Neilla's Journey

Posted by: Wisc.Tiger_Val

Neilla's Journey - 12/19/17 10:26 AM

This is one of the pictures I saw that made me want to go research more about her. We need a dog that is cat friendly.

I contacted Emily Garza with Illinois Doberman Rescue via Facebook and asked if I was within their adoption area. We were so I filled out the application. A few days later we were approved and set a date to go meet (Neibla) now called Neilla.

A Great Pyrenees was on my list of dogs that we would want.

Meet Neilla and she was a typical big puppy that was short on training, but long on brains. She maybe almost 3 years old, but her actions are very much like a puppy that needs structure and love.

Neilla rides in the vehicle like a champ.

I think I would like to come and ride in the front seat with you. I needz lotsa love and hugs.

OK, that is the way things are going to be Iz will just tend likes youz no there eziber.
Posted by: Wisc.Tiger_Val

Re: Neilla's Journey - 12/19/17 10:45 AM

Making huge progress on Neilla's digestive issues. Starting to cut back on the Beef and Oatmeal and upping the kibble. As you know most of us here are somewhat obsessed with dog poop. Finally she has firm formed poop. More groceries are helping her become more settled.

Had an incident with my mom on Sunday that made me question what happened. Neilla seemed to like my mom we did treats and pets. When we were getting ready to take my mom home, my mom was giving her some pets and turned to head towards the door and Neilla went off barking and lunged at my mom. Luckily Bill was right there and grabbed Neilla's collar or my mom would have been on the floor. Neilla's teeth made contact with my mom's arm. I was very concerned because of the outburst.

Yesterday I got a truer picture of what happened. Neilla did almost the exact same thing to Bill. Neilla is pushy and tries to dominate others, not me, but she didn't want Bill to leave she wanted him to stay and pet her more. I had tried to tell Bill that she was pushy and not to give her to much freedom. She needs rules and structure right now, no more getting down on the floor with her until she understands that humans are higher ranked that she is. Neilla's room is the Laundry Room and it has the door to the garage, I come and go out of the Laundry Room and she has no problems with me, moves out of my way I can either give her a few pets or just walk past and no problems, so I need to get Bill to make her earn her attention not demand it. She is sneaky with her demanding, but I see it.

We are still a work in progress with Neilla and Fuzzybutt. Fuzzy is starting to feel more comfortable and Neilla isn't going quite as berserk when she sees her. That is a step in the right direction.

Working on "Down" command. We do puppy push ups "Sit" "Down" "Sit". She is getting the down a little faster now. Next week when she has a chance to have more food, I want to start working on "Leave It"

Neilla wasn't drinking enough water for my liking and eating snow when she was outside. I had a nice 5 quart pan that was enameled inside, she apparently didn't like that, I gave her a Stainless Steel dish and she drank water.

Gotta love these dogs that are smart and know what they want.
Posted by: Mary Jane

Re: Neilla's Journey - 12/19/17 03:15 PM

Thanks a lot for the Neilla update; glad to hear that her food issues are getting clarified.

It's really interesting to learn about her behavior and how you plan to shape it further.

Please tell us more when you can.

Posted by: Wisc.Tiger_Val

Re: Neilla's Journey - 12/19/17 03:24 PM

One thing that I think is in our future is some tracking. May not be for competition but fun for me and mental exercise for Neilla.

This gal can smell when the cat is coming up stairs or sitting at the top of the step. Right now I have a visual barrier to help Fuzzy get comfortable and Neilla not so reactive.
Posted by: Codmaster

Re: Neilla's Journey - 12/19/17 04:41 PM

Pretty dog!
Posted by: DarkEyes

Re: Neilla's Journey - 12/20/17 06:47 AM

What a journey so far! She sounds a lot like my family and a rescued GSD we cobsidered adopting. It didn't work out because our Abbey was too darn protective of her family so with young children present I was concerned I could not keep the rescue safe. He is so smart and so mischevious, but he is also strong and just needs training. Unfortunately, Abbey couldn't relax around him and we had to send him back frown.

Keep up the good work! I know it is tough now but she seems like she will be an awesome dog!
Posted by: Shilohsmom

Re: Neilla's Journey - 12/20/17 11:24 AM

She is so pretty wub I'm so glad you found each other.
Posted by: SeanRescueMom

Re: Neilla's Journey - 12/20/17 06:21 PM

She's a smart cookie and definitely knows what she wants but YOU know best, keep up the good work! I bet she will be a natural at tracking. thumbup
Posted by: Wisc.Tiger_Val

Re: Neilla's Journey - 12/20/17 07:29 PM

Oh, one thing I forgot to tell you guys is Neilla is a Kleptomaniac. She loves to steal things. The first damage was the afternoon we got home, I HAD an insulated shirt hanging in the laundry room. Yes HAD it got ripped as she was trying to get it off the hook. I never gave my hanging cloths a thought because my Sheps always left my things alone.

I am almost thinking it might have been a way for her to get attention. I have a terry cloth towel on the bench in the laundry room, she keeps taking it off. Today I picked it and was folding it telling her it was mine and she had to stop stealing it. She ducked her head and backed away like I beat her. Maybe it was one of those things she did to get attention. I am going to try just picking it up and not saying any thing to her. Maybe I can get her to stop if the attention stops.
Posted by: Braverhund

Re: Neilla's Journey - 12/20/17 10:40 PM

Yes, she may, in her own careful way, be trying to forge a connection with you. Or, she may want a special memento which smells like you, to keep her grounded when you’re gone.
Posted by: middleofnowhere

Re: Neilla's Journey - 12/21/17 11:59 PM

Or perhaps she sees this as something you value so she should also value it?
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Neilla's Journey - 12/22/17 10:52 PM

Sounds like the right kind of attention and some structure will help a lot with her. She's lovely, congratulations on the new addition!
Posted by: Wisc.Tiger_Val

Re: Neilla's Journey - 12/27/17 12:13 PM

Neilla checking in here. Thez tdell mez I waz Good Girl when all dem peoplez waz in da houze.

We kept Neilla up stairs and away from the guests. She isn't quite ready for that much exposure to strangers yet. She barks as soon as anyone gets within 6 to 10 ft from her. So we let everyone see her from a distance and when it was too over whelming for her we moved her away.

She met out Nephew last week did her bark thing and then slowly walked up to him, on Christmas when she saw him, she looked at him and walked right up to him. So it is the first intro where she puts out the defense, so on intro's I will make everyone a walking treat machine. She loves her food.

Fuzzybutt and Neilla is still a work in progress. The cat is getting more comfortable and Neilla is getting less excited.

The super cold weather we are having isn't to Neilla's liking. She apparently never had much for toys, she isn't sure what to do with them. Also she really doesn't want to play any amount in the house. But she is loosening up a little in the garage and making steps to play. But if we laugh at her antics she stops and drops her head. So this will be another work in progress.

Neilla said I should share a few pictures with you.
Why are you watching me, I am so tired.

When you are tired and can't hold your head up just use this gate thing.

I am the prettiest and best door draft stopper.
Posted by: Braverhund

Re: Neilla's Journey - 12/27/17 04:03 PM

Val, I looooove her! Baby steps in learning so many new things, with wonderful you being so patient with her. Neilla is just horgeous, like a fluffy creamy bear of total soulful beauty. wub
Love her progress with meeting people, with Fuzzybutt, and adjusting to new things like playtime. She is in the best place to become her very best self. Good girl, Neilla! thumbup
Posted by: SeanRescueMom

Re: Neilla's Journey - 12/27/17 09:49 PM

I love the one of her resting her head on the gate. wub Honestly she has done quite well in such a short time and I know she will thrive under your guidance and TLC.
Posted by: Mary Jane

Re: Neilla's Journey - 12/28/17 10:52 AM

Val, you see so much in your girl-that she drops her head if you laugh-so you have more to train out of her. Neilla is in the right place to learn to love life.

Also, you reminded me of sweet times with Wolf-who I had to teach to play. I chewed some squeakies in those days -but it worked.

I love her pictures smile

Posted by: Wisc.Tiger_Val

Re: Neilla's Journey - 12/30/17 11:46 AM

More Neilla.

Learned that she isn't comfortable playing in the house, but in the garage with two shakes of her powerful neck this is what is left.

Learning house manners. I am trying to teach her that the kitchen is off limits, she will go over there and we can call her to us. This morning she stood where the tile changes from one tile to another and just looked in.

The gate panels with the cover protect the steps so Fuzzy can come up from the lower level and into our bedroom.

Neilla sitting for food.

Playing the find it game.

Learning Down

Attention from her dad.

Visiting me in my office.
Posted by: TimberWolf

Re: Neilla's Journey - 12/30/17 02:04 PM

She is beautiful, Val!!
Posted by: SeanRescueMom

Re: Neilla's Journey - 12/31/17 09:30 AM

Her coat looks great and with your help she's learning her manners. Happy New Year to you and the newest member of your family! cheers
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Neilla's Journey - 01/02/18 07:15 PM

It's always a challenge at first, because you know eventually she will be bonded and understand the ways of her new home, but things can't be rushed. Sounds like she is coming along doing well.
Posted by: Braverhund

Re: Neilla's Journey - 01/02/18 09:37 PM

Val, I just wished to thank you for taking the time and effort to take and post pictures of your beautiful Neilla. wub I feel grateful to watch her transformation under your loving care.
Surely, Neilla’s future is now a beautiful and bright one! bloomrose
Posted by: Wisc.Tiger_Val

Re: Neilla's Journey - 01/17/18 12:33 PM

Neilla has been with us 6 weeks yesterday. Do you ever feel like you struck gold. The only situation that isn't good yet is Neilla and the Cat Fuzzybutt. I am not putting any blame on either, they each have their own personality and agendas. Fuzzybutt has always been a stubborn cat, she will do things when SHE is ready and willing. At this point she is having a bit of fun to see if she can sneak up to our bedroom without Neilla seeing or smelling her. Then there are days when she sits on the other side of the gate and meows to get Neilla wound up so we tell Neilla to behave. Neilla has discovered that she is a big strong girl and can pop over her gate. She did that yesterday but there wasn't any aggression like I was seeing at first, this is just ears up and tail wagging.

Neilla got a big treat yesterday, Hubby took her with in the truck while he cleaned up the snowfall from Monday. Neilla rides so well and seems to really enjoy riding even if it is snow plowing.
Posted by: Wisc.Tiger_Val

Re: Neilla's Journey - 01/17/18 02:17 PM

Sorry, I had to take a break, some big nose kept flipping my hand and arm up.

Neilla just had her first session with the Extreme Kong, trying to find things to keep her busy. Her idea of keeping busy is petting her consistently, it is more than she likes it, she Needs to have human contact. She played with the kong trying to get the food out for about 20 mins. That is the longest she has gone when she is loose in the house without human contact. I was getting a snack for me and Neilla stayed out of the kitchen. She is learning and is so smart.

This is what I meant earlier when I said we struck Gold. It is like she has been with us for a long time, not just 6 weeks.

I am still a fan of the GSD, but she is the dog that we needed right now.
Posted by: Shilohsmom

Re: Neilla's Journey - 01/17/18 07:46 PM

She sounds like an amazing addition to your family. I'm so happy for you!
Posted by: PositiveDog

Re: Neilla's Journey - 01/17/18 08:42 PM

Val, I'm very fortunate to see many Great Pyrs almost weekly. A national pyr rescue group has a local branch and they vet many where I work.

All ages, all types of health from wonderful to heartworm positive. With few exceptions, they soak up positive attention. It's so fun to meet them, watch them get healthy and well cared for and then go to foster homes or adoptions.

I think you have a keeper and she is very lucky to have you.
Posted by: Mary Jane

Re: Neilla's Journey - 01/17/18 08:55 PM

Originally Posted By: Wisc.Tiger_Val
.... she is the dog that we needed right now.

What a blessing that you found each other. I don't have much dog experience, but these minds wrapped in fur and trimmed with a tail give us the world.

Glad to hear how well it's going.

Posted by: SeanRescueMom

Re: Neilla's Journey - 01/19/18 08:21 AM

Originally Posted By: Wisc.Tiger_Val
Neilla has been with us 6 weeks yesterday. Do you ever feel like you struck gold.

You certainly did strike gold, sounds like you're over the moon with Neilla and visa versa. wub
Posted by: Shilohsmom

Re: Neilla's Journey - 01/25/18 07:14 PM

Looking forward to the next update, hint, hint smile
Posted by: Wisc.Tiger_Val

Re: Neilla's Journey - 02/03/18 03:15 PM

Neilla is a BIG lovebug that I just call Bug some times. Her coat is improving, she eats well, I wish she would drink a little more water but we are working on that. She likes really cold fresh water, so I change her water about 3 or 4 times a day. She has started to sneak into the kitchen when no one is watching so I need to get on her training again. She knows when she comes out of the laundry room she has to have her drag leash on so you can open the gate, she walks up and sits and waits for her leash. Need the leash because we are still working on the Cat and Dog situation.

She loves to ride in vehicles, so hubby has been taking her some times when he run errands. I am hoping we have enough snow to plow tomorrow so I can take her in the plow truck with me while we clean up the yard.

Here are some pictures.
Neilla with her Dad.

Neilla waiting for me when I was in the kitchen.

What we watching mom??

Yum, my mid day snack.

Sometimes I just like to Chew on the treat toy.

Nope, Nope I will not look pretty.

How about this mom I think I look like a little puppy.

Now I look like a more mature serious dog.
Posted by: Shilohsmom

Re: Neilla's Journey - 02/03/18 03:27 PM

What lovely pictures. She looks so well behaved smile I can see how she's fitting right in with the family. Congrats to all!!
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Neilla's Journey - 02/03/18 08:02 PM

She's looking great, glad to hear how well she is settling in and what a love bug she is!
Posted by: Wisc.Tiger_Val

Re: Neilla's Journey - 02/04/18 10:23 AM

Just some notes on what we have learned about Neilla.

She is a very clean dog, she doesn't like mud, will go around or tip toe a muddy area.

She doesn't like it when it is windy, snowing and cold.

Good thing I had German Shedders before her, I have brushed out a plastic grocery bag full of hair. Not sure if she is going to shed this much in the future or if it is just purging the old coarse coat. She is double coated so I do expect her to seasonal shed.

Yesterday was a good dog/cat day. Fuzzybutt came upstairs late afternoon because that when she wants her raw food. She had just been sitting on the other side of her safe gate and cried, but yesterday she came through the gate, through the living room and over to the kitchen and Neilla was sitting by Bill in the living room. Neilla did get a little excited when Fuzz was near by in the kitchen. Had the hubby distract Neilla with some food which is what I use to treat her. She is so food motivated we can use Kibble as a treat. So I want her to get rewarded for being a good girl and not over reacting at the cat.

We don't believe that she spent much time in a house. It mentally wears her out when she has access to the house.

Neilla can run around the house with a drag leash on and never trip herself or get tangled up with furniture.
Posted by: SeanRescueMom

Re: Neilla's Journey - 02/04/18 11:09 AM

Val, she is just gorgeous, love the pic of her watching over you with paws on the sofa, as well as enjoying her treat toy. wub She has come a long way and with your knowledge and training she will be the perfect dog for Bill and you. Hopefully Fuzzybutt will agree with that sentence too. wink
Posted by: Wisc.Tiger_Val

Re: Neilla's Journey - 03/23/18 10:58 AM


The Fuzzybutt and Neilla situation has gotten worse. Fuzzy has a problem with one of her dew claws, it is really thick and curves back into her leg. It got bad and I tried to trim it but the leg was sore and she threw an huge fit of screaming like a wild cat. Took her to the Vet and got the claw taken care of but ever since then Neilla thinks Fuzzy was trying to kill us so she is not happy to see, hear or smell her. This morning Neilla charged and tried to jump her gate and got hung up the top of the gate by her hips. So not sure if that is going to settle her down or make her more intense.

Neilla loves to go crazy and play with her Wubba Kong in the mornings, she runs and growls with it in her mouth. She grabs the streamers and tosses her head in a circle (think Around the World with a Yoyo, Neilla head is your hand, the Wubba is the Yoyo.

She is settling down more in the house, loves to go for vehicle rides.

Most of the time she is good about staying out of the kitchen, if I am in there working she will just lay on the floor outside the kitchen. For that she gets rewards. She likes cabbage but not lettuce. She likes Cantalope but not Raspberries. She likes Dill Pickles, Almond Crackers, Cheese and a few more things.

Overall she is a really good girl, we were hoping she would get along with the Cat, not sure if it is possible so we just make sure that Fuzzy is safe and as happy.
Posted by: middleofnowhere

Re: Neilla's Journey - 03/24/18 01:45 PM

Thanks for the update Val. Love the stories about diet preferences and the Kong. Not so much the Fuzzy B's story.

I'd guess that getting hung up on the gate would give Neilla "pause." I had that happen with one of mine - going over a low garden fence that had decorative "projections". She never tried that again.
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Neilla's Journey - 03/24/18 02:34 PM

I hope the cat/dog thing settles in time, I bet they at least arrive at some sort of truce. That's what happened with Indy and max, I taught them their places when they were in the same room and eventually they just learned to respect each others' places. But, of course, I didn't have a cat.

Good luck with the fur :-)
Posted by: SeanRescueMom

Re: Neilla's Journey - 03/26/18 09:58 AM

Just out of curiosity, how old is Fuzzybutt? I'm guessing she is pretty set in her ways especially since she was there before Neilla. And you're right, all you can do is keep her safe and happy.

Glad Neilla loves car/truck rides, it's so nice when they can accompany you in your vehicle. She sounds like she's fitting into your lifestyle nicely.
Posted by: Wisc.Tiger_Val

Re: Neilla's Journey - 03/26/18 04:37 PM

SeanRescueMom, Fuzzybutt is 9 years old. She has always been a cat that was stubborn. After the fire and she stayed at the Vet's office for 6 weeks, when I went to get her she wanted nothing to do with me, she clawed the crap out of my shoulder and back getting away from me. It took her 3 months once at the apartment that I could pick her up or pet her. Then we went through another she was pissed at me spell when we moved into the house. It has taken her 4 months to letting my DH pet her. When he was gone working all the time she wouldn't let him touch her. I have decided that if she wants to hang out in the lower level most of the time I will give her some food, water and a litter box.

I am offering Neilla food when she is loose and sees the cat coming up. Tough to do when she is in the laundry room so all I can do is just be a happy voice "Yep that was just our kitty" I have been thinking about getting a remote controlled treat dispenser for when she is in the laundry room.
Posted by: SeanRescueMom

Re: Neilla's Journey - 03/26/18 06:41 PM

Originally Posted By: Wisc.Tiger_Val
SeanRescueMom, Fuzzybutt is 9 years old. She has always been a cat that was stubborn.

Fuzzybutt has been through a lot of changes which is difficult for a cat since they are typically territorial and don't like their surroundings changed. DH and you have been extremely patient with her and I think you have the right idea, i.e. giving her the lower level to hang out most of the time. cattailwag
Posted by: Wisc.Tiger_Val

Re: Neilla's Journey - 03/26/18 08:28 PM

Heck she is such a pistol, if I don't groom or pet her just right she bites me. Not a cat for everyone.
Posted by: Shilohsmom

Re: Neilla's Journey - 03/26/18 09:10 PM

Originally Posted By: Wisc.Tiger_Val
Heck she is such a pistol, if I don't groom or pet her just right she bites me. Not a cat for everyone.

So glad she's with you. I'm hoping in time Neilla and her will work things out and who knows, maybe they will turn into best buddies. Lets hope so anyway.

Neilla sounds amazing.
Posted by: Sylv

Re: Neilla's Journey - 03/29/18 09:23 AM

I just got caught up on this. Neilla has struck gold with you guys smile
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: Neilla's Journey - 03/30/18 11:45 AM

This would be a great situation for a remote controlled treat dispenser, I would think, as long as a lot of the interactions happen close enough to it. I have one of those that I was never able to use because of jazz's food issues, but I hope to one day when I have the time to finally work on her separation anxiety.