Introducing Stevie Wonder!

Meet Stevie Wonder! She is just as wonderful as her namesake, only she can see just fine and doesn’t play the piano or sing!

I first met Stevie Wonder a couple of weeks ago while visiting our county shelter, MCHS. I was immediately drawn to her gorgeous brindle coat, her sad, timid eyes, and the way she hung back in her enclosure. I didn’t know if she was just a shy girl or if she had plain given up, but I couldn’t resist taking her out for a walk.

I admit, Stevie didn’t warm up immediately. The first time I met her, she was withdrawn and scared. She was very gentle and quiet, but not playful or outgoing. I sat outside with her and a staff person for a few minutes. After she finished sniffing around, she tenderly walked over to us, made a few tight circles, and laid down at our feet. She didn’t want to interact or be petted, but she did want to be close. It brought her some sort of comfort.

The second time I met Stevie, she had become even more withdrawn in the kennel. She didn’t seem excited to see visitors. She resisted leaving her pen before a walk, and she resisted going back in afterward. If anything unexpected happened, she would flatten into a pancake on the ground. It seemed like a manifestation of kennel stress — the variety that happens to the shyer dogs. The love and activity she was getting from the shelter staff and volunteers just wasn’t enough for her tender little soul.

So we pulled her.

On the drive home, Stevie Wonder threw up. Twice. It must have been a combination of car sickness and nerves, but the poor girl was a mess. She remained shellshocked for much of the day, with her eyes averted and her tail tucked between her legs. She didn’t relieve herself for nearly 24 hours, and didn’t eat a bite or drink any water for even longer. But by the end of our second day, that tail started to untuck, and little Stevie was approaching us, hesitantly, to ask for our touch.

Welcome, Stevie Wonder! We can’t wait to teach that tail to wag your whole body!

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39 responses

  1. Yay Stevie! What a pretty girl (I’m a sucker for the brindle too!). I hate that she was so stressed at the kennel, but if she’s already perking up with you I’m she’s going to do great 🙂 When we first got Nemo he was a wreck too (he got so depressed when he was in rescue :() until he really came out of his shell, now you can’t keep him off of you he’s such a cuddle bug! I can’t wait to read about Stevie’s progress.

  2. wow, you are REALLY gonna make a difference with this one. she clearly hasn’t known much love in her life, at least not for a long time. I give you so much credit for pulling her, and for continuing on…foster after foster.

  3. Stevie is a beautiful girl! I am glad to hear that she is already coming out of her shell. Seeing a dog’s personality emerge is a wonderful thing to watch 🙂

  4. Stevie Wonder – what a beautiful girl. Wait ’til she realizes just how much her life is about to change….what she has missed out on much of her life. I hope to see that tail wagging and those eyes sparkling in future posts. Hopefully Chick can help show her the way. Good luck!!!!!!!!!!

  5. She is so beautiful–we’re always a sucker for brindles. This initial intro to us reminds me a bit of Lollie Wonderdog in the beginning. And seeing what an amazing job you did with her, I’m excited to learn more about Stevie!

  6. Hello, Stevie!
    She is just the kind of WONDERful girl that would get overlooked in a shelter. But a little love and attention are going to go a l0ng way. Can’t wait to see her progress.

  7. This beginning sounds very familiar! Stevie, you’ve hit the jackpot. Can’t wait to see you come out of your shell, beautiful brindle girl!

  8. You all are so inspiring!! We currently can’t foster, but reading your blog makes me so hopeful that one day we can do it and make a difference like you guys. Your hard decisions and hard work are truly worth it to these dogs. God Bless!

  9. Oh Wow! Stevie Wonder is Gorgeous! Can’t wait to see & read about her progression. I know you will do “Wonders” w/ Miss Wonder! Thank you for stepping in to help yet another lost soul. Especially so soon after having to see Blue off on her journey to find peace. We are going to have to dub you “Wonder Woman” to the pit bulls. You Rock! (hugs to Chick as he helps his new foster sis find her way)

  10. Stevie W is so beautiful! I love her eyes. Her behavior sounds just like my first dog when we brought her home. She also threw up repeatedly, cowered and trembled, didn’t know how to play, wouldn’t drink water and waited until we went to bed to eat. A year and a half later, she is still shy in certain situations but is also happy, playful, goofy, and sweet. I will always have a soft spot for shy dogs because of that and hope to at least foster another shy dog in the future. It is so, so rewarding to see shy dogs starting to relax and open up and just enjoy life. I still get a huge kick out of seeing my shy girl flop down, stretch out fully on her side, and let out a deep sigh, because I know she’s really relaxed. So different from the tight, tiny ball she stayed curled up in when we first got her. Can’t wait to read about that starting to happen with pretty Stevie!

  11. Stevie’s eyes say it all – “I want to trust you but am not so sure yet…” She will get there – first, she just needs to be a dog! You all and Chick will let her do that – the tail is already unwrapped :). Thank you for fostering.

  12. YAY! I am so happy for Stevie! And again, the mitzvah you are doing is truly wonderful! My Petey was all curled in the corner of his cage at Animal Control when I first saw him. I’m sure Stevie will blossom.

  13. Uh, mom just went KER-PLUNK! But don’t worry. She does that a lot whenever she sees a gorgeous brindle doggie such as myself…and Miss Stevie.

    Besides her Most Beautiful Brindleness, I see a clear, sweet light shining in her eyes. I just know before long her whole BODY is gonna be a-waggling! I can’t wait to see her fly!

    Okay, I have to go wake my mom up now. The floor doesn’t look very comfortable.

    Wiggles & Wags,
    mayzie

  14. Oh, more tears. I’m so happy you’ve given this timid girl a chance at a new life. I’m sure her spirit will soar under your gentle guidance and surrounded by your love.
    And she’s joined an elite group of dogs led by Tommy Lee Jones the pit mix: pit bulls named after celebrities!

  15. She sounds just like our dog on coming home. He is now just as sweet as can be with us and our baby girl. I’m sure Miss Stevie will relax very soon!

  16. Awww Stevie Wonder! It’s so sad to hear how stressed she was in the shelter, and it’s awesome that she’s now in your care and can hopefully open up to her full potential!

  17. Stevie–you’ve found yourself in a great home. Just give it a chance and I know you’ll learn how great it can be to live with humans who love you.

  18. Super-frightened dogs break my heart. And, like so many others leaving comments, I have a real thing for brindles. I don’t even know why!

    Good luck with Stevie, I’m sure you’ll work “wonders” with her! (sorry…)

  19. I just KNEW she was a girl! She is just gorgeous. I’ll bet she will give the sweetest kisses when she gets all settled in.
    She is very very lucky to have been chosen to be your next foster. You two are just amazing – thanks for all you do for these dogs.

  20. Again, I’m so impressed by your commitment and the boundless love you so clearly have for the work you do for the dogs. I don’t think many people could have started over with a new foster so quickly – though that’s exactly what I would have done as well. Please let me know if you need more stories about the shyness and fears – I have plenty to share. Hugs to you and little Stevie Wonder!

    • Thanks Julie. The only stumbling block so far is that she is not food motivated, so it’s hard to work on desensitizing her to new things if she will not focus on food or treats. I can’t have neighbors toss her a treat as they walk by, for example, because she will just completely ignore. Any thoughts?

      • Toni was also not food motivated when she was frightened. Sometimes the reward was just that she didn’t have to do it anymore. For instance, when we were working on her agoraphobia, she would have to come out in the hallway and wait for X minutes. She wouldn’t take treats and was clearly miserable, but when her time was up, we’d go back inside our condo (her comfort zone) and give her a handful of something. She seemed to get that the reward was in response to her toughing out the scary thing. So maybe with strangers, instead of the treat coming from them, it comes from you after they’ve passed.

        I’ll keep thinking….

  21. Pingback: The Dog Behind the Mask | Hound and a Half

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