"The day that I met my furever pawrents for the first time, this cute little kitty was the only one to not be adopted at the adoption event, so he got to hang out in the corral that the puppies had been in. He was a cool kitty."
Nicknames: Miss Wiggles, Wiggy, Cutie, Sweet Thang, Sweet Cheeks, Wiggley Giggley, Big Wig
Birthday: March 1st 2004
Likes: Feeling safe, being able to trust, and knowing that I've gotten a second chance at finding furever!
Pet-Peeves: Anything scary!! When other dogs play too rough, too soon. When people don't give me enough time to get used to them.
Favorite Toy: My purple loofah!!!
Favorite Food: Cheese! But I will settle for pretty much anything!
Favorite Walk: Any park!!! Especially ones with designated walking trails!!
Best Tricks: I know how to touch a target stick with my nose, sit, down, shake, high-five, and leave-it. I just LOVE clicker training!
Arrival Story: On December 16th, 2006 (oddly enough, my birthday), Wiggles was found roaming near a rural road by an Animal Control Officer. After being caught (who knows how long that took!) and loaded into the truck, Wiggles went for a ride to the shelter. From there she was scanned for a microchip, but none was found. She had no collar or other form of ID. Wiggles was put in a kennel in the second of three buildings in the shelter, where she would wait for five days in hopes of being reunited with an owner. That didn't happen. The second building is where most of the strays are kept. The first building is where the highly adoptable dogs are displayed for potential adopters, and the third building is where the dangerous dogs are kept. If space allows, or if a dog is simply awesome, they might be lucky enough to be moved from building two to building one for a chance at adoption. When staff members walked through building two, they noticed a fuzzy tan dog wagging her tail so hard that her whole body shook back and forth. She was a shy girl when people would step into her kennel, but once she met them and decided they were a nice person, she'd do her wiggle-dance even more enthusiastically for them the next time they walked past. Several staff members talked about the tan dog and everyone seemed to agree that she was really sweet and endearing, and with time could probably warm up to potential adopters. They named her Wiggles and got her spayed on December 27th. They then moved her up to the first row of the first building. Wiggles' new kennelmate was a young brindle puppy, and they enjoyed playing with eachother in their kennel. Unfortunately for Wiggles, any potential adopter that was intrigued enough by her wiggle-dance to want to meet her up-close and personal was dismayed by her extreme shyness and fear of human hands. One by one, everyone passed up Wiggles, the dog that hid in a corner of the kennel as if saying "Oops, I was just joking!! I really don't want to meet you!". Around mid-January of '07, I met Wiggles for the first time when one of the staff members that Wiggles was smitten with got her out for a group of new volunteers. "Wiggles needs people like you all to help socialize her so that people will be more interested in adopting her. One thing you have to know about her, and dogs like her, is that she will do things only once comfortable with it. Do not force her to do something, as it will only scare her." the staff member said. As the most experienced volunteer there, I was to help the new volunteers give Wiggles a bath. I noticed how she crouched down in fear when surrounded by the well-meaning folks. When they had gathered all the bathing supplies and were ready to lead her up the ramp into the tub, they got stuck. Wiggles wouldn't budge. She tried gripping the ground with her toenails, and we didn't want to scare her by picking her up. They remembered that the staff member who had gotten Wiggles out had advised not to force her to do anything, so they handed Wiggles leash to me, shrugged their shoulders, and said "She just won't go in." I led Wiggles over to the ramp and positioned her to get ready to walk up it. The ramp was crowded by filing cabinets and boxes. Wiggles did not take the hint, so I stepped over the ramp and squeezed myself between it and the wall. Wiggles seemed more relieved that I was on the other side and calling her to the ramp and that her leash was not tight. I gently tapped the top of the ramp and said "You can do it!". Wiggles gave me a look that said "Well... if you say so..." and fluidly walked up the ramp and into the tub. She seemed to have second thoughts and want to turn around and go back out, but I was already securing her leash. The new volunteers looked at me with surprise as if I had suddenly turned into a peacock. This event was the first time that I thought "Wow, that dog could really turn into an amazing dog with a little bit of work." A month and a half later, I walked into Wiggles' kennel with the intention of putting a leash on her and taking her out to have her picture taken for Petfinder. Wiggles had other ideas. It took a good 5 minutes and a lot of communication through body language, but I finally hooked her. Once on a leash, she seemed like she would follow anyone anywhere. Another good sign. Once she hit the grass, she crouched down and flopped over. I kept my hand on her back to reassure her as someone snapped her picture. The poor thing looked very frightened. Some time later, I was talking to a staff member and somehow we got on the subject of Wiggles. She hesitated for a second and then told me that Wiggles' days were numbered. She had been on the euth list for a couple of weeks, but no one wanted to do it. Wiggles was getting zero interest from potential adopters. All they saw (if they even bothered to take a closer look) was a dog with baggage that would be too much hassle and too much time. I knew that Wiggles had some spirit in her and deserved a chance. I was not scared of how challenging it might be. The staff member warned me (knowing my "I can, and I will, make her better" attitude) that I shouldn't get my hopes up, because I probably would never be able to "cure" her. I literally ran to the front office and told the adoption counselor to make sure Wiggles was NOT euthanized. I would take her ASAP. At the time, I had four dogs in my house. 3 were mine, one was a foster that was sooo close to finding a forever home because of all his charm. I thought I would wait until he was gone to bring Wiggles home. After he did not find forever 2 weeks later, I said "What the heck" and picked up Wiggles anyway. 5 dogs in the house was a little bit crazy at times, but it worked out OK. 2 weeks later, it was back down to four, because the other foster found forever. Wiggles started her slow, and sometimes frustrating enough to make me shed copious tears, transformation from the timid dog to the social butterfly. She underwent physical change (replacing her fuzzy, thick coat with a sleek one, and returning the sparkle to her eyes, the perk to her ears, and the smile to her face) as well as mental change. She was with me for about 4 months. Saving her life by helping her on that journey of transformation was not easy, but I would not consider it a "hassle" either. And yes, it took time, but she was totally worth every minute of it. When I finally was 100% positive that she was getting adopted by a wonderful family, I jumped up and down and sang "Wiggles found furever! You're gonna know furever!! You found furever!!" and she just looked up at me and smiled and did her super-fast wiggle-dance and bounced around with me. Oh yes, she was worth it.
Forums Motto: I know what furever means!
Wanna adopt me?: I'm adopted!!! Hey doggies, if you're in the same boat as I was, it's important for you and your foster mom to NEVER GIVE UP! If I can do it, so can you!!!
Why is she so shy?: Wiggles came into the shelter as a stray, so it is hard to know why she is so shy, exactly. But one thing we do know is that her past was not as happy as it should have been! She is mostly scared of strange or loud noises, and also of people who approach her too aggressively. Wiggles is very sensitive to body language. With people that she is wary of, she does not like to be stared at or "jumped" at, but loves to be talked to, especially in a "girly" voice.
Parks?: Wiggles LOVES to go walking or jogging at parks. She'd make a great walking/running partner!! She is VERY well-behaved at parks. She rides great in a car also.
Dogs?: Wiggles absolutely needs a home with at least one other dog. Having another dog around makes her feel much more at ease. She loves to play, so a dog that won't mind playing with her is preferable! She is good with all shapes, sizes, and ages. Very polite when meeting other dogs in public, although occasionally she wants to play with them right away, but only if they are in a playful mood as well.
Cats?: We have not seen her interact directly with cats, but she has sniffed them before and has never showed any aggressiveness towards them. If she treats cats the way she treats young puppies, she would be just fine sharing a home with some kitties!
Kids?: No kids under the age of 12. She is too easily frightened for small and/or immature kids. She would prefer a small, adult-only home that will work with her to continue giving her good experiences with kids. Wiggles is a one or two person dog, not one for a large family.
Crate Trained?: Wiggles doesn't mind staying in a crate during the day while you are at work or are just out of the house, as long as she is in the same room as the other dog(s). At night, she prefers to sleep in bed with you rather than sleep in a crate, even if the crate is right next to your bed.
Potty trained?: Wiggles has been accident-free for a couple of weeks, but will need some guidance once adopted. She is subtle when asking to go outside, but once let out she goes within 2 minutes. She needs a backyard or someone who will take her for walks every day.
Leash trained?: Wiggles walks well on a leash but can pull when she is nervous and wants to get to a safe place. When out in public, she generally is nervous and will need someone who will still take her places and continue to let her have positive experiences. She spooks at automatic doors at pet stores, or at cars/people in busy parking lots. Sometimes it is necessary to pick her up!
Two months since I found furever!!!! Yaaaaaaay! Isn't it just soooo exciting??
If you have not seen them yet, please watch all my videos. Watch "My Big Video" last. You will be amazed. You might even cry (my FM always does when she watches it).
Keep in mind that I was in the shelter for 3 months and was on the euthanasia list for awhile before FM came to my kennel and said "You're coming with me, you deserve a chance."
In four months, I learned how to be happy. I smiled with my whole body instead of running off to hide. Is that a big accomplishment or what? I never could have done it without FM. Sad thing is, there are many doggies out there just like me. I sure hope that my story helps people consider fostering... not all dogs needing fostering are going to be as challenging as I was, but dontcha think living in a house with loving people is a little nicer than in a kennel surrounded by concrete and chain link where you aren't even guaranteed to go for a walk every day due to lack of volunteers?
Just think about it.
Oh hey, another milestone is that FM has been volunteering for over a year. Hoooweee, what a busy year that was! And in a few months, FM's first foster (Cole) will be celebrating his one-year annifursary of his adoption day. :)