I am driving a couple hours into Canada to pick her up this weekend, I haven't met her, but from everything I've heard, she sounds like what we are looking for and certainly deserves a rescue:
She was seized from a neglect situation, never got outside even to potty, and when they first were working with her, she would roll over and pee when someone approached her. They say she has a flea allergy, probably was infested with them, had to be shaved, and the hair on her belly may not come back, though the rest has grown in nicely. I doubt she ever had good nutrition, though she doesn't have any obvious health issues. They think she is about 4. She's been fostered at a boarding kennel for about a month, and apparently she is like a different dog. Has stopped the submissive peeing, loves everybody, very sociable, doesn't go in her confined area, she waits until she's taken outside, and the only concern is they've seen one aggressive incident with a cocker spaniel, but here she will be the only pet.
I do believe I will be feeding her raw or mostly raw if she tolerates it. I had a yorkie for 15 years where we cleared up and avoided most of the increasingly common dog health issues on a raw diet, but in retrospect I know I was missing some nutrients with her. Probably minerals, and I wasn't giving her organ meats and tripe, etc., which apparently is very good for them. Since this dog is small and won't be too expensive to feed, I'm thinking of ordering the pre-made frozen raw food, maybe the Paw brand since it's organic and bone-free (I'm still unsure about whether to feed raw bones, and their site suggests bone ground in with the meat can be too much calcium and "filler"), and it already has vegetables, some fruit, and added nutrients. I'd probably supplement periodically with whatever my holistic vet recommends, and give her fruit, veggie, or dried meat snacks in between. It sounds like grains are bad for dogs, if I did any at all, I think I would do soaked, cooked, and possibly fermented grains, as pre-digested as possible.
Any suggestions of any sort on helping her make this transition to a new home and new diet? Training books or videos? I thought I might order the Dog Whisperer series. I work at home, so that will help, but it's been a long time since I've housetrained a dog and worked on any bad habits with one. (I was told she might have a chewing issue, possibly related to frustration at being confined or separation anxiety). I won't be able to trust her with free run of the house for awhile, and not sure how I will handle confining her when I'm here, but can't keep an eye on her because I'm working. I think they got her used to a crate at the kennel, but I have a feeling it's not her "preference," the way some dogs like actually seem to like them.
Well, any thoughts would be much appreciated!