although Widget is a sweet girl, she is not a dog that likes being grabbed at or picked up. In the puppy mill, those things have a tendency to not end well for the dogs and Widget has not forgotten that. Although she is getting way better with this, it is for this reason that she will not be suitable for a home with young children. She will do best in a calm, adult only home or one with older teens that can understand what this feels like for her and how they can work with her to gain her trust. She has shown no aggression, but she will try to run and hide to avoid the situation and ending up being cornered…when you do get a hold of her, her body becomes stiff as a board, worried about what comes next. That being said, she did well at the vet and has now become more comfortable with brushing and affection, this is just something her new home needs to understand is going to take time, and she will likely revert back a little when she moves in with them until she begins to understand they can be trusted and mean her no harm. Once she is on leash, she is much more apt to go along with you, to meet new people. She will often take treats from people now, but she is more likely to hang back and observe strangers for a while. Once she realizes they are ok, she becomes more curios and will go check them out…but she is definitely not that goofy Retriever that just wants love from everyone…remember how I said she is more cat like? Case in point…

Widget does however, LOVE other social dogs. She can be intimidated by lots of vocalizing, some bigger dogs and rough play…but she lives with a few other small, social, playful dogs and she absolutely adores them…this is when she REALLY comes alive. Widget also learns to adjust to knew situations and expectations by watching the other dogs and her ideal home will have another small, well behaved dog to be her buddy. It’s hard to picture her any other way, as they really do bring such joy to her heart and sparkle to her eyes. In fact as I write this, she is curled up in a dog pile of three in a blanket on the couch, happy as can be.

Toys are still a mystery to Widget, but she has begun to show more interest as the dogs engage in fetch or tug, and as soon as someone drops a toy, she is right over there to sniff it and lick it…I suspect it won’t be long before she finally realizes how much fun they can be! She has however, really taken to walks and exploring green spaces. When she gets nervous, she will pace in a circle and often does that for a minute in a new location but keep her walking and settles right into how much it is to see the world out there. Having a dog buddy with her on a walk helps her to be more confident and brave, another reason why that dog buddy in her new home will be so good for her. She cannot however be trusted off leash, as her response when something scares her is to run in the opposite direction…if this happens off leash or in an unsecure yard, it will be very difficult to get her back. For this reason, she gets to explore on a 30’ leash when out on nature walks…but truth be told, she doesn’t usually wander too far from you. She is not on leash in the backyard as the one in her foster home is secure and she has been very good with coming when called to go into the house. In the beginning though, she was on leash even in the backyard to help her learn to go inside when asked to as she had no understanding of this concept. She hasn’t shown tremendous prey drive, but being a terrier, it is there and she will occasionally chase after small animals, so living with one is likely not a great idea. She does however seem to show much respect for the friendly cats in the neighbourhood so could likely live with a cat that will enjoy having a dog around and won’t torment her.

Widget is a healthy girl with no major health issues or dietary needs. She does have some luxating patella in her one back knee, but it is not serious and does not require treatment. As she gains more strength through exercise, that knee acts up less and less. She had a dentistry when she came as her teeth were not pretty and a few were already missing. She required no further teeth to be pulled, she just really needed a cleaning badly and now that she is on a top-quality kibble with plenty of chewing opportunities (which she LOVES to do), her teeth should stay in great shape for a long time to come.

This girl really is such a sweet, easy dog to live with. She is not demanding, she is quiet almost all the time. She loves to walk and explore her yard, she loves hanging out on the couch. She wants to be around you and try new things but doesn’t require your undivided attention all day long. She would really be such a wonderful addition to a home where her people are around more than not, and where she could have another dog as her best friend. All she asks is for a little patience and understanding, as she learns that you mean only good things for her. She didn’t have an easy go of things before she came into rescue, but she is curious about the good life and really appreciates what it’s all about. With some focused attention, obedience training and further confidence building, she’s just going to keep getting better and better…think you want to be her partner in crime and help her experience a life of adventure and joy? We’d love to hear from you if so!