Priscilla, Queen of the Desert – a.k.a. Cilla
Lexie fund has taken on its first foster and training of a very special, low rider dog from the Navajo reservation in Kayenta AZ, just South of Monument Valley. In conjunction with Soul Dog and a smaller local rescue group run by Justyne Moore, Julia and Karen picked up Cilla in Moab, UT about a month ago.
Cilla, fondly called Silly Cilla, is getting ready for adoption to a great home within the Harmony Community. She is extremely intelligent, playful, loyal and gentle. However, she is completely new to society. as dogs are often kept on the outskirts of communities on reservations. Adjusting to the city with all its new experiences and social behaviors has been a steep learning curve for Cilla these past 30 days. Rule of thumb, go slow; Rez Dogs are often able to adapt quickly, you just have to go slow when they put the breaks on. Once they learn a new experience is safe, they adapt and it becomes easy for them.
Cilla is house trained, but didn’t know she could come into a house. She is calm, disinterested in cats, has adapted to walks on a leash and is learning off-leash recall. She didn’t know what a toy was, but now has her favorite Bun-Bun (a little stuffed bunny), Chew-Chew (a felt chew bone) and Bone-Bone (a rubber bone she plays fetch with). Cilla is learning hand signals, recently mastered stairs in the house but is still not sure about polished concrete floors.
She has an extreme prey drive for squirrels, rabbits, prairie dogs and blue jays – all native prey for her on the reservation. We are working on reducing this through training. She has extremely refined pack communication skills and gets along with most dogs. She reads all animals and people well, prefers to keep harmony and will simply opt out if she feels a dog, person or cat is unstable. When she observes they are stable, she is fully and playfully interactive.
Cilla has mild resource guarding that is dissipating with training and knowing she is safe. She has mild anxiety that is also being trained out of her as she gains confidence in her new environments. She enjoys a crate but doesn’t like being trapped in one, and doesn’t require one in the home if she has her bed.
Cilla is ready to meet people and take her training to the next level. We are working on all common behaviors as well as getting her used to common house hold things like vacuums, TV and brushing her teeth. She is also working with families and kids and did wonderful with a few 5-year-olds. The kids had her listening and obeying simple commands.. She had the 6’6” dad wrapped around her little paws and loved playing with him.
So, what are we looking for?
We would like Cilla to be adopted to a great home that understands dogs, will continue her training and is up for understanding the subtle cues that this dog presents, and will present, the rest of her life.
Lexie fund will pay for her first year of veterinary care and will always take her back if for some odd reason she needs to be re-homed. The person or family that adopts her will get to know the Harmony staff pretty well, as we like having her at the clinic from time-to-time, and she has already built a social network with several Harmony client dogs in the short time she has been with us. Harmony staff can dog sit on weekends or take her on adventures if needed.
The adoption transition process will have to be gentle, as this dog forms strong bonds and can become anxious if not done properly. Remember she is used to being around community on the Reservation as well as being on her own in a pack of dogs. She is adaptable if she has strong reference points.
If you are interested in adopting Cilla, please contact the clinic at 303-432-8551. If you are interested in meeting with her or scheduling a play date for you or your own dog to interact with Cilla in the Harmony backyard, please also give the clinic a call. We love having clients and clients with dogs meet Cilla to help socialize her.