Hello. My name is Nina (#3031). I came from China just about a month ago. I went to the doctor for a check-up and then to a foster home. A lot of changes for one dog.
My intake doctor said I was awfully skinny. My hair is dry and brittle and my skin was a mess. As if that wasn’t enough, before I left China they shaved all of my fur off! And I don’t think the person who cut my hair was a qualified professional. It is very short and kind of choppy and hit-and-miss. Rodney, my foster guy, says maybe she was going for a trendy Portlandia look. He hopes people won’t judge me just on my haircut or we are sunk.
My new primary care doctor in Astoria said that a lot of my fur and skin issues may be from poor nutrition and should improve now that I am a getting plenty of quality food. My foster people feed me lots and lots of food. I get biscuits and special treats too. I gained four pounds in my first two weeks!
Even so, for some reason, I am always hungry. I get 3-4 cups twice a day (6-8 cups a day) and I have no trouble eating it. In fact, shortly after eating my 4 cups, I will check the counters and tables to see if there is anything interesting there. Rodney says he knows the feeling and understands completely.
They say I am a work in progress. Kate, my foster lady says I am “A diamond in the rough.” Rodney says, “Very rough,” as he pets me, “with many coal inclusions.”
When anyone tries to mess with my food while I am eating (or get back something I’ve stolen) I am disappointed but I am not mean or snappy. Even if it’s my foster siblings. It’s the same with all the toys. That’s just the way I roll.
They also say that I am a smart dog but just don’t seem to have any indoor experience. I think that’s true. I don’t think I’ve ever lived in a house. Before moving here, I just pooped and peed wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted. This running outside to do my business has been all very strange.
I want to do the right thing, I really do; but I am not always sure what that is. I am starting to get it though. I have to go outside. But I don’t always know how to ask. I look at the door and if they don’t figure it out pretty quick, it’s bombs away. What else am I supposed to do? So I still make messes sometimes. Rodney and Kate are learning, too.
My foster people like to talk to me a lot. I’m not sure what they are saying much of the time because I only know Chinese. Next to “Good girl,” their favorite sayings seem to be “Nina, no” and “Nina, leave it.” I’m starting to think that the “Nina” sound has something to do with me, so now I’m paying more attention when anybody says it.
If it is important to say “Nina, No” just say it firmly and matter-of-factly because I now understand what that means. I get frightened if people sound angry and then I can’t concentrate on what I am supposed to learn and I usually just try to get away. If it’s not urgent, I learn faster if things are happy and there is a “Good girl, Nina!” and maybe a tasty smackeral.
I like pretty much everyone including other dogs, a cat, and a goat at my foster home. I am happy to meet new dogs and people on the walking trail. Oh, and one day, Rodney invited a friend and her three young boys to go with us and we all walked together. That was fun. It was four miles though and that was pretty far for me. I was very tired afterward. Since then my endurance has been increasing and now I can walk that far and not be so tired.
I haven’t had to use a leash before so that’s been another new thing to learn. They have been using a “Gentle Leader” thing and that has taught me that I shouldn’t pull. Now I even remember not to pull so much even if they don’t use that thing.
I especially like playing with Sally, my foster sister the Miniature Schnauzer. We play all day long. I am very gentle with her. She is one year old but she is so small that I think of her as a puppy. I’ve heard the foster humans say that I act like a puppy even though I am three or four years old and look like I had many puppies of my own. They wonder if I was used in a puppy mill.
I like toys. Squeakies are nice. Ropes and raggedy string toys are fun for tug-of-war with Sally or one of my foster humans. And I don’t destroy my toys – I will happily shred random peices of paper – if that’s a skill you value. When I find one of my special toys, I look for someone and I let them know I want to play by growling low and rumbley with my nostrils flared, my ears pushed forward and my tail wagging wildly. When I am very excited, my tail makes my rear wiggle too.
As I say, I like everyone. So, it’s only natural that I try to get along with the other dog, Lily, and Abby-the-cat. I invite them to play too. I do a very deep and respectful play bow, but they seem too grumpy to play. Lily mostly growls and the cat just hisses and scowls at me. I’m not sure if its because they are older or maybe they were just born that way but they definitely let me know I am wasting my time. I keep trying because you just never know, one day they could change their minds.
If I was adopted into a home with another playful dog that would be great! I would be a really good companion for them especially if my people were not home with me for more than a few hours at a time. I would be very happy to keep my new family company while driving in the car or while they are doing stuff outside. Or especially when they feed me.
I will be the most devoted and happy dog they ever had from China. They will get to see this diamond sparkle and shine…and grow back my fur!
Nine was adopted on June 16, 2018