|Mustang Sally is available for adoption through Austin Pets Alive!|
From what I gather, Sally's previous owner basically neglected her. She is underweight (38 lbs, should be 50 or 60), undersocialized, and unfortunately tested positive for heartworms. Then, she had a litter of puppies (currently being cared for by another momma dog, or so I was told), and developed mastitis, a painful infection of one of her mammary glands. By the time animal control collected her, the mastitis had basically exploded out the side of one of her nipples and was spreading to another. Somewhere along the way, she also developed a pretty significant upper respiratory infection.
Nevertheless, she's a happy, playful youngster who really enjoys a good cuddle. The animal shelter is calling her a "pit mix" but I see a lot more Boxer than anything. In fact, she reminds me a lot of Lucy, an extraordinarily stupid but loving Boxer that lived with us for several years, first as a foster, then as our (ex-)roommate's dog. Lucy passed away a few years ago, but I see her ghost in Sally, right down to the drool that Sally spreads around after drinking, and the bemused stare she gives me while I futilely attempt to teach her some basic obedience.
As you can see in the photos, Sally is wearing an Easy Walk harness. She's a puller! When I picked her up from the shelter, she practically sawed my hand off, lurching around on the cheap nylon leash they supplied. The harness eliminates all the pulling. It's a temporary fix, but genuine leash training will wait until she's healthier and can focus on what I'm asking her to do.
Unfortunately, her respiratory symptoms are potentially contagious, so we have arranged the house so that the dogs are well-separated. She stays in the "foster wing" (the upstairs bathroom and office), with no less than two baby gates at strategic points to keep the dogs out of sight of each other. When I leave the house, Sally goes into a crate that is in the foster room, so there's absolutely no chance of unsupervised interaction.
The separation isn't much fun for Sally, however necessary it may be. The company of other dogs can sometimes help an undersocialized dog feel more comfortable about new situations. At the same time, I'm not sure she and Star will hit it off—they're very similar in appearance, age, and temperament, and I think Star might feel that her spotlight is being usurped by this newcomer. Once Sally is healthy enough to be with other dogs, we will have to proceed very slowly and carefully with introductions. I'm already prepared for the possibility that Sally and Star will need to stay separated. Dogs don't always get along, especially if their temperaments aren't compatible.