Happy Tails

Buttercup (ADOPTED!) is approximately a 1.5 years old and weighs about 25 pounds. We rescued her 2 weeks before she gave birth to a litter of puppies (all adopted), and she has proven to be quite the puppy herself. Her fosters call her a “good dog.” She will look you in the eye with an intelligence and expressiveness that is almost human. Buttercup will make someone a wonderful companion, but she needs people who are ready to play with and exercise a dog who is rambunctious, playful and always ready to go!
Her breed is something of a mystery - she has little, short legs on a well-muscled body, upright ears, and though she looks black, she is actually a very dark chocolate color that shows itself it bright sunlight. Buttercup has been a wonderful mother to her puppies and even when her time was consumed with chasing them around and nursing, she would always take time to get cuddles from her people. Her fosters often wake up in the middle of the night to find that Buttercup has joined them in bed, snuggled up as close as possible, usually with her head buried under their pillows.

Buttercup is very bright and is usually a quiet girl. She came to us knowing a few things. She is housebroken and seems to know right from wrong when it comes to household rules. She knows how to sit, but will need practice with other basic obedience commands, like “come” and “stay.’  Our girl rides very nicely and quietly in the car. She also has a few quirks that are sure to put a smile on your face. She is an expert at offering her paw for a “high five” or “shake” – sometimes even slipping her paw into your hand when you aren’t expecting it. She absolutely loves a nice fluffy blanket and will dig and squirm around in it until it’s just right for a nap. Usually ending up with just her nose exposed for breathing. Blankets are also a favorite place for to her to hide her treasures. She digs and dexterously uses her nose to tuck away toys and chewies for later.

Buttercup loves to be outdoors and seems to find everything interesting in some way! She truly relishes rolling around in the grass on a sunny day or stretching out and dragging her belly across the lawn. She can often be found lying outside, belly up, in a patch of sunshine. As a young, active dog, Buttercup would do best in a home that can provide her with both mental stimulation and physical activities. She is a smart, athletic, high energy dog that loves nothing more than to play all day and then crawl into your lap for a nap and some ear rubs. Buttercup is happiest after a nice long walk or a game of chase in the yard. She seems to be most content with a good snuggle at the end of a long, busy day. She would love several walks a day, to sniff and explore, as well as interactive play time with her people. She likes to play ball and fetch sticks. She also enjoys brain-stimulating puzzle toys that require a little mental agility and reasoning for a tasty treat (i.e. Kongs, bob-a-lot).

In the evenings, when on a long leash, and distractions are minimal, Buttercup walks calmly. She has more trouble staying focused during the day, when on a shorter (4-6 ft. leash) and more control is needed. At these times, she often pulls to investigate bushes or leaves blowing in the wind, and is reactive (barking and pulling) if she strangers, other dogs and bicycles at a distance. She is fine, however, when people and bicycles come close. We believe that if meeting others while she is off-leash, she would not be reactive.

Buttercup’s experience with other dogs is limited. Because she has spent most of her time inside with her puppies, there have not been many opportunities for her to interact with other dogs. However, she was living with several other young social dogs and pups at the shelter before she came to us. Like most dogs in “mommy-mode,” Buttercup became more defensive of other dogs after her puppies came. When the time for her to nest came along, she didn’t even want her foster brother around anymore (with whom she had got along with up until then). We believe that if given the choice, she would prefer the company of people over dogs and that, with some practice, she can be comfortable around other dogs once again.

She is currently living at a foster home with four cats. It took a few weeks for everyone to learn to get along. Buttercup would need reminding that the cats don’t appreciate being chased and that they definitely don’t want to wrestle like puppies. Her urges to chase them have since faded and she is trusted to be left home alone with them.

We will schedule her spay surgery as advised by our veterinarian. As with all our dogs, she will be up-to-date on her vaccinations, microchipped and started on heartworm prevention.

If you are interested in meeting Buttercup, please begin our pre-adoption approval process by completing our online adoption form. Click on “Adopt” at the top of the page, for our online Adoption Form.  If you have specific questions, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Yeti (ADOPTED!), is a very loving, easy going, old soul, who wants nothing more than a quiet, calm home and his very own person. He is approximately 5 years old, weighs 90 lbs., and is just a big marshmallow. While he meets all people well, he seems to gravitate to women. He will choose his person, probably a female, and want to hang out near her, often following her from room to room. Yeti adores human attention and being petted and stroked. Sometimes if you are stroking him and then stop, he may use his mouth to take your hand and pull it back to tell you to continue petting him. Other times he is happy to quietly hang out on his own and rest in a preferred small space. Yeti is polite and friendly when meeting new people on the street, and meeting new dogs. He is curious about other dogs, and will meet and sniff them politely. Although he prefers the company of his people and receiving human attention, he is good around dogs, who are polite and not actively in his face or constantly running around or past him. He may avoid pushy dogs who rush up to him, or if they run past him, he may try to interfere as they pass, to make them stop. He wants to keep the peace.

Yeti is completely house-trained. When on leash, he walks nicely at your side and never pulls. He is very compliant and will try to do the right thing if you let him know what you want. Yeti is also extremely smart. When he was first fed alongside another dog, he tried to go to the other dog's bowl. When his foster gently touched his neck and told him to go back to his own bowl, he listened and returned to his own food. From that one time, he learned not to wander to the other dog’s bowl. If you tell him No, when he is showing unwanted behavior, he will stop immediately and come to you. After just two days in a temporary foster home, when a man he did not know entered the house on his own, and Yeti heard a strange voice, he immediately ran out and barked at that person. When his foster mom told him No, he stopped barking and turned towards her. He would be a great watch dog. We have not yet seen him around cats. Because he is easily stressed by fast and unpredictable movements, we do NOT recommend him in a home with young children.

Our boy was found as a stray by animal control officers. Based on the occurrences that trigger his fear and his watchful caution, we can guess how he was likely treated in his past life, and how he came to be stray.  He is completely terrified when riding in a car and wants to lie up against a person with his head buried under your arm, or over someone’s lap for security. He will go into the car willingly, but once the car begins to move, he will tremble, drool, hyperventilate, and his heart will almost beat out of his chest. His extreme fear when in a moving car leads us to believe that he was likely driven somewhere and dumped. Anyone driving him, should have a second person in the car, as he feels the need to hug or be up against someone during a drive. The fur along the very tips of his ears has been eaten away by flies or cut away for some reason. At night, Yeti likes to have some light, and will go to a lit area or a night light. If he can, he will place himself in small protected spaces, such as a closet, laundry room, or a protected corner of a room.

Yeti will react when people reach to grab his collar, by resisting and struggling. However, if you simply attach a leash to his collar, he will easily come with you, even if he doesn’t want to. He is very quiet 98 percent of the time. We have only heard him bark on a few occasions when he was startled, and for a split second, scared for his own personal safety, and the other was the incident when a strange man let himself into the house. 

The two times a startle reaction was triggered in him, that it was triggered by a man. During all other times, when he feels happy and secure. Yeti will be immediately more comfortable and trusting when meeting women. He is calm, but watchful when first meeting men. After a day or so of observation, he will begin to trust and relax around a man. He would love to be an only dog, and have all the love and attention of his person. He would also be good with another easy going, lower energy, female dog. He is mostly indifferent with a male dog in the house, but tries to control the movements of his submissive foster brother.

In summary, this dog has a wonderful, loving and gentle spirit, but has seen some hardship and trauma in his past. His adopter(s) will need to be aware of his desire to police male dogs and strange men in the home, and to teach him some basic rules. He will quickly obey his person.

Bindi (ADOPTED!) is a super sweet 16-month-old ACD/Blue Heeler with a lovely long white tail. Weighing 35 pounds, she is on the smaller side for an ACD. She wants to form a strong bond with her immediate person or family. Bindi loves to nuzzle up and be cozy with you whenever she can, exuberantly wiggling her way into your arms and heart. Typical of her breed, she is 90% velcro dog, who wants to be by our sides or at our feet most the time, but will go off to do her own thing too. In the mornings she has a burst of anxious energy, then settles down and for the most part she models her energy level to whatever you are doing.

At night when we watch TV, we’ll ask Bindi to “go lay down” and she will go to her bed and curl up. On occasion we will allow her to curl up on the sofa or bed with us and she relishes the opportunity. As a very young dog, still a pup, Bindi loves to play with and chew her little bouncy ball. She’ll fetch it with gusto, but she’s not yet bringing it back. She loves her treat stuffed Kong toy, and is readily entertained by it. Otherwise, she does not chew or otherwise destroy anything inside or outside our home, though we do keep her in her crate when left alone at home. She has NOT shown any desire to dig.

Bindi tends to be reserved and fearful when first encountering people, but is curious and happy to meet other dogs.

Bindi enjoys sniffing everything and occasionally friendly touching of noses with the next door dog through a knot-hole in the fence. She is well behaved and eager to play with the dogs we have met on trails, though we have not let her off leash with dogs other than our own dog. We know that Bindi was occasionally visiting a dog park with her previous person so we expect her to do well with other dogs, but we haven’t put this to the test. On the trail with us, Bindi and our dog are side by side exploring and sniffing everything. However, at home when worked up over the doorbell or the mailman, they have re-directed on each other and gotten in a few arguments. While Bindi is generally very mild mannered, once the scuffle begins she doesn’t back down. She likes to test her boundaries with our dog, possibly wanting to be top dog. For this reason, Bindi may be best alone or with a more submissive dog as a companion.

We have leash-walked her past cats, and so far she has paid no attention to them. However, with her strong reaction to moving objects, if a cat ran, she would surely chase.

When meeting new people, believe she is slightly more trusting with men, but she needs to be allowed her own time to warm up to all new people. This is much more apparent in our home or a place she sees as her territory. At first, several months ago, it took Bindi a very long time to warm up to our first several visitors, cautiously circling and barking. Since then, we had many ‘strangers’ visit. Her time frame can vary greatly, but she is now often being petted by strangers in a matter of minutes. In a controlled environment, strangers simply need to completely ignore her until she has sniffed around and deemed it safe. Even very young visitors have not had issue with Bindi when they were properly advised to ignore her until she was calmly welcoming to them. Plying her with treats will ensure her approval. On or off leash, this is definitely the one area where you need to be attentive and she can use more training. Bindi’s people must watch and prevent strangers from suddenly approaching her, until she gains more confidence and trust.

Bindi is a very quiet girl, who rarely barks, but she definitely will let you know when someone is approaching the door. Currently, we thank her for notifying us, then have her go to her crate while we greet the person at the door and/or bring them into the house. Sometimes before, but always after she hears us talking for a few minutes she calms down and we let her out of the crate and she’ll quietly and cautiously inspect the stranger, to whom you’ve already given the ‘ignore’ information explained above.

Bindi was raised in a small travel trailer where she didn’t have a yard and was alone for long periods, did not receive any training or exercise, and had almost no exposure to  new people, animals, or situations. She has been with us since November and we had to begin with potty training and work from that up through basic obedience. Now, with her immunizations and basic training intact and having just been spayed as of Jan. 2nd , we believe she is finally ready to find her perfect forever home. 

Bindi is a quick learner. When she came to us she was not yet house broken, however she quickly showed us how smart and eager she is to please her people. We now open the back door, say ‘bathroom’ and out she runs to one of her designated spots do her business. She is extremely food motivated, making for easy training, but with work we have also been able to train her with the ball as her reward. We have crate-trained her and she usually eagerly runs to her crate when we tell her to. She sleeps in her crate all night, but on a couple of rare occasions has been allowed to nap on top of our bed with us, which she loves. Using food, treats and the ball Bindi quickly learned basic obedience, including wait, sit and lie down and she’s even nearly proficient with a few tricks like beg (sit pretty) and roll-over.

We make feeding time a training session for both our dog and Bindi.They are to sit or lie down and wait while the food is being prepared and served. If they move from their spots, food preparation comes to a stop.  When the food is placed they must ‘wait’ in their spots until the ‘okay’ is given. They are sometimes tested further by having to wait while we walk away to another room without them approaching their food bowls. There is zero sign of food aggression, I can reach right in at any time to take the bowl and both dogs have even been muzzle to muzzle in the same food or water bowls at times without problem.

As a very bright girl, Bindi knows the harness means we’re going somewhere and she practically jumps into it when we have it in our hands. When we walk the neighborhood or busy local trails both dogs are always on leash. On more remote trails we have recently let Bindi off leash several times when there were no other people or dogs in close proximity. In these circumstances she has done very well running up alongside our dog, frequently checking back to us to be sure we’re okay and often staying with us. Off leash, she’ll run right back when called, however if she finds an interesting distraction, it takes a loud whistle or yell to get her out of her trance. While on leash she is quite good, usually adjusting her pace to match yours, but she’ll pull moderately some of the time, and stop to sniff things frequently.  

Bindi rides well in a car. We connect her to a short leash in the back of the car, to keep her in place. She does not get car sick, having been tested by many hours-long rides with us on twisty mountain roads. 

Young, energetic and eager to learn, Bindi’s ideal forever home would be in a calm household with active people, who will not leave her alone for long periods. We believe Bindi would be fine with young adults or teenagers, but she would not do well around young rambunctious children. Her people must understand an under socialized dog and be willing to slowly expose her to new experiences to help her learn about the world and gain confidence. As a ‘teenager’ she is energetic and eager to learn. She will need plenty of play time, solid training and daily walks or runs outside the home. In return Bindi will protect your home, give you her utmost obedience and the warmest coziest snuggles and kisses.

If you are interested in meeting Bindi, please begin our pre-adoption approval process by completing our online adoption form, at http://hittgv.org/index.php/adopt.

Lola (ADOPTED!) is a very loving, playful, 15 month old, 29 lb. bundle of energy! She is a happy, busy girl, hungry for more experiences. She’s a hugger! More than anything she wants her own people. She likes to levitate her front paws up onto people, so she can be closer to you, and flash her big smile at you or give a few kisses.

When we first got her from the shelter, Lola was so excited to see and sniff new places. Our first stop for a bath was the pet store, which was a wonderful world of friendly people, treats, and toys that she didn’t want to leave.

Lola is super smart, with a fantastically happy nature, and is very attentive and responsive to people. We can see that she has a personality and loving nature that is much bigger than her pint sized body. At her core, Lola is a confident and curious dog, who is up for anything her people want to do. She is a sponge for more knowledge and experiences, with incredible potential for so many things.  However, because she originally lived her life in a backyard, without any training or socialization in the world, with other dogs or people, her lack of experience causes her to be initially very fearful in new situations, until she realizes that all is well. She will need people who have experience, time and patience to slowly introduce her to new situations and to carefully manage her socialization, so that every new meeting is a positive experience. It will take time for her fear of new things to turn into an eagerness to face whatever is next.

We are only just teaching Lola manners. She is like a kid who has never heard the word No, and gets into everything. With a cattle dog mind of her own, she needs someone who can and will consistently spend time with her and guide her into a more civilized behavior style. She has energy to spare, and is so full of life that she often doesn’t know when to stop running, playing, and getting into things. When she becomes overly stimulated, and won’t stop moving, placing her on a time-out saves her from herself, and within seconds she is quiet and resting. Her people must be cattle dog savvy, showing confident, benevolent, pack leadership; if not, she will continue to do what she wants. The good news is that she is still very young, incredibly smart, and figures things out very quickly. Lola will train easily, as she watches her people very closely and responds very well to praise and treats. Each day we see a bit more progress.

Lola is potty trained to go outside, and even on command (“go potty”). She is learning how to walk on leash, although she often tries to start a game of tug with the leash. We are working on this. As a typical willful cattle dog, she will bark to let you know if she is very unhappy with a situation. We do not recommend Lola in a home with cats or small children. She will want to chase and round them up. This pup has quite a bit of herding instinct, and in her playfulness often resorts to trying to herd other dogs. She is respectful of other dogs and enjoys their company once she knows them. After several meetings with other dogs who invited her to play, Lola finally figured out what they were doing and learned how to play!

After that first day out of the shelter, we have seen that Lola is initially afraid when encountering new dogs and new people. When on leash, her first impulse, is fearful defensive barking at new beings, until she can approach and sniff them. She is just afraid and her barking is her way of keeping scary new things away from her. If everyone is relaxed, calm and friendly, and she is able to sniff, she soon becomes everyone’s best friend. Lola is quickly an adoring love when meeting women. When first seeing unknown men standing or walking, she will bark and growl. If men are still or better yet, sitting, and ignore her, she will very cautiously approach and sniff, often wagging her tail in a friendly way. If new people drop treats, she will warm up more quickly. Once she knows a person is good, she will want to climb into your lap to show her love and ask for affection.

Lola was originally surrendered to the shelter for herding children, as herding was the only way she knew how to play and interact. She needs continued managed socialization with other dogs, and human guidance to teach her manners, social skills, and how to channel her herding instinct, and play without herding.

Lola would be fantastic in an all adult home, with experience and time to work with her and be her close companion(a). She adores human love and attention. She would make a great running or hiking buddy. Having some livestock to learn to herd, would be a dream for her. Lola would do well as an only dog, if her person is with her most of the time. She would also do well with another dog to learn from, and to play with.

If you may be interested in adopting or even fostering Lola, or have questions, please call us at (707) 583-9583.  We will also ask you to please complete our online adoption or fostering form, as a first step in our adoption and foster processes.  Click her for the form:  Adoption:  http://hittgv.org/index.php/adopt   Fostering:  http://hittgv.org/index.php/foster

Naiya (ADOPTED!) is an elegant and graceful 40-45 lb., 18-24 month old, Australian cattle dog mix. Her foster sent in her DNA and we learned that she is half cattle dog, with 1/8 doberman, 1/8 Aussie Shepherd, and 1/4 mystery working/sporting/herding breed(s). We estimate that she is around 18-24 months old. She is an incredible natural athlete, and would be a great running or hiking companion, or outstanding at agility. She is affectionate and more than anything, wants a home of her own where she can be with her people and dog friends, as part of an adult family. Feeling safe is key for Naiya, whether with people or other dogs. Once she realizes a person is good and will not harm her, she will adore them, with happy greetings, kisses, and asking for attention.

She is the same with other dogs. While cautious when first meeting and assessing another dog, once she realizes they are friendly, she will invite them to play and become best friends. She does very well meeting and playing with other dogs on walks and at the park. She is very playful with other friendly dogs, both male and female. She initiates play with her canine brother and sister, and other neighbor dogs, and she loves to run and play chase.

Naiya needs to be introduced to a new world very slowly. If an unknown dog approaches too quickly or is too pushy or bouncy, Naiya will wrinkle her nose and try to bark them away. Naiya is most trusting of women and warms ups quickly with a calm introduction, and may give a lick within just a few minutes. It takes time for her to be comfortable with being petted by an unfamiliar person. She will back away quickly and bark a warning, if a new person attempts to pet her. She warms up most quickly, within a few minutes, if a new person ignores her or are respectful and does not try to interact with her. Naiya has NEVER in fear tried to snap or bite anyone.

She has been great on off leash hikes with her foster dad and their dogs, and will come when called - most of the time. If she is after a rabbit, well, her response time may be a little slow, but she will return. She is out off leash at least 40 minutes every day. She will run for miles and is ready for more. She runs like the wind, and leaps over giant sagebrush like a deer - elegant and graceful. She loves to run off leash, but also now walks well on leash. Her foster mom has been on teaching her good leash manners. On walks she has been exposed to bikes, scooters, unfamiliar people and dogs. If they are at a distance, she will be calm, but alert, not wanting to go close. If alarmed or worried, she will bark a warning. If startled, by strange noises or an approaching stranger, she may bolt and pull.

We are learning more about Naiya, and she is improving each day. She wants to please and tries very hard. She is extremely bright and observant, and learns quickly. Treats and praise are big motivators for her, and loves her training sessions. Once she knows she is at home, with continued encouragement, understanding, and positive introductions to new things, her confidence will continue to grow. Together with consistent gentle corrections, and growing up a bit, we believe her fearful and insecure behaviors will disappear.

Naiya is an excellent car companion. She is calm while traveling and very happy to wait for you while you are away. On her daily car rides, she is happy to just curl up in her dog bed when she is left in the car for short periods of time.

Naiya loves to have her tummy rubbed and just wants to hang out wherever you are. Naiya has a strong, sometimes demanding, need for love, affection and reassurance. When excited to see you, she jumps up to give you kisses and is playfully mouthy. If you walk away from her at these times, she will grab your heel, just firmly enough to try to stop you from leaving. When corrected, she will go immediately into a submissive mode. Her foster mom is working with her on these behaviors, which should subside once she gains more confidence. If there is another dog in the home, Naiya will compete for your attention, trying to squeeze herself in for affection and time with you. She is a good watch dog, who will give out a bark when someone is approaching or comes into the house.

We believe that at some point she lived in a house and was allowed on the furniture, because she loves sleeping on the couch and the family beds. She also loves her dog bed. Naiya appears to be house broken, and has had no accidents since arriving at her foster home. She doesn’t play with toys but she loves chew toys, bones and Nylabones. When she is relaxed and content, she enjoys her chews. If she is anxious about anything new, she will also need something good to chew on.

When left alone and free in the house, she has found ways to entertain her curious brain. Her fosters have found shoes moved around the house (undamaged), the contents of a briefcase scattered about (undamaged), or a bit of cardboard, paper, or book corners nibbled. She may try and steal food from the counter if it is left out and unattended. If left alone in the house on her bed in the x-pen (expandable pen), which is her safe place, with a treat filled Kong or bully stick or other chew toy, she is fine and doesn’t wander about. Naiya, however, does not like the confinement of being in a crate or locked alone in a room, and becomes very, very anxious and upset. Until she feels safe and secure with you, if you leave her alone shut in a room she will panic and freak out trying to get out.

As a rescue dog, she has been through quite a bit, and her insecurities and fears are understandable. In just 5 weeks, she is already a million times better than when she was first rescued. At night, she can still be skittish and startle easily. The work and time that her adopters may need to put in in the beginning to see this intelligent, sweet, loving and very devoted girl come into her own, will be well worth the effort.

If you are interested in meeting Naiya, please begin our pre-adoption approval process by completing our online adoption form, on our Adoption page (click on the Adopt bar near the top of this page).


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.


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