A Rescue Story - Welcome Tobi

This is Tobi, a female puppy I rescued from a ditch on the side of the road.

Tobi, just waking up from nap!

My place of work is situated at the end of five-mile stretch of winding road, surrounded by forest and dotted with a few small farm houses, just off a small highway. Occasionally I’ll see deer frolicking, bunnies, opossums, and a dog or two that may have wandered out of their yards. I’ve been driving up and down that road long enough to familiarize myself with a lot of the domestic and wildlife, and recognize most of the animals’ homes and owners. Last Friday, as I was driving into work, I noticed a small white dog trotting in and around a ditch off the side of the road. I’d never seen her before that morning, and was worried that she may be lost, or worse - abandoned. All throughout the work day, I couldn’t get her out of my mind. Was their a new dog in the neighborhood? Should she be outside, in the cold, and all alone? As the day came to a close, I fully expected her to be gone, probably (and hopefully) tucked snuggly into someone’s lap by a warm fire. She was very tiny as far as I could tell, perhaps even still a puppy, and shouldn’t be outside in near freezing temperatures without any warmth.

Sure enough, she was exactly where I had seen her in the morning. I pulled over and was out of the car before I even realized what I was doing. Her demeanor was apprehensive, but she briskly trotted up to me and rolled over, exposing her belly. She was absolutely adorable, but covered in fleas and moles (which upon deeper examination, turned out to be ticks). In an instant she was in my car and I was taking her to a vet. A nurse examined her briefly (the vet’s office was closing in five minutes, and the doctor had already left) and gave her some medication to help with the fleas and ticks, and recommended some antibacterial shampoo and told me to come back tomorrow. She got a good bath that night, which she hated (I’ll attribute that mostly to anxiety). After a thorough bathing, feeding, and loving, we put her to bed on a pile of pillows and blankets in our spare room. I named her Tobi.

Tobi’s visit to the vet on Saturday went well. Parasitic and heartworm screens all came back negative, and 12 ticks were picked off of her (I also removed a few more throughout the day that were missed). She’ll be going back sometime this week for a few vaccinations, which weren’t given on Saturday because she vomited twice since Friday. Yesterday I applied some flea and tick treatment to her back and fed her a pill to prevent heartworm. She isn’t spayed, but that is something that I have planned for this weekend.

Overall, Tobi seems to be doing very well. The vet estimated her age at one year, and she’s 11.6 pounds. She clearly has dominate Terrier genes, but I also suspect some Daschund (long body & tail, short legs). Her top coat is wiry and thin, but with proper care I believe it’ll regrow. I’m not sure if she is entirely potty-trained, but she hasn’t had a single accident in the house! Her appetite for love is enormous, and she’ll happily sleep away the day on my lap. My partner and I haven’t decided if we will keep her permanently, but neither of us have any problems with fostering for an extended period of time. I want to see her with a healthy coat, no ticks or fleas, and a lot less trepidation before anything else. Our greatest concern is our other dog, Merlin (check him out in my avatar!). He’s an independent tough-guy type, but seems to be adjusting to/ignoring Tobi ok. When my partner and I are at home, we let her roam the house, but she spends nights in a closed room – I’m trying to establish regular sleeping patterns, and I don’t want her and Merlin to butt heads when no one is there to observe.

I've never raised a young dog before. All of my previous dogs have been adopted after several years of life (3-4+), all have been male, and all were large dogs. If anyone has any advice you think may be helpful to my situation, please feel free to share. I'm completely new to "owning" and raising a young dog, so that type of advice is especially welcome! I just want to do the right thing for Tobi. She's a sweetheart and I want to provide her with the best life I can.

As soon as I get a few more pictures, I'll show you how fun and lively she is!

(c&p from a thread I created at The PPK)