Deborah Status: Available

ID: 31840

Name: Deborah

Breed: Shih tzu

Age: 7 Years

Gender: Female

Adoption Fee: See below

Location: In Foster in
Exmouth, Devon

If you are interested in adopting a dog that does not say it can be homed with a cat and wish us to cat test please let us know and we will be happy to do this.

01-12-21 Deborah has come to us from a breeder to find her forever home. She is a scared little girl who is very worried to find herself here and will sit hiding in the back of her kennel and will watch the world go by. Deborah was briefly adopted but returned as she struggled to settle into home life.  In her foster home Deborah is watching the other dogs interact with her foster mum but is too scared to leave her safe hidey hole yet. She needs the space and time to workout she is safe without anyone trying to push attention on her.
Deborah gets along really well with all dogs and will need at least one other kind and confident dog in her new home who can be her friend and help boost her confidence. She will need to learn all about house training and how to walk on a lead but her foster mum will start her on this once she feels Deborah is ready. She will need a quiet adult only home with an adopter who experienced with scared ex-breeding dogs. With time and love and a lot of patience she will start to settle in to her new life and it will be so rewarding when you see her experience new things for the first time, such as taking a treat from you or finding a cosy dog bed to snooze in.

05-02-22 UPDATE
How do I update a dog that if you come to meet you won’t see her?
What do I write to find a forever family home for a dog so scared she would scrabble over you, or anything else in her way, in blind fear to get away?
How can I describe a cute, fluffy shih tzu that is closer to a wild fox in the house than a family pet?Deborah has come so far. She still runs, but is slightly slower in her panic. If you watch the video to the end how she walks back in — as I’ve stepped away — is so much calmer than two months ago. Housetraining is bizarre. I open the door then move in a set pattern so Deborah runs from me, sees the door and goes outside, then I step away and she saunters back in as long as I don’t look at her. Only in the last few days has she gone into the garden of her own accord and not because I’ve ushered her out, I’m hopeful as the days get warmer I can have the door open so she can do it more. This obviously is not transferable easily to another house layout and needs to be considered by any applicants. I have a dog flap, but she doesn’t use it. She prefers to stay hidden away and has shown no curiosity to follow the other dogs when they leave the kitchen or join them on their beds when we are all in the kitchen. She is great with all the dogs she has met but doesn’t seek their comfort or guidance. I’ve fostered a lot of scared dogs but she is the first to virtually ignore other dogs as well as wishing humans didn’t exist. Please don’t be fooled by the tail wagging in the video. She is not saying “ooh I’m so happy”. The tail wagging is a nervous twitch reaction saying, “please don’t hurt me I’m not bad”. My heart breaks for her.
I can tell you she is a real character, but only because I’ve noticed by default. Deborah has full run of the house and at night, once the lights are out, I hear her padding around. In the morning all the dog toys are gathered up in a dog bed — though Deborah is hidden away again by the time I go down stairs. She will bark under the table if I don’t make her food fast enough. I now put the bowl down next to the table so she eats by flying past and grabbing a mouthful, still too scared to eat in the open with me in the room. This terrified little girl has never bitten but I would want an adopter to be prepared her fear level means it is a possibility. Another positive is I no longer get the stench of poo as she breaks wind in terror when I look at her and she hasn’t wet herself out of fear for a few weeks now.
Deborah is a long term project who is progressing slowly in foster and she is safe. She is available for adoption but it will need to be an exceptionally patient, experienced home, in the mean time my little petrified butterfly can stay here as long as she needs. 

24-02-22 UPDATE

Two weeks ago I fenced off the table Deborah has hidden under for over two months, I gave her that time to decompress when she first arrived. Once the hides holes were fenced off I gave her a covered crate with the door open in the corner and used this area to feed her and let her learn it was a safe space for her. Last week I took the cover off the crate and changed nothing else until yesterday when I took the crate down. This short video shows how scared Deborah still is but there are some massive improvements in her confidence. When she moves from me as I’ve crouched by her bed she runs to the open kitchen door. She could run in to the garden, upstairs or the lounge, all with plethora of covered places to hide. Instead she makes the monumental choice to circle around and stay in the room with me. When I stand up, taking some pressure off Deborah she runs back to her safe space, the bed. I wouldn’t routinely approach a dog in her safe area but Deborah is indicating she was ready to be touched by not running a second time from me despite having space and opportunity. Once I begin to stroke her again I see a big improvement because instead of just playing dead and freezing each time I stop touching her she looks at me and still doesn’t run.
In my experience, when working with a dog with such fear as this little girl, you have to celebrate these tiny signs and understand for an 8kg terrified shih tzu they are giant steps as her life for 7 years was to avoid humans and today despite her fear she chose to stay near me. Deborah is a long term project but will be so incredible rewarding. If you have the patience of a saint, no holidays booked for at least the next 12 months and a home like Fort Knox maybe you could offer Deborah a forever home.

28-07-22 UPDATE


Deborah has come a long way, but she is still a nervous dog. Any change in the routine of her foster home results in her hiding away. If new people come into the house — especially men — it makes her panic and mess herself in fear as she darts away. This is despite anyone new ignoring her and not trying to interact or even look at her. Deborah accepts women far more readily, she can live with men, but will need a woman to be her main caregiver initially.
The video attached show the real break throughs this little dog has made. She will run if I need to handle her, but will settle on a bed after a few dashes so I can touch her. In exceptionally safe, quiet areas Deborah has experienced a few tentative walks. She doesn’t really enjoy them as she searches for somewhere to hide most of the time. She does enjoy exploring the garden and comes in and out of an open door comfortably. If you have a safe garden she will be totally contented not being asked to walk just yet. She is fine left alone at home for short periods of time so you would be able to still walk the resident dogs while Deborah slowly finds her bravery. When I do need to handle Deborah, like grooming, she will stay motionless and there has never been any sign of aggression. In the last two weeks she has started showing me her happy dance at meal times, this has taken months to be confident enough to do this in front of me.
Deborah’s perfect forever home will be someone experienced with nervous dogs. A person with no agenda to have her on daily walks or going on holiday with the family any time soon. She would like a quiet home with at least one kind, friendly resident dog. Deborah can cope with visitors, including children, but they would need to be calm and know to not try and interact with Deborah. Loud noises, shouting or crying would really frighten this little girl. To make Deborah feel safe she will need a hide away she can access and stay in if new people are in her home.
This is a dog who still does not understand a softly spoken word means love, that treats mean she has been good, or a stroke of her head is her forever family bonding with her. I realise I’m looking for a needle in a haystack, but if you are someone who can celebrate her tiny steps of bravery, has no expectations and is willing to let Deborah set the pace I promise you’ll be rewarded beyond anything you’ve experienced with a dog to date. If you’re looking to change a little dogs life by rescuing one this is your girl. 

08-08-22 UPDATE
Deborah doesn't obviously interact with the other dogs in her foster home but she is always watching. One day she decided she didn't want to eat in her quiet corner and firmly put herself next to my two girls. As Deborah thrives on routine, once she made this move she is like clockwork, waiting in her chosen food area twice a day.
Another small step for dogs but a giant leap for Deborah kind is during the week two male friends have come in for a coffee, Deborah was on high alert but she stayed in the kitchen with them and didn't mess herself on either occasion. With a dog as anxious as Deborah these are the small successes I celebrate.


Please read our information on ADOPTING EX-BREEDING DOGS before you apply.

PLEASE NOTE: We nearly always home dogs who have come from breeders where there is ALREADY A RESIDENT DOG living in the house. They have usually never lived in a house before and are only used to canine company. They usually get their confidence and learn faster with another dog to copy from. This also helps with house training and learning how to walk on a lead. They will make lovely pets but do need a lot of love, time and patience. If the ex breeding dog you are interested in can be an only dog it will say so in its write up. Please read our information on ADOPTING EX-BREEDING DOGS before you apply.

 If your application is successful you will be home checked and you, all members of your family and any dog(s) who will be living with the dog MUST come to meet the dog you want to adopt. All our dogs are micro-chipped, have had at least their first inoculation and are spayed/neutered unless there is a medical reason for not doing so. You must have a safe means of transporting the dog home in a crate or if this is not possible please discuss with Many Tears or the Fosterer when your application is being processed.


Please read our adoption procedures before applying and then complete the adoption form.





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