Thelma (ADOPTED!) is an 8-year-old 35-pound Cattle Dog mix, perhaps with Border collie. She is a very well-balanced sweet dog with wonderful manners. You really could not expect to meet a more polite, easy going girl than Thelma. At her core Thelma is good willed. She is slightly reserved but readily meets new people.  Once comfortable with someone she is engaging with a delightfully playful streak.  

Thelma’s person of 8 years passed away, and she does have some grief. She at times seems unsure of what is expected, and her worried little brow can tug at your heart. She was very shut down at the Animal Shelter and refused any interaction. But she is responding beautifully to new situations and experiences with increasing curiosity and courage.

Beyond anything, Thelma seems to have a joy in life that carries her through. When she first arrived at her foster home she quickly explored the entire house, and then decided the couch looked like the place to be. In the first few days she was submissive; she was wary of interaction and seemed to be fearful of  being touched or making eye contact. But in a very short time she has come to trust her situation and her fear has been replaced with a truly lovely joyful personality.

Thelma’s overriding quality is that she is “well-balanced.” She is house trained and accustomed to living inside. She can be left alone and does not display insecurity or separation anxiety. She does not appear to have ever been in a crate, but we are attempting to slowly introduce the crate as a safe place to be.

She is not pushy in any regard, rather she has a very strong ability to be patient. She has excellent manners in the house and is quiet; she is not a barker. She does “talk” on some occasions particularly when she knows preparations are in the works for a walk. She will give a big smile and a little “Arrrwww” to hurry the process along. Thelma also rides nicely in a car. Her one quirk is that she rides on the floor of the car, preferably in the back behind the driver’s seat. She curls up and stays in place until she senses you are at the destination.

Thelma meets new people and dogs nicely; she is slightly reserved but friendly. When meeting with new dogs Thelma is relaxed and is appropriate in her approach. She fully enjoys hanging out with friendly dogs and responds happily if another dog wants to play, chase being her favorite game. But when hiking on the trail she says a quick “hello” and then moves on. If she meets a dog that is not appropriate Thelma will remove herself from the situation. This girl wants nothing to do with aggression or hostility. We have not seen her eat in front of other dogs but there is no indication that she guards her food. She is not toy oriented. She has no idea what a ball is for, nor does she understand frisbees. She does like treats, but is not obsessed with them and will often refuse a treat from a stranger.

She is calm with children and tolerates being petted by them. But she does not appear to have been around children much and is much more responsive to adults. Her response to cats is varied.  In a few cat interactions, her response has been varied, but in the end, because Thelma does have prey drive and will chase if a cat moves, she would be best in a home without cats or other small animals.

Thelma absolutely adores being outside on trails in the woods. That is her element; she becomes all “dog” outside. She is NOT an apartment dog and should be where she can be outside in nature part of her day. Short walks on a sidewalk will not meet her needs. She walks nicely on a leash when out on a hike in the park or woods, but at times will pull slightly, mainly to stop and smell. But in an urban setting her leash skills are not so good - she will weave from side to side and pull. Also, Thelma does not know about cars, and is somewhat nervous and can freeze if they pass too close. She does not want to chase cars, but she does not know to get out of the way. For that reason Thelma should not be in a home where she has to be walked near traffic.

“Sit,” “lay down,” and “shake hands” are alien words to Thelma. She does not seem to have been formally trained. However, she pays close attention to her person and most of the time seems to understand what is being asked of her. As a very intelligent girl who wants to please, she watches closely for cues and responds amazingly on point. She is a fast learner and quickly learned to come on command.

Thelma does show some Cattle Dog breed tendency to be willful, particularly when asked to go on the leash when she is outside. But even then, her personality trait turns “willful” into “playful” and it becomes a game. She makes it clear that she knows she is being “naughty” and will even prance with sly glances over her shoulder staying just barely out of reach. This has become less of an issue since she has learned to come on command. She does have her preferences when out on a trail and will become stubborn when she sees a trail that interests her. She will give in and come with you if you just continue on. As a cattle dog, Thelma is a velcro dog, and staying with her person is her priority. She is not a dog who roams.

Thelma should be in a home where she can walk and run at least one hour every day. She loves being outside on hiking trails and would probably be a great camping companion.

If you are interested in meeting Thelma, please begin by completing our adoption form at the Adopt link in the blue bar above: Download and print the form to be completed. If you have questions, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or leave a message at (707) 583-9583.


Our mission: To rescue, care for, and rehabilitate unwanted, abused, and neglected dogs of herding breeds, concentrating on Australian Cattle Dogs and Border Collies.

Our focus is on their permanent placement into appropriate, loving homes, and informing the public about the special nature and needs of herding breeds.

Contact us at:   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


We are grateful for any contributions to help us rescue, care for, and transport animals.

If you prefer to write a check, please mail it to: Herd It Through The Grapevine, P.O. Box 9585, Santa Rosa, CA 95405

Herd It Through The Grapevine is a 501(c)(3) approved organization.