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July 19th 2010 9:01 pm
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Yeah for Sparks. I received word that Sparks was adopted and is working out great. I'll upload the picture of Sparks with his new forever family, he looks really happy there. They said he's doing great there, getting along good with their other dogs, but he's still tearing up the garden looking for critters. Hopefully I'm kept updated on Spark's progress.



March 16th 2010 7:41 pm
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Well, Sparks has gone through another foster family. He was removed by the rescue director who is going to foster and train him herself. He wasn't making progress and was actually getting worst with the foster mom who took him from me. I warned her that she has to make sure she maintains pack leader status with him. From my emails with her I believe she gave him too much leeway. The director also had him debarked on Monday. She said he's doing well after the surgery. That will help. Of all the Shelties I've had and have been in contact with, Sparks had the loudest, most piercing bark of them all. His bark just wore me out when I tried training him. In retrospect, I guess I should have worn earplugs during these training sessions. Now we'll see if the director is as good as she says she is with correcting behavor problems.


update from Dogwood SR

October 28th 2009 2:07 am
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Here's Sparks writeup on

"Hi! My name is Sparks (a k a Sparky or Sparkles) I'm about 3 years old and a big healthy boy. Check out my photos; aren't I cute?

My foster Mom says that I'm just a big mush who loves to cuddle and have my belly (& all other parts) rubbed. I love to give big kisses and to play fetch with just about anything! I do love to play with (& eat) tennis balls, have a good appetite, but don't ever steal any food from my step-brother's bowl.

I do have a tendency to bark at startling noises, mostly in the kitchen (microwave, garbage disposal) and love to converse with the standard poodle that lives behind us frequently. I also like to play hide-and-seek in the bushes, when my Mom let's us play in her fenced-in yard.

I'm good with other dogs (love to play with my sheltie playmate) and kids, walk well on a leash and am housebroken. I'm not crate trained at this time, as I like to sleep w/ my Mom (or nearby) and my activities are not restricted.

Why don't you come and see me and I promise to steal your heart!"

I emailed his foster Mom and it appears Sparks still has the same quirks. The rescue director told me that his problems would be an easy fix, Ha! Looks like he is more of a challenge then they thought. His foster Mom even offered to bring him back to me. I wish I could, but I don't have the time or experience to fix his quirks. I hope they can make some progress with him so that he isn't brought back to rescue again by a family that can't handle him. If not for these few quirks, Sparks would be such an excellent dog.


See ya big guy

September 2nd 2009 5:21 am
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On Monday I transported Sparks to a new foster home for Dogwood Sheltie Rescue. While we made progress with him I felt that we were reaching the end of our ability to eliminate some of his issues. I was afraid of him going to yet another forever home only to be turned back in again. The director of Dogwood is an experienced dog behaviorist and believes that she can easily fix his problems. He is a good dog, friendly, playful, loveable, and gentle, but he's also somewhat dominate, rambunctious, and certain triggers cause him to be rather vocal.

On his last night with us I believe I discovered his one trigger that caused him to come back to us. The family who first adopted him said he barked all night, he never did that with us. Now I think I know why. I believe the entire time he was with us I had the A/C on. On his last night we had the A/C off so I opened a window. He immediately started barking. Once he wouldn't stop I closed the window, he stopped. I knew that when we let him out to pee after dark that he would run barking from one side of the yard to the other and go just into the woods. I thought he was just seeing shadows or shapes, but now I think he was barking at the night time chatter of the small insects and creatures. If I'd known that sooner, we may have been able to help his first adoptive family.

Sparks is going to a nice big home with a fenced yard and a Sheltie playmate. I hear they are playing together and getting along good so far. His foster mom said she is actually giving him a two week trial. If things work out she's going to adopt him. I hope she does so he doesn't get bounced around any more. So good luck Sparks, I hope you have found your forever home. Even with the stress he caused, it was harder to give him up this time than the last time.


bad news

August 21st 2009 11:50 pm
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It appears that Sparks barking was even more of a problem with his adoptive family. He was barking a lot more than he even did for us, they are bringing him back tomorrow. Another Sheltie rescue whos director is an experienced dog behaviorist has agreed to take and work with him, but we're going to try to work with him again first. Hopefully we can get him straightened out so that he isn't such a problem for any future adoptive families.



August 9th 2009 11:53 pm
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Sparks went to his forever home on Sunday. From the looks of it, he will be well cared for and spoiled rotten. Good luck big guy, see you at the rescue picnic.


writeup I submitted to rescue

July 7th 2009 10:15 pm
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Sparks is a gentle, affectionate, 3 year old boy of 48 lbs. He is perfectly house broken and has not had one accident in the house. He plays very well inside and out. Inside, he likes to play a little tug of war with his squeaky toy. Outside, he plays fetch with tennis balls. Sparks will play nice with other dogs, but being strong willed, he may try to dominate males inside the house. He walks very well on leash with no pulling. Sparks loves attention and will often come up and put his head on your lap for some petting. While Sparks does not chase cars, he does chase small animals. This leads us to believe he will not do well with cats or maybe even small dog breeds. This also means Sparks will need a fenced yard. Sparks knows 'come', 'sit', 'give paw', and 'lay down'. We are working to improve his 'stay' and he is making progress. Sparks is a little talkative under certain circumstances and we are making progress there too. Sparks will be a wonderful dog for the owner who knows how to be the pack leader.


so far

July 1st 2009 9:32 pm
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We're still getting to know Sparks, but here's what we know so far. Basically, he's a very sweet and gentle boy. Now that he's comfortable here he is much more playful. The only problem with that is even at bedtime, he keeps trying to get Shadow to play and Shadow doesn't appreciate the aggravation. So if you have an older dog who doesn't want to play, there may be some tension until he gets the hint.

He is not the barker that we were at first led to believe. He does bark more now that he's comfortable here, but it's mostly typical Sheltie barking. He barks when the others do and when dogs on TV bark. He barks at the vacuum cleaner, and the microwave beeper.

He does not chase after cars, but will chase small animals. That makes me believe that he probably won't do well with cats.

I have not yet tried to brush him, but the groomer said he was wonderful.

He walks very well on leash for me, no pulling at all. He knows 'sit' and 'give paw', I'll have to see what else he knows.


Our foster- Sparks

July 1st 2009 4:26 am
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A few days before Maggie was suppose to go to her forever home our rescue director told me about a 50 lb Sheltie that was coming into rescue because the owner said he barked too much. She asked me if we'd take him in. I wasn't too sure about having another barker, Kasey is bad enough with all his barking. I gave her a definite, maybe.

Maggie was adopted on Fri, I then got an email from the director saying no one else has responded to her requests to foster him. So we decided to take him in. Once we talked to the owner, he didn't sound all that bad. They mostly complained that he did not like the Rot that lived next door and would bark constantly at him. He probably spent too much time tied up in the yard. His owners drove 2 hours to drop him off on Sat. They are an older couple and were not in the slightest bothered by giving him up. Perhaps they just weren't the right people to have a young Sheltie, but they did get him a complete vet check before bringing him into rescue.

Sparks was a little timid at first as is expected. Just like all my other fosters he tried to play with Shadow and of course as always, he ignored him. Outside Sparks looks more like a hound dog, nose always to the ground. I believe he didn't have much of a yard so he had a lot of exploring to do. For the first couple days, I couldn't get him to play much, but he did come to us for attention and he did sleep on the dog bed next to my bed. Boy he had one dream where he was making one heck of a racket.

Yesterday he became much more comfortable, he played fetch the tennis balls with the other boys. The first time he ran with the others and brought the ball back, I got down and patted my legs for him to come to me. At that, he picked up his speed and when he got to me he crashed right into me, the big goof. The second time I did the same thing but this time he jumped up and slammed me with his paws. After that, I stood straight up before he got to me so I wouldn't get too beat up ;-) When I did that, he just came up besides me and dropped the ball, although sometimes he'd rather play keep away. He looked like he was having a blast out there. Even at 48 lbs, he still had some good jumps to gt the ball.

After a good workout he needed water. He didn't like the water bowl I had outside and wouldn't drink from it. So I took him inside where we have a huge recirculating/filtered waterbowl. While he was drinking I threw in some ice cubes. I found out how much he loves ice cubes, he'd stick his whole snout in water in order to bob for ice cubes. He ate every single one.

Today he was groomed so I'll be adding more pictures.

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