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  •  Three years ago, we made the best decision in deciding to adopt another ESS.  Zoey then came to us and is the BEST dog ever.  She is not only beautiful but so well behaved and is loved by everyone. We can't thank MAESSR and Debbie enough for giving us Zoey.                                                                                                                                                                                                  Judy Minnick, NJ              

Customer Testimonials
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Abby 17

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Entered: 06/30/2020
Status: Adopted
Age: 7, born 03/16/2013
Color: Black/White
Weight: 48.5 lbs.
Gender: Altered Female
Location: Bethany Beach, DE
Health: UTD, HW-, benefiting from fish oil for itchy skin and exercise and diet to reduce weight, muscle strain resolved, dental work completed, UTI and ear infection treatments completed
Temperament: Good with adults; best with older children, good with some dogs, unknown with cats




Abby 17's Story . . .
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Update 01/28/2021:  “Abby is doing so much better with walking on leash when other dogs are nearby."

Abby is a loving and affectionate girl!  She’s also a good Covid buddy. While visiting “bubble” friends outside on warmer days, Abby enjoys coming along. They all sit in the driveway bundled up with sandwiches and after Abby greets everyone she calmly lies at their feet. But there is one special person she greets more enthusiastically than everyone else; she gets lots of hugs and kisses, amazing leaps in the air, and squeaks and squeals. Abby happily bonds with people after a couple of meetings.  

Abby is doing so much better with walking on leash when other dogs are nearby. Now she sits for treats at a distance without barking and lunging as they walk by. Her foster family tried an experiment with a trainer. Abby was off leash with a large “dog” toy to see how she would react, and she avoided interaction. In another similar experiment she happily bounded up to the other “dog” and sniffed in all the right places until she realized something was up.   

She loves her frequent walks and does the hunting dog nose-to-the-ground, particularly when she is in new territory with all those new smells. Abby enjoys riding in the car and is ready when the keys come out. Once on the road, she settles down quietly, but her head comes up quickly with a squeak if she thinks she recognizes the destination.

This sweet girl is making so much progress!

Update 11/22/2020:  “And her foster dad now feeds her...that has changed his status to 'most important person.'" 

We are progressing down the Abby checklist -- Good health CHECK; Cuddling with her foster family CHECK; Practice basic commands CHECK; Working on walk on leash CHECK.   

Any separation issues Abby has exhibited are resolving naturally with time. She still whines and paces when left alone but she gets over it. She’s never destructive…just lonely. She is happiest when people are around and she snoozes in her “den” (aka crate) with the door open…or on the sofa or nearby when people are working around the house.  She just wants to be with everyone.  Foster mom works on the computer so she snoozes at her feet; foster dad watches CNN so she snoozes with him on the sofa; everyone goes to bed so she snoozes through the night with the family.

Recently Abby has fallen in love with the men in her life…a neighbor and her foster dad spoil her with lots of belly rubs. And her foster dad now feeds her…that has changed his status to “most important person.”

Lots of short walks continue to be great for Abby. She is now a slimmed down girl and her muscle sprain has resolved. 

Abby enjoys a good ride in the car. She relaxes in the back seat or looks out the window…and she “talks” about how the best part is the return home. She is adventurous and curious with an opinion about everything. This is one really sweet girl who loves to be part of her family. 


Update 10/15/2020:  “Abby has a sense of the ebb and flow of life now and is benefiting from a set schedule.”

To help Abby deal with the anxiety of being left home alone, her foster family has been working with her on spending time in the crate. She is making good progress with this and now goes into her crate to relax and snooze on her own throughout the day. She uses her crate as a little den with the door open. Abby’s foster parents practice with the door closed and the commands “stay” or “wait” until she is given the ok to exit the opened door….and she gets it…. particularly if there is a treat!  She continues to be a bit anxious when her foster folks leave but she is never destructive; she just barks and whines. Abby has a sense of the ebb and flow of life now and is benefiting from a set schedule. She has calmed down; the CBD oil may also be helping. She laughs and plays with her favorite toys – one of which has a terrible squeak.

This smart girl is pushy if she wants something to happen. She points to things she wants – her water bowl was empty, so she pointed to a glass of water on a low table; she points to treats if she thinks she deserves a couple; and she points at the toilet roll when it gets down to the tube. If she noses the tube off the toilet paper dispenser before you can grab it, she will run off with it like the best prize.

Abby was working through a muscle strain in her left leg. There was evidence of a swelling around the carpus joint and a bit of osteoarthritis, so she was on bathroom walks only. After a couple of weeks of medication to reduce inflammation and limited exercise, she is improving; any limping has subsided.  While she is slowly back to regular walks, her new family will have to monitor this and continue watching her calories to take the weight off. Keeping her at an ideal weight will be beneficial for her joint health.

Abby’s first visit to the local dog park was promising. She was able to stand behind a fence to meet the playing dogs. Some barking and a couple of growls occurred, but nothing overly dramatic. Perhaps any reaction she has to other dogs may be because all the dogs in her foster family’s neighborhood are on leash. Suburban neighborhoods may not be the best environments for dogs like Abby with strong field instincts. Abby would benefit from a fenced yard in a rural area with lots of squirrels. A sweet and smart girl, most of all she will love being the center of attention in her new family.

Update 08/29/2020: “As her weight comes off, Abby shows potential to be more athletic; maybe she could be a companion jogger.”

Abby is doing really well with her training in basic commands. She has “sit” and “down” down pat for bits of treats, and her “stay” and “wait” continue to improve. She also is working on “come.”  Multiple short walks every day have made a big difference in her weight; she and her foster mom are huffing and puffing along for short walks several times each day and Abby's bikini line is beginning to show. As her weight comes off, Abby shows potential to be more athletic; maybe she could be a companion jogger. She also shows potential to participate in K9Noseworks sport. She loves to follow a scent (go figure…she’s a Springer!!) and would be great at structured search and scent detection activities.

Abby’s dinner time manners are impeccable. She’s really good about not bothering her people when they eat. And, for her meals, she’s learning about the advantages of green beans and other vegetables to supplement her diet as she loses weight…. just as long as they are doused in low fat broth. Even though she loves her food she’s not worried about guarding her bowl.

Issues continue with separation, particularly from Abby’s foster mom. Since her foster folks are home most of the time, she is used to frequent companionship. She snoozes calmly when her foster mom is on the computer or doing chores around the house. And this era of coronavirus has led her to believe that someone will always be home with her, so her foster parents are practicing with time in the crate and time alone. Regardless, her new family should include someone who will be home most of the day……and in a home where she will be the only dog.     

Abby does not interact well with other dogs and is very reactive on walks. Her foster parents are working with her using a number of techniques to desensitize her to dogs out and about, but it will take time for those exercises to achieve success. She has not had positive reactions to children she’s met on walks; no children have been to her foster parents’ home. A child-free home would be best for her. Abby is a smart and sweet girl and, in a quiet home, she is happy to participate with her people and then, when all is done, cuddle and relax with them on the couch.


Original: “As her confidence improves, Abby has tremendous potential to be a loving member of the right family.”

Abby came into MAESSR from an owner in Pennsylvania who was concerned about Abby’s interactions with an older dog in her pack of three.  Abby lived inside; she played, slept, and ate with the other dogs but fighting escalated with this particular older dog over food and play.

An all-day caravan of masked, social distancing MAESSR volunteers (woohoo!!) brought her to her foster home where Abby is adapting slowly. Abby is upset by the upheaval in her life; she is anxious, and her whimpering and panting gets worse when her foster mom is out of sight. Different over the counter supplements are being tested to help relieve Abby’s anxiety. Her new schedule of many short walks plus structured walks should help her relax and lose weight.

Abby’s leash manners need work, but she is interested in the new world around her. Most of the time she ignores other dogs on the walk. Abby rides well in the car. Her vet visit and grooming interactions were good, although she was very stressed during them.   

Abby does a nice “sit” and her foster parents are working on “lie down,” “go to your place,” and “come.”   She is housetrained and does a good job of signaling when she needs to go out. Abby has good house manners and she doesn’t beg at the table. Although she tries to counter-surf, she is responsive to “No.” When it’s time to snooze, Abby sleeps on a dog bed, furniture, or the floor.

Abby loves her foster parents’ female neighbor and Mr. Giraffe; they are her special friends. As her confidence improves, Abby has tremendous potential to be a loving member of the right family.