Happy Tails

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).


Flynn (ADOPTED!) was born in 2009 and raised on a Blackfoot Indian reservation in Montana. He is a kind gentle horse, very soulful and intelligent, as well as being very surefooted horse, steady and powerful. Flynn is a stocky, 14.2 hand, Red Paint, Quarter Horse. He has only been ridden Western and used for cattle work or trail riding purposes, and can be ridden by an intermediate or advanced rider. He will stand tied quietly, load in the horse trailer, bathe, groom and be tacked with ease.

For only being 8-9 years old, Flynn has quite an accomplished past. For years, he had been a cattle horse, gathering cows in the rugged hills of Montana near Glacier National Park. Hence, his qualification for being a herder in our rescue!  Flynn was also used for stunt work in movies such as the Lone Ranger and other cowboy and Indian movies.

He came to California in March of 2017 where he worked as a trail horse at a winery. Flynn developed a squamous cell sarcoma in his right eye shortly after his arrival. In October, the heavy smoke from the wine country fires worsened his eye's fragile condition and his owners were advised to have the eye surgically removed immediately. However, the trail horse operation decided that having a one-eyed horse would be a liability, and that Flynn could no longer be a trail horse. The equestrian center manager, who adored Flynn, contacted us about the dilemma of Flynn’s eye and his need for a new future. She facilitated the trail horse operation’s surrender of Flynn, and took the lead on arranging for his eye surgery, which was completed on October 30, 2017. He has recovered beautifully. Flynn loss of eyesight in his right eye has not affected him much that we can tell.

Additional photos and video are available. A possible trial period for an adoption will be considered, contingent upon your location and references.

Flynn is located in Sonoma, CA  and can be seen by appointment only. If you may be interested in possibly adopting him, please complete our online Adoption Form (click on "Adopt" bar, above).  While the form is worded for dogs, please respond regarding your experience with and situation for a horse.  If you have questions, please email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us at: (707) 583-9583.

The remaining outstanding cost for Flynn's eye surgery is $1,955.89.  We would be very grateful for donations, in any amount, to help us pay for the rest of his veterinary bills.  Every little bit helps! Thank you so much!

Scooter (ADOPTED!) ) is a blue heeler/cattle dog mix, who weighs 45 pounds, and is roughly 8 years old. He's a special needs dog, in that he has epilepsy that is controlled by phenobarbital tablets twice daily. That said, Scooter is an amazingly easy dog to have, especially for a cattle dog!  He is super sweet, loving, extremely attentive and obedient, with a very balanced personality.

Scooter is a wonderful companion, but is not in your face about his affection. He wants to be with and stay close to his person/people, and very much wants to please you. He checks in often to look for guidance and that all is well. He is a playful dog with other dogs. His favorite activities include running around playing with other dogs. He also loves to playful wrestle on the floor, and although he loves people, he can be reserved around strangers. He enjoys wandering about the office with his person, hoping to get treats from co-workers.

Scooter’s doggy manners at the park are perfect and respects boundaries and body language of other dogs. He ignores cats and kids and doesn't have an aggressive or confrontational bone in his body. He has never bitten, or growled at anyone or anything. He is a quiet boy, and not a barker, though he does howl at a nearby fire/ambulance siren occasionally.

He's got a great memory and basically trains himself. Scooter is extremely motivated to please and responds amazingly well to treats. He pretty much taught himself sit, stay, slow (slow down walking and wait), come, lay down, shake and high-five. His obedience is so solid that he will sit and stay on command, even if he sees another dog he wants to run and play with.  Scooter is a dream when out on walks. He is a great off-leash or on-leash dog, and will stay right at your side, and if playing, he will come immediately when called. He is also crate trained and completely housebroken. He has even learned to do his business in designated spots.

Scooter is well acclimated to family and office life, having been his human's constant shadow at home and work for the past 4 years. He currently lives easily with small children and two cats. Although he loves to be with his person/people as much as possible, Scooter is not a lap dog, but instead prefers to just be at his person’s side as much as possible.

He was originally rescued from a terrible hoarding situation 4 years ago. Currently, his seizures only occur a couple of times a year. The episodes are mild, and last 2-4 minutes. Scooter has been on a stable dosage of his medication and requires only a yearly vet visit to renew the prescription. Pill administration is very simple as he allows his mouth to be opened and a pill dropped in.

His original adopters are looking for a new home for him due to changing financial obligations and health issues in the family. An ideal situation for Scooter would be in a home with another dog, but he would also be fine as an only dog.

If you may be interested Scooter, please complete our online Adoption Form (http://hittgv.org/index.php/adopt), or email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us at: (707) 583-9583.

This is a courtesy posting for the family fostering this dog. They are located in the Santa Cruz area.

Rusty (ADOPTED!) is a 2-3 year old, female, Australian cattle dog mix. She is a sweet, compact, little lady, who weighs around 45 lbs. She is very attentive, inquisitive, and loves to please. Rusty is free with giving little kisses and is quite affectionate. If she was allowed to, she would be at my side at all times. Rusty has the cattle dog quality of being a Velcro dog, who wants to bond closely and be with her “person” as much as possible.  She seems frustrated that I have other animals and kids that demand my attention, and will try to compete for attention (in a cute sweet way, not at all aggressive), by squeezing herself into the mix, whenever another dog or a child is receiving any attention. She is doing fine in our big family, but she may be happier in a house where she could be the only dog, as she is quite devoted to her person.

She needs a new home, and we are fostering her, because her original person has dementia, to the point that he could no longer care for her properly. At this writing, we have fostered her for about three weeks. Rusty is currently cohabiting nicely with another dog (a pit/lab mix), cats and several kids ages 4-8 years old. She is good with the kids and tolerant of the cats. We have NOT seen any ‘nipping’ behavior, but she will try to herd the dogs and kids by jumping up and nudging them with her front paws in the direction she wants them to go, or to get some attention. We have noticed that she is pretty high energy. She should have at least one full hour of active, tongue hanging out exercise each day, to be calm and relaxed the rest of the time.

Rusty is very observant and smart, and has learned our “house rules” very quickly. I feel she will learn fast with proper training. For example, our “house rules” are that the dogs are only allowed inside in one part of the house by the back door where their beds are. She learned to stay within the boundaries quickly. Even though she is completely able to open the screen door on her own, she obeys and does not do it, and waits to be let in or out. There is also a small gate in the back yard that separates our yard from the neighbors that she could easily jump over (and she did, at first) but she has learned the rules, that the dogs stay on our side of the fence. We also recently taught her to fetch, which she enjoys playing.

She likes to sleep on her doggy bed inside at night and is completely house trained. She will bark an alert when strangers arrive, but she is friendly once they meet. She likes her chew toys and bones. She does fine riding in a car. She loves to run off leash and play with our other dogs. When on leash Rusty will pull in her eagerness to explore everything and everyone. She will also bark at other dogs, if she is on the leash. Her bark seems attention seeking, and is not aggressive.

Rusty is a sweet, smart dog that will be a devoted companion. Due to her nature, she would be happiest with someone familiar with the breed.

If you are interested in meeting Rusty - who is in the Santa Cruz area, please begin by completing the HITTGV online adoption form, at http://hittgv.org/index.php/adopt. For more information or questions about Rusty, please call Amy at:  831-331-3346 (if no answer, please leave a message).

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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.