Valentina

Sweet Valentina did not get the best care in the first part of her life and we are on a mission to change her future for the better. She is being loved like crazy in her foster home while she waits for her forever family, which we cannot wait to help her find!
Valentina is about 6 years old. She weighs 55 pounds, she is heartworm negative and she is spayed, so she is ready to be adopted! 
Valentina’s foster mom describes her as sweet, friendly, and forgiving. She enjoys short petting sessions, her favorite places to be petted being her chest and chin. 
Valentina is fairly low maintenance; she just wants to be warm and loved, with a full belly for the rest of her life. Once you read her story, you will want that for her too. 
Valentina was used as a breeding dog and was turned loose when she stopped producing puppies. She lived as a stray for about a year and a half, then was trapped and taken to animal control. 
When she first came to MSGBR, she had large mammary masses. Most of them were removed via mastectomy during her spay. We were concerned some of them might have been cancerous, but after sending out histopathology we were excited to learn that they came back benign!
This sweet girl has a special dietary need as a result of urinary crystals. She must eat a veterinary formula of urinary food for the rest of her life to prevent bladder stones. She’s currently on Hills Science Diet SO and is not complaining about it – she loves her food.
Valentina is  Lyme+, which is to be expected after living as a stray for so long, but she has already finished 30 days of treatment and has improved significantly. 
Valentina is laid back, friendly, submissive, and low energy; she does not need extensive walks, lots of playtime or wearing out. She lounges around her foster home on blankies and beds. She most enjoys shredding rope toys and will play with toy balls occasionally. Her foster family reports that she has done well with their other dog, a spayed female, from their first meet and greet. She is very submissive and non-playful and would blossom in a home with a dog who has a similar laid-back and calm personality.  
Valentina could be adopted by a family with cats; she does not pay attention to them and is not aggressive when they approach her.
She has met an 11-year-old child and done well with her. Since she is a little timid, her foster mom recommends that she be in a home with older dog-savvy children, as younger children might startle her. 
Valentina is friendly with strangers but needs time to warm up to them. 
She is house trained. Her foster family reports that she gets taken out about 3x daily and she holds it overnight well. 
Valentina is still learning to like her crate. She has been working on crate training with her foster family, and with their efforts, she now goes into her crate with some coaxing. She now sleeps in her crate at night to establish a routine and offer her comfort.
During the day she lays on beds and blankets on the floor. Valentina’s foster mom reports that she does not try to get up on furniture at all. 
Valentina could live in an apartment or townhome on ground level. She has never experienced an elevator and her foster mom has not seen her use stairs. 
Valentina has growled if another animal comes within about 1 foot of her food when she is eating, a behavior called resource guarding, which is understandable since she was fending for herself as a stray for so long. However, her foster mom reports that she immediately stops when corrected and never did more than growl. She has adjusted well to eating in the same room as her canine foster sibling and allows her canine sibling to check behind her for missed kibble – though they never find any!
She is working on basic obedience commands with her foster mom. She walks gently on a leash during potty breaks but will pull if she catches a good scent! 
She is food motivated under certain circumstances; it really shows her intelligence! She loves food and treats when she is relaxing at home, but won’t accept them if she thinks you are trying to use it to trick her or if she is stressed out. 
Valentina needs to be adopted by someone who can handle her when she is afraid; since she is a timid girl, she needs time to warm up to new people and unfamiliar places, which a calm assertive pack leader to follow could help her with.
Her foster mom reports that she is a bolt risk in situations when she is nervous, like being in an unfamiliar place or the vet’s office. She will try to back out of a collar or harness, so properly fitting and using a harness not just a collar is essential for her safety. 
Since she is a bolt risk and can be a nervous girl, Valentina must ALWAYS be on leash when outside unless she is in a securely fenced area, but even then supervision is required. If she were to get loose, it would be extremely difficult to capture her again. 
Sometimes picking her up is necessary in these situations, and she does not always want to be picked up, so her adopter should be able to lift 55 pounds and be strong enough to pick her up even when she is not on board with that part of the plan.
As mentioned, she is a nervous girl, but her nervousness does not present as aggression. She will just need to be adopted by a patient person. To help you understand her fears, here are some examples:-She has a normal cautionary fear of the vacuum cleaner as many dogs do. -Getting into cars and being picked up makes her nervous, but she is working on this with her foster mom. -Her foster home is near a railroad track, which at first she found very scary but she has adjusted to it since living there; the train’s whistle gives her notice and she has learned the train isn’t coming into the house or yard. -Valentina does not like sudden movements or sudden loud noises. She will jerk up from sitting or laying down and watch what made the sound, or if the loud source is approaching her, she will quickly move to the other side of the room. 
She does calm down easily, but since she is so easily startled, we think she would do best in a calm home environment. She would make the ideal companion for someone who is retired or works from home, or a calm family with a staggered schedule so that someone is home often. 
Valentina will come with some supplies; her collar, harness, leash, food, and water bowls.
If you are interested in being Valentina’s forever family, please apply to adopt her today!
If you have fallen in love with Valentina but are not able to adopt her, please consider making a donation towards her care as she awaits her forever family. Your donations help MSGBR provide the care our dogs need.