JOSEY “Wags” AB#16-152

Josey doing therapy work

Josey play area

Josey with children 01

Josey with children 02

Josey “come”

Josey “sit”

Gender: Female
Age: 6 years DOB: 03-09-2011
Size/Weight: Petite/33 pounds
Color: Mainly white with black ticking, some soft brown ticking on face and legs, one black ear.
Breed: English Setter

Socialization/training: Gentle, happy Josey greets everybody with a wag and a smile. She loves her new indoor life, respects boundaries (no furniture) and is trusted home alone while we are at work. Josey hid her deafness for over 2 months in rescue care; it’s easy to forget she’s deaf. She watches people, quickly learns routines and needs little instruction throughout the day. She knows her name (the ASL/American Sign Language letter “J”) and will “come” or follow me if I pat my side a couple times. She knows the ASL sign for “sit” and will obey for a treat. She is working on “down” and knows to “stop” at a room entrance if I put my hand out stiffly in front, palm out. Obedience training will access more basic commands, but she’s made a great start and is quite trainable.

Good with Children: Yes. She visits a little day care group and never pushes the little ones, just lets them pet her, then walks away when she’s had enough. (Video)

Good with Dogs: No. She’ll ignore dogs we pass on trails if both parties keep moving, but growl if they enter her space by trying to sniff her up close, etc. Perhaps her deafness contributes to this, as dogs often approach from behind and startle her. She relaxes once she knows the other dog as long as they don’t touch her. She’s fine for visits and walks with her 2 foster cousins (Video available), but will guard her food and bed. We meet with a trainer May 3rd to learn skills to reinforce proper behavior when meeting other dogs.

Good with Cats: Yes, and No. She repeatedly ignored the giant kitty we visited for her cat test. However, the only time Josey ever barks is when a certain calico neighbor strolls through the yard. She doesn’t react much to our grey neighbor kitty. Maybe she is just not good with calico colored cats?

Good with other critters: No. Josey shook a cute guinea pig named Bunny in her first foster home, and Bunny died. The next home returned her for “worrying the neighbor’s chickens.” If you live with a hunting dog’s prey, Josey is likely to hunt it. Anything with feathers is fair game, including down-filled cushions. She made a mess of my favorite couch trying to find the feather source. That said, Josey loves to sit and watch the yard wildlife activity, but doesn’t pace crazily or test screens and doors like birdier setters we’ve known.

House trained: Yes. Perfect.

Crate trained: She is well-behaved and we don’t need to crate her. She’ll use her crate as a nap/hangout/snack shack, but the door is only secured if she is wet and I want her to dry off for an hour, or finish a messy treat. She’s not a fan of that closed door, preferring to come and go as she pleases.

Leash trained: Yes. She’s a happy girl on her leash and gets most of her exercise walking/hiking on a 20 foot lead. Stands calmly at a stop, but may pull moving forward when outdoors. Frequent direction change reminds her to stay with you. Indoors, she is patient and gentle, will lay calmly while my elderly mother holds her leash; Josey will accompany or even slowly pull a wheelchair down the hall if asked. (Video available)

Activity Level: Moderate; 1-2 daily walks (hike on a long lead, exploring in a fenced yard). Josey is not suited for serious running.

Fence: Always helpful, but not necessarily required. Josey should always be leashed and carefully supervised outdoors. A long lead will allow her to trot, sweep, search, and get comfortable with her new surroundings. She is used to walks in this fashion, 1- 3 miles, as often as possible. She sometimes roams loose in a fenced nature area, but returns quickly to me. (Video available) Invisible Fence training using vibration cues may be considered, once she has settled in. She’s shown potential for off-leash recall someday, but her deafness is too big of an obstacle at this point to safely let her out of sight.

Behavior: Sweet, calm, and watchful indoors, a “window hunter” and frequent napper.
Ready to explore outdoors; tail always wagging. She is naturally gentle and never pushes with her head or body or jumps on people. Her soothing presence makes her a favorite visitor at our local nursing home. She wags her tail constantly, and trots brightly in and out of rooms visiting her “regulars.” Everyone smiles when Josey is coming down the hall! Her striking markings command attention, (and then we explain that she’s not a Dalmatian).

Josey’s a cuddler. We have a paws-on-the-ground rule, but every morning I sit on the kitchen floor, invite her into my lap, and we “hug it out” as long as we like. We practice separating, and she now watches departures and arrivals from the window without getting worked up. If she seems anxious after a day alone, we treat ourselves to an extra hug session. Developing independence has made her happier.

Medical History: Current on all vaccines, spayed, and microchipped. She had benign tumors removed from her leg and chest. Untreated ear infections likely led to hearing loss. She can hear very loud noises (foster dad’s sneezes) but doesn’t hear our voices, claps, or whistles.

Josey has some quirks: Mild arthritis in her back legs makes her “sit funny” sometimes. (pictures available) She shivers and shakes when she’s cold, nervous, or overtired, and usually coughs once or twice after drinking water.

Foster Comments: Josey, aka “The Outlaw Josey Wags” came to rescue as a stray in South Carolina. A&BESR sponsored tumor removal surgery, spaying, vaccinations and dental cleaning, plus follow-up surgery to repair ripped stitches, and Josey (then Mayflower) traveled to her first foster home. Unforeseen issues bumped her to a second foster family the next day. It was in this busy Georgia home filled with lots of kids and animals that Josey dispatched Bunny, the unfortunate guinea pig. She was adopted soon after, but quickly returned for chicken shenanigans. She had a pretty serious rap sheet by the time we agreed to foster her.

I have lots of stories about training Josey to live politely indoors, potty outdoors, sleep by herself, not hunt in my couch, understand her name and a few commands, and generally blossom into a truly delightful companion. The important thing is – she did all that!

She really is a great dog. Josey needs a family who will celebrate her special gifts and give her lots of double thumbs up, her sign for “well done.” More than a big fenced yard, she needs a patience and firm, clear guidance. No special skills are required, just a positive attitude and cheerful consistency. She will respond to your love and attention in equal measure, and learn as much as you’ll teach her. She’ll be wagging her tail the whole time.

Adoption fee: $300.00

Foster location: Clarence, NY
In most cases volunteer transport is available for your adopted dog to within 2 hours of your home.