Likes: Knowing that she will always have a loving home to call her own.
Pet-Peeves: Anytime the dogs go for a walk and she has to stay home.
Favorite Toy: She loves to play fetch with Phantom, so probably whatever toy is flying through the air.
Favorite Food: Flat loves food period. It doesn't matter what type it is.
Favorite Walk: All over the goat pen, especially if it has rained a lot and the woods are flooded.
Best Tricks: She walks right behind my left leg and always listens when I call her to come back after she has run off to play.
Arrival Story: Flat's mom (Jarvinia, full blooded german shepherd had been tossed out probably when her owners discovered she was pregnant) and had gotten herself into some trouble with the locals. Both of them had almost starved to death and Jarvinia was stealing some dog food when a man snuck up on her. She growled and snarled because he was blocking the way out of the little shed and once she had a chance she ran off. The man tried to shoot her, but very luckily missed.
Long story short I heard about all the commotion and went to see Flat and Jarvinia. I was feeding Jarvinia out of my hand immediately. It took a while, but eventually I was able to take control of her and my dad put a big crate near her and of course she got scared. I had to wrestle her to the ground and in the process Jarvinia put my arm in her mouth, but she never bit down. We picked her up and tossed her in the crate. She now lives with a very loving family in Acworth, GA and has left behind all her fear issues and uncertainties.
Flat, of course, being feral and seeing her mom man-handled was terrified. I couldn't get anywhere near her. We tried various tactics, but eventually had to get a trap that was normally used for foxes or raccoons, but this time was the safe haven for little feral Flat. I brought her home and toted her, still inside the trap, into the kitchen and dumped her out onto the floor. She landed sprawled out flat on the floor. Which is where she got the name Flat. Ever since she was caught she never acted unfriendly or feral again. I tried to find her a new home, but it soon became clear that Flat belonged here with me. Every walk we take Flat walks right behind my left leg and only runs off to play with the other dogs if I tell her too.
Bio: Flat is just great. I really can't say enough good things about her. She always makes me feel better if I'm in a bad mood. For such a big girl she does tend to be a big cuddler. She is an amazing dog to have gone from being a feral puppy to a best friend in such a short time. I've done a lot of rescue work, but Flat is by far the rescue girl I am most proud of.
Forums Motto: I Help Rehabilitate Adoptable Dogs!
Flat not only is a great dog, but she is also very good at helping me with dogs that are uncomfortable coming into my foster home. She used to stay outside and was kind of an introduction for the new pups, but now that she's gotten older she lives inside and sets a great example for the foster pups when they begin house training. She is also my go to dog when I am having difficulties leash training the new guys. She just has a way of getting them to walk with her even though they are afraid or nervous about the leash. I am so proud of her and I always let her know that.
Years ago, when I was only about one, there was this dog here named Bonnie Bunnie. Mom came outside and told her that she was going to learn to walk on a leash. Mom let her out of the pen and they walked to a clear area where they had lots of room to work. Mom got the leash on her and started walking, but Bonnie didn't. Instead she jumped in the air and started screaming. Mom got her calmed down and tried again. Bonnie started biting the leash like a wild animal that was being killed. Mom got her calmed down again. She tried calling her to her, but that didn't work because Bonnie again got scared and attacked the leash. This happened over and over until mom finally gave up and let Bonnie off the leash. Mom sat on the ground sweating next to the worn out Bonnie Bunnie. Once they were both up to it, they walked back to the pen and Bonnie came in the gate.
The next day mom came out and said, 'I have an idea.' She brought two leashes and let both Bonnie Bunnie and me out. We got to the clear area and she put me on the leash and we walked around a little. Then, she leashed up Bonnie Bunnie and started walking. Bonnie pulled back on the leash for a second and then walked up next to me and we just kept walking. We took about a fifteen minute walk and then mom took my leash off. I kept walking behind her and next to Bonnie Bunnie. After a while mom took her out on the dirt road, where I couldn't go and Bonnie Bunnie just kept walking exactly as she was supposed to.
That was the day I became mom's go to dog for leash training.
I've rescued a lot of dogs over the years, but Flat is the one I am most proud of.
My uncle told me about a starving German Shepherd that had shown up in his back yard. She had a puppy with her and they were both thin enough to put your hands around their waists. I went over to take a look at them and after a little encouragement the momma dog was eating right out of my hand. She was scared, but she was trusting enough and hungry enough to spend a little time with me and let me touch her head while she ate. The puppy just hid and peeked out at me until I left. I don't think she had ever had any human contact.
After a while my uncle's neighbor came over and was ranting and raving about how bad this dog was and that it tried to bite him and he had tried to shoot her and would try again. During the ensuing argument we learned that the momma dog had sneaked into his shed and was eating his dog food. He cornered her and that was when she barked and growled at him. He tried to shoot her, but luckily for the sweet girl he had missed and she was able to get away and hide.
It took quite a bit of time, a few weeks at least, but after spending time with her everyday I finally brought a crate over with me with the intention of getting her moved to my home. I took hold of the collar I had put on her and walked her to the crate and, of course, she got nervous and tried to get away. I didn't let her. We tussled a bit and she wound up laying on the ground while my dad brought the crate close so we could get her inside of it. She reached up and put her teeth gently around my arm and gave me this look that said, 'I'm going to trust you.' We picked her up and put her in the crate and took her home with us that day. The next day I already had home lined up for her. It was a great day when she met her family for the first time and she is happy and comfortable with them to this day.
The puppy had gotten to the point that I could rub her back while she ate, but after she saw me tussle with her mom and then take her away she didn't want anything to do with me. I kept bringing her food and talking to her, but it soon became apparent that I was not making any progress. I talked to some hunters and they loaned me a large trap that they usually caught raccoons or foxes with. I watched the puppy get halfway into the trap and then run like the wind before the door could shut on her. After a few times of this I decided I needed better bait. A whole bag of cheetos did the trick and that afternoon I was taking a beautiful puppy home with me.
I toted her into the kitchen, still in the trap, and unceremoniously dumped her out in the floor. She slide out spread eagle flat on the floor. That was when she got the name Flat. Flat never acted scared of me ever again after that day. I put her up for adoption and hoped to find her a home. Everyday when we went for walks Flat would walk right behind my left leg and the only time she would leave my side was if I told her to go play with the other dogs. After a while I guess that sort of grew on me and I decided to keep her. She had clearly made the decision that she wanted to stay.
Flat is five years old now and she still walks right behind my left leg when we take all the foster dogs on walks. She is the most amazing trainer too. If I am ever struggling to leash train one of the new guys, she is always ready to help out. No matter how scared they are Flat will come and walk next to them and calm them down and all of a sudden they will just start to walk like they have been walking on a leash all of their lives. She is such a special girl and she keeps me motivated to keep helping other dogs in need.