– E.B. White
Looking at Gisele today, you’d have a hard time guessing her past has been so rocky. Burrowed into a down comforter, she’s snuggled up next to her friend, Petal the cat, and is giving doing an excellent job of giving the impression that she’s always enjoyed life as a pampered Diva.
Less than a week ago, life was radically different for Gisele.
She was known only as “Little Girl”, the name written in marker on the tattered collar that was cutting into the skin on her neck. Bed was a soiled mat on the floor – an improvement over the life of the other dogs on the property, all of whom were living out the long Canadian winter in an old, drafty barn. We’re not sure how many times Gisele has been bred. Her former owner guessed three, maybe four times, shrugging off such questions as irrelevant. She never produced very well, with only a few pups in each litter. He thought maybe she had one or two more litters in her, but she and her daughter from her last litter had started to fight, so Gisele had to go.
For the last few months, I’d seen her ad on line – “For sale, French Bulldog cross, no papers. Good breeder, makes pretty puppies”. The photos running with it didn’t do Gisele any favors, out of focus shots that made her look thin, weedy and scared. The price dropped, steadily, and every week or so, I’d touch base by email, offering to give her a home if no one wanted to buy her. Finally, last week, after one more polite phone message offering Gisele a home, someone called back. Last Chance could have her, but we’d have to come that weekend. Gisele’s time there had run out, and her former owner was ‘sick of getting calls and emails from rescue groups’, the only ones who seemed interested in a thin little dog of uncertainly mixed pedigree.
The drive home was rough. Gisele climbed into the crate in the back of the car reluctantly, cringing when I put my hands onto her back. She was filthy, a greyish beige color with what appeared to be a large matted pee stain on the back of her head. I have rarely been so grateful to keep hand sanitizer in the car as I was after putting Gisele into that crate. After just ten minutes, I had to roll the windows down, because the smell of Gisele’s filthy coat was making me nauseous. Every time the car became too cold, I’d put the heat on and roll the windows down, fighting back the urge to gag. Once home, I barely had Gisele in the door before I lifted her into the tub, where the water ran black the first two times I washed her. Finally clean, Gisele defecated on the bathroom floor, where I was sickened to see that her feces were composed almost entirely of huge round and tapeworms. Gisele’s swollen belly, which I had worried was perhaps a pregnancy, suddenly made a lot more sense.
Fast forward less than a week, and Gisele is a brand new dog. Sweet, sensitive and somewhat shy, Gisele is slow to accept attention from new people unless she is approached quietly and calmly, but once you have her trust, she rewards you with infinite affection and attention. She is a consummate lap dog, curling up with you in a chair while you read, sleeping tucked into your side at night. She ignores our cat, and our cat, in return, adores Gisele and twines around her while Gisele naps on the sofa. Gisele is not a fan of other dogs. On the floor, she ignores the other dogs in my house, requiring them only to do the same. When on your lap, Gisele becomes possesive, growling defensively if another dog attempts to also climb up into ‘her spot’. She accepts correction with grace, and has never yet gone further than a warning growl.
Gisele was due to be spayed on February 3rd, but her veterinarian decided she should first complete a one week course of antibiotics. He had some concerns she might be heartworm positive, due to her occasional cough, but thankfully her blood test came back negative. Gisele will be spayed the end of the week, after which she will be ready for her new adoptive home.
Gisele is approximately four to six years old, and weighs just under 19 pounds. She has the delicately rounded ears of a French Bulldog, although the rest of her more closely resembles a Boston Terrier. She is underweight, but a fussy eater. She is currently eating a raw diet in her foster home, and would prefer to stay on it once she is adopted. Gisele would be fine in a home with dog friendly cats. She would most enjoy life as either the only dog, or with a canine companion who will accept her occasional bouts of bad humor without retaliating. Most of all, Gisele is seeking a center for her world. She wants to be loved, and to love you in return, and it will be a very lucky person who gives this undercover princess her forever home.
If you can, please help us to give Gisele, Rosie and Otis the chance they need at a new life. Rose and Otis profiles coming soon.