Cindy is an old dog that can run really fast

Elderly jack russell terrier.

Imagine you’ve recently taken a 12 year 8 month old dog into your home. She’s lazy, mostly moving from bed to bed to sleep. She comes when she’s called, goes out when she’s asked, and gets heaps excited about food. Happy and sociable with people and dogs. A joy to live with.

I hope, in doing so, you can forgive my negligence as a guest arrived. As Cindy nipped through the open door, I naturally assumed that this sociable dog would just say hi to the guest, and follow them inside. However, Cindy started sniffing a plant in the front yard. I called her, and she ignored me, and as I took a step towards her, she dashed away, stopping at the letterbox to continue sniffing. Naively, I assumed that there was just a nice smell around. As I headed towards her again, she gave me a look that could best be described as “Hahaha”, and started running, fast, away from me – and towards a busy road.

There was no chance I was going to chase her, as I am very aware that I am not as fast as a dog (they have four legs, I have two, come’n) and I did not want her to get closer to the busy road. Immediately, I thought that I could use Bandit, a dog friend she had made in foster care. If I wasn’t good enough to come back to, maybe Bandit would be.

So, hurriedly, I ran inside, threw a lead on Bandit, and took him out. Bandit was perplexed why there was a walk happening, at night, with such little fan-fare, but nonetheless was happy with the arrangement.

As I came out of the house, Cindy was nowhere to be seen. My heart was racing and I was terrified of where she had got to. Immediately, my thoughts were thinking about how she didn’t have my tag on, but she did have her surrendering owner’s tag on still, and how bad would that look if she was to get called? What if she got hit by a car? What vets are open at this time of night? Do I call the council now? Why is the husband away tonight?

Bandit and I headed towards where I last saw Cindy. Briskly walking, I hear a bush rustle and Cindy emerged. Phew! She hadn’t got to the busy road! Cindy then kept running towards the busy road – seemingly Bandit and I disturbed her bush-investigation, and now the running thing was back on. So my Bandit trick failed.

There’s no way I could catch Cindy with Bandit in toe, so back I go home, putting Bandit inside.

As I came back out, I hurriedly called a friend from Adelaide All Breed Dog Rescue Inc., “Hi. Can you come help me catch Cindy? She got out.”  The friend was on her way. Phew!

So now finding Cindy again. I took a wide berth, on the other side of the road from when I last saw her, with the only intention of cutting her off from heading closer to the main road. Once my friend got there, my plan was that I could then get them to get food in my house, or open up the carport door and we could herd Cindy into the secure area. Regardless, I had decided I couldn’t do much more than keep an eye on Cindy for the time being.

My plan mostly worked. She decided to run away from me, back towards my house, and away from the busy road. Excellent. She would stop and snuffle in bushes, and I would stand like a lurker in the half-light in other people’s front yards, watching.

If Cindy looked at heading towards the busy road, I’d shuffle into the path to try to prevent her.  This mostly worked. But then there was this one moment, she came towards me (and the busy road), and as I puffed myself up to block her path, she ran faster and within a metre of me. I’m pretty sure I heard her say, “Hahaha, you can’t catch me!”.

Back to square one, I once again did a big loop to block her off.

My heart was in my throat as I realised she was in the yard of the house on the corner of my street and the busy road. Every car that whizzed by I held my breath.

I could hear her in the bushes, so knew where she was, and I just hoped that when she came out I could  once again drive her back up the street. It was tense.

And the little white dog came out of the bush, and looked at me.  Through my head, a word that rhymed with ‘duck’ was repeating over and over. She was going to do it again – she was going to run past, in a joy run, straight onto the busy road. Duck duck duck.

But she looked at me for a moment too long, and she wagged her stumpy tail, and seemed to say, “Okay, I’m done now.”

Hardly believing my luck, I used my best gravelly voice to firmly say, “Cindy! Stay!” as I reached out my hand…

I’ll stop for a moment as I realise I forgot to tell you something about Cindy. All the stuff about her being a joy to own? That’s true, except that if she doesn’t get her own way, she bites. Cindy bites.

So here I was in the dark, reaching my hand towards a white-shape of a dog that I know bites.

And I was saying to myself, “If she bites, don’t let go“.

I can still remember that as my hand wrapped around the collar, and I felt my fingers touch my palm. I instantly thought, “I got her!” and then, immediately after, “If she bites, don’t let go!”.

I took the lead I was carrying around my neck (carrying in anticipation of such a moment), and clipped it onto her collar.

And I think that’s when I started breathing again. I became very conscious of the adrenaline pulsing through my body, now that I didn’t need it anymore.

That’s when my phone buzzed in my pocket, and I saw the headlights up the road of where my friend had pulled up in front of my house. Imperfect timing.

Cindy happily walked on lead back home, wagging her stump and panting heavily from her joy run.

Oh, did I mention: Cindy’s available for adoption!

If you are interested in a dog that bites and runs away, Cindy’s the dog for you!


Cindy was surrendered to us because he owner experienced unfortunate circumstances and became homeless. Cindy and the past owner lived in a car together for a few weeks, but it just wasn’t working for everyone involved, so the difficult decision was made to surrender her into care.

I was concerned about Cindy’s health initially, as she was very quiet. We had full blood works done, and a full body x-ray, and she’s in perfect health! Her teeth are in great condition, and it’s like Cindy was waiting for the vet to tell her she was A-OK too, because she became a bit of rat bag after that. As the story above shows.

Cindy loves going for walks, and barks angrily at you when you haven’t got her lead on or opened the door quite according to her schedule. “Hurry up, human!” Or maybe it’s resentment towards being leashed in itself, given her joy in running fast, away from you.

As mentioned, Cindy made a friend in Bandit while she has been in care. Bandit and Cindy are available for adoption either individually or to the same home. They’re very different to each other, but instantly took a strong liking to one another. They have an understanding.


In case you didn’t guess, Cindy is all terrier!  She’s okay with other dogs, but she’s not one for pocket pets, or birds, or cats.

Cindy’s ideal home would be an older person or couple who just want to go for a short walk once or twice a day, and want a well behaved companion the rest of the time. Cindy is a nice cuddler, and will hop on your lap for pats – but very much when she wants them. She is independent, and doesn’t mind being left alone, especially if being left alone comes with some type of food.

Cindy is now with a foster carer (with instructions: never, ever let her off lead and never leave gates or doors open) and doing well, but we would love to see her in her forever home.

For more details about Cindy and her adoption, see her PetRescue profile.


Snoopy's Dog Blog


The Thief of Hearts

In mid-May, we welcomed ‘Bandit’ into our home as our approximately 35th foster dog. He was surrendered into care as his owner moved interstate, left Bandit with his mother, and his mother thought Bandit deserved a better life than she could provide.

A large brindle kelpie x mastiff shaking hands.

He arrived as a boisterous 30kg dog who thought nothing of jumping up and placing his feet on your torso, or knocking your jaw with his thick head. He has had a huge re-education while he has been here, and now we very rarely see him jump up at home.

Young boy sitting with a large brindle mastiff x kelpie bull breed type dog.

We were pleased to find Bandit was toilet trained and friendly with all people, including children, and very tolerant of all handling. He can sit, drop, and shake hands.

He is confident and adaptable, and has a happy-go-lucky disposition. Bandit loves his toys and playing fetch.

Bandit is strong on lead, but is learning a lot since coming into care about the ‘right way’ to walk on leash. He needs an owner that is strong enough to cope with Bandit if he does choose to pull, but at the same time committed to continuing his education on lead-walking.

Here’s a video showing how he’s going at loose lead walking:

Bandit is a bit rude with other dogs, but genuinely likes them, just has trouble expressing himself appropriately. It would be important for him to meet any dogs he’d have to live with, to make sure they get along.

Four curly coated retrievers running with a large brindle crossbreed.

He is not good with cats or poultry.

He is available for adoption and is currently located in metropolitan Adelaide. His adoption fee is $150.

For more details, including contact details, visit his PetRescue page.


Teaching Distance Drop (with the food placement method)

It’s a little-known fact that dogs will naturally migrate to where food or rewards occur.  Many trainers don’t take advantage of this tendency, which is unusual, especially considering it’s so simple and easy to achieve quick results with appropriate food placement.

Taking advantage of food placement is particularly relevant when teaching distance behaviours. If you want your dog to perform behaviours at a distance, then your rewards should also take place at a distance.

While I plan to blog in more detail about food placement in training at a later date, I have created a video which illustrates the process in teaching a distance drop with the food placement method alone, using my girl Myrtle.

This is a brief summary of the method: Continue reading


Puppies are here!

Clover had her puppies on Tuesday 6th of November 2012.  Six puppies, 3 boys and 3 girls.  All good weights, healthy, happy, strong, drinking well. They have been given temporary names, because I find calling puppies “1st boy” and “3rd born” and “last born” tedious. This post is just to show you some puppy pictures. Enjoy!


First born, “Alfalfa”, bitch.

Continue reading


“The Boys”

We welcomed these boys as fosters into our home last week. They were surrendered to us as the family didn’t feel they had the time for the dogs, and the dogs were also too boisterous for their young children. They’re a bit of a handful together! But individually, they’re pretty nice dogs. They can get a little overwhelmed in some situations, but they’re quite consolable and are never worried enough to refuse treats. We are working on their jumping up and their lead manners. Considering they were practically raised by a backyard, they have relatively few issues and will make charming pets for the right home.

First of all, there is Mack:

Black and white kelpie, labrador, border collie crossbreed dog looks at the camera.

Mack, being a lovely attentive boy for the camera.

Mack was a bit of a snob for the first couple of days, but when I took him for a walk without his brother, he totally changed! He started looking to me for reassurance and guidance, and then never stopped when we got home. Now we’re pretty good friends, and I am sure his new family won’t have to do much to win him over, either.  For more details about Mack, view his PetRescue profile.

And then there’s Jet:

Black kelpie cross labrador cross border collie dog, looking at camera.

Jet, much harder to photograph, and looking much older than his 20 months!

Jet has a sooky soft temperament, and is much more likely to win you over quickly than his brother.  Jet is one of those floppy submissive dogs that lay on their back for belly rubs and generally just is soft natured!  I think this boy will find a home easily with whoever meets him first – he’s quite endearing. Read more about Jet on his PetRescue profile.

Both Mack and Jet are available in South Australia to an appropriate home. They were surrendered as half Kelpie, half Labrador x Border Collie. They are 20 months old and will be available from Wednesday 20th June as vaccinated, desexed, and microchipped.