Well it didn’t take long for us to find some things that put a big smile on Stevie Wonder’s face: sticks, balls, or anything else that can be thrown for her to retrieve! The girl is a natural-born fetcher!

We have started taking her out into our fenced yard to let her explore on her own and to observe her off-leash behavior. The first few times, she wouldn’t leave our side. The second we would stop walking, she would plop her butt down right next to where we were standing. She wouldn’t even trot away far enough to pee! As she gained confidence that we weren’t going to run away, she started exploring a little bit.

And what did she discover in her explorations? Mr. Chick’s favorite fetching stick! The moment she found it, we knew she was in love. She immediately picked it up in her mouth and started proudly trotting around with it dragging behind her. I called her over to me, and she dropped it, looking at me expectantly. A few throws, and I could see that this was the beginning of a happy daily activity. Check out the smile on Miss Wonder’s face!

35 responses

  1. I’m in loooooveeee! Plus, her love affair with sticks? sigh! That grin? plop. I’m in a puddle of mush.

    This is a very bad way to start a work day. Terrible for workplace productivity, my staff meeting will have to go forth over sighs, and goofy grins without explanations and a lot of off base assumptions.

  2. Fetching dogs are fun. Wyatt is a fanatic at times, Luna will do it with her special fetching toy, the Cuz. Looks like Stevie is like wyatt and will fetch most anything. She is so camouflaged against that mulch I love it. Great photos, looks like she is fitting in well, and I’m afraid she might not be with you long with all these cute pics. We gonna get more background on her?

  3. Our Best Friend loves fetch SO MUCH, the minute anyone comes into the house he drops a ball at their feet to go play! It’s an amazing bonding play, and I’m sure it’s really going to help in Stevie Wonder’s emotional recovery.

  4. Oh how happy she looks, especially compared to the earliest photos where she looked so scared – she even looked scared of the camera! Your work with these dogs is amazing and it’s a pleasure to read every post!

  5. She looks so happy!! Like an entirely different dog. Looks like she’ll come out of her shell a little each day. She’s exactly where she needs to be right now….it’s obvious you are making great strides. She really is beautiful!

  6. That’s how we got Nemo to come out of his shell too – through playing fetch! I’m so glad you found something that Stevie loves so much! She looks so happy!

  7. Happy face! Happy face! I’m so very glad you found out that she likes sticks. And to play fetch. I see oodles of ball-throwing in your future.

    I don’t care too much for fetching things. I might chase ’em once or twice but that’s about it. I much prefer tug. Tug rocks!

    Wiggles & Wags,

  8. I used to think all dogs knew how to fetch instinctively. You tossed a ball, frisbee, stick and they couldn’t wait to get it and bring it back to you. I now know this is not true. Can’t tell you how many times at the park I’d toss the ball for Reggie and then have to go pick it up myself. (I think he has me trained well.)

    Glad to hear that Little Stevie Wonder is a natural born fetcher.

  9. I have always wanted a dog that liked to play fetch. So far I am 0 for 2. This is a very, very high-value trait in my opinion. That top photo is hilarious. Go Stevie!

    • Actually I’m surprised that you haven’t taught Shiva to fetch. Have you tried? We taught our Chick to fetch when he used to have absolutely no desire to do so. He’s not perfect, but he will enthusiastically play for about 10 minutes before getting bored.

  10. Maybe that’s the secret reward you were looking for! Since she’s not food motivated, maybe you can make up small games of fetch (as in, can be done on a six-foot leash…or maybe you get a longer leash for training – one that you can release for the fetch) or fetch treats instead of fetch sticks. Or, she does something scary and the reward is fetch in the yard.

    Our fetcher is also a big fan of catch, in case that’s up Stevie Wonder’s alley as well.

    • Maybe, we’ll have to experiment. The problem is she dives back within herself in new situations, so she probably won’t want to play OR eat snacks in a scary situation… I guess we just have to increase her threshold slowly over time…

      • Any tiny step toward progress is worth celebrating. You should have seen us the first day we got Toni out in the hall without picking her (80 lb. self) up. I have no ideas what the neighbors might have thought, but we were literally dancing in the hallway.

  11. From the big smile on her face, It looks like Stevie Wonder won’t turn out to be a “Part-Time Lover.” The look on her face says “You are the Sunshine of My Life.” She looked absolutely “Overjoyed.”

    So “Hold On To Your Dream.” It’s not just a “Superstition.” Here’s hoping Stevie will “Kill Lonely Good-Bye.” And “That Girl” will find a happy home some day.

  12. Pingback: Your chance to adopt Stevie Wonder! |

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