Click Here to see Zoe's Special Birthday Post
Back then we lived in Beaverton, Oregon. We first drove about an hour down to Salem, OR to look at a dog I saw on Petfinder but when we got there the shelter was closed! We ended up driving back up to Portland and went to the Oregon Humane Society. After wandering around the shelter for a while and looking at the dogs we entered the last room. I was walking around and my husband was looking at a pointer/blue heeler looking dog that was barking his head off.. Right next to him was this small-ish blonde dog all curled up on her bed with her head tucked under her tail. She was quiet and still only her eyes looking around. It turns out that she as sick with kennel cough (we didn't realize this until a few days later) and her tail was covered with snot from her tucking her nose under it.
Her name was Siskyyou. I remember gasping and pointing and telling Vince (my husband) to get over here, I had found our dog. I knew instantly that she was ours. It was love at first sight. We called her over to us and she came. She licked our hands, still just as quiet and calm as could be. I immediately ran to the front desk to fill out the paperwork so we could visit her in the room/adopt her if we wanted to. We visited her in the room and she was a little more shy.. Hiding under the bench.. she was a little nervous.. but it didn't worry me. I knew there was an amazing dog in there. The shelter workers put her away and after some discussion and convincing I told the shelter we wanted to adopt her.
Zoe's first day home.
After we got our new dog into the car we realized we didn't have any supplies so we headed over to the nearest pet store and stocked up on everything we would need. Our new dog trotted around the pet store like she had been with us forever. She was still a bit reserved but happy. We got her home and she was greeted at the door by our 3 cats. Hurley and Pandora (cats) were shocked and dismayed by what was coming through the door. Lilly our third and youngest cat walked up to the new dog, sniffed her and walked away. The other two followed her. Zoe was slightly concerned having to run the cat gauntlet but she did very well.
It took us about a day to name her. We liked the name Siskiyou but we thought it was too long. We narrowed the list down and she responded when we said "Zoe" so that's what we went with.
I started training her the next day. She learned the basic behaviors extremely quickly. She was my first dog as a grown up, although I had been working with dogs my entire life. I am an all breed pet dog groomer. When I started training her I used mostly positive reinforcement with luring and then also some punishment because I had been watching the Dog Whisperer. I learned pretty quickly that I did not like the techniques he used and switched completely to Positive Reinforcement training. The rest is history.
Zoe loves doing tricks. It's really one of her most favorite things to do. She is a problem solver and a free thinker. She is so incredibly smart. She picks things up immediately. She also loves hiking, hunting, running on the beach, parkour and playing with her adopted doggie sister.