Kora

Meet our foster dog, Kora (we chose this Australian name because it means companion).  She is a roughly 2 year old Australian Terrier who has been with us since February 1, 2013. Tomorrow morning she leaves on the Homeward Bound Transport heading north to her forever family. Another painful, joyful day for Kirby and I.

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These are the standard questions that each foster fills out to indicate various behavioral traits which will be helpful to the staff awaiting her arrival and pending adoption.  It's critical that the person(s) adopting her know what to expect in order to establish the right placement cementing a forever home.

Housebroken?

Yes and no. She wakes me up in the morning by licking my face and   then heads straight out the door to go. She would potty in the playroom when   I went to work (8 hours) but once I started crating her in a very large crate   she waits until I let her outside.    However I don’t know why but she will potty in the hallway in the   evenings instead of asking to go outside.

Good with other dogs?

Very good – bonds immediately and has become motherly to my small   dog.  One time Doug took Kirby to the   store and Kora was inconsolable until he returned, crying and extremely   agitated. She also quickly bonded with a friend’s dog pretty much ignoring   the family members when she stayed with them for a weekend.

Good with cats?

I have two grown cats she gets along with very well. She will get   close enough to sniff but never shows any intent to harm.

Good with kids?

I don’t know but I would think she would be fine.

Rides well in car?

Very well behaved.  Doesn’t cry but does tremble.  Very interested in   looking out the window from her car seat.

Leash-trained?

She walks very well on a leash staying with me and never pulling. The problem is getting her to come to me so I can hook the leash to her collar.  If I don't have time then I just hook it without her being aware I'm doing it.  Otherwise, I have to sit on the floor and coax her to come close enough for me to hook it to her collar. It's taking less time but still requires patience.

Crate-trained?

Yes. I work so in the mornings I fill a treat toy and place it in the   crate.  She runs right in and gets busy   with the toy.

Knows basic commands?

Sometimes she will do sit and is learning shake. She understands wait and surprised me when I told her to drop something which she did immediately.

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Kora has really blossomed from a very scared dog to a curious and playful dog.  The only issues I’ve seen she still has is that she will not walk through a doorway if I’m too close.  The biggest problem is the back door. Most times she will run through next to Kirby, otherwise I have to leave the door open and walk away so she can come in.

She is very affectionate with Kirby always cleaning his eyes and ears.  When she wants attention she will paw at my hand and she will sleep next to some part of my body.  She will not cuddle.  I have tried holding her while petting and talking to her but she cannot relax.  Over time I think she will but not yet.

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Even though she is a fearful dog she has shown no signs of aggression whatsoever.  I can even remove food from her mouth without fear of being bitten. When she is afraid she simply keeps a distance, never growls, never bites. She has no problem with thunderstorms or loud noises.  I have been rambunctious with her at playtime and she responds well, jumping and chasing back and forth with toys as long as I don’t reach for her. What’s fun is when I ruffle Kirby’s coat and give him kisses, she wants the same. This is when she will freely come to me. When people are at the house she watches and seems calm but will keep her distance from them. She does well with Doug who she has gotten used to so it isn’t a male thing.

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Kora is learning to overcome her fears as she discovers she is in fact safe.  This new concept is helping her try new adventures.  We recently went through an automatic car wash with her and Kirby sitting together in his car seat.  At first Kora scrunched down as low as she could but then began looking around.  I kept my hand resting on her shaking body as she gradually rose to a sitting position and began watching throuch the windows.  At times she would look at me, at times she would look at Kirby who was having such fun barking and jumping at the suds.  I was careful not to baby her which would have told her it was something to be afraid of so I think with a calm but firm hand her new owner can help her continue her journey to becoming a confident dog.

We are extremely careful that she not get loose outside because I don’t know if we would ever be able to catch her. I would recommend using a harness which would be harder for her to escape should she become frightened. The first night with us I let her into the fenced back yard and thought I would never get her inside since she wouldn’t let me get close to her.  I still can’t walk up to her and touch her, I have to let her come to me.

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This last week I have kept her attached to a long skinny leash except when she is outside. I was using it as a training tool but have discovered it actually seems to give her more confidence.  She willingly walks with me, even through doorways. It's also helped with her house training as she hasn't pottied inside once this week.  

Overall, she is a delight.  We will truly miss her sweet disposition, beautiful alert eyes, and happy wagging tail. She is a dog that loves to play with other dogs. She's very clever at figuring out the interactive toys and games at a fast rate.  She enjoys chasing a ball and runs like the wind.  Personally I think she would do an amazing job in agility trials with the proper training and enthusiasm.

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Kora will be available for adoption on Friday, April 19th at the SPCA of Westchester in Briarcliff Manor, New York.  To learn more about Kora, or other dogs looking for forever homes, visit Petfinder, or your local shelter or rescue.