Happy Tails

If you have questions or want more information about Duchess, please contact Wendy Cramer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call:  (415) 250-7209.

DUCHESS (ADOPTIED!) is a 55 pound, healthy, active, approximate 11 year old, female Australian Cattle dog, and possible Catahoula mix, who needs a new home. Her owner recently passed away and the family, located in the Sacramento area, cannot keep her. She was originally rescued by her owner about 9 or 10 years ago and until about 2 years ago, she lived as an indoor/outdoor farm dog. For the last 2 years, she has lived as an indoor dog and has enjoyed the change.

Since leaving the farm Duchess has only needed moderate activity. One good walk of up to an hour has been all she has needed. Duchess is a wonderful companion, and a velcro dog, who loves interacting and being with her people. She keeps busy throughout the day, following family members around the house, sleeping at their feet, and guarding the yard.  She enjoys ending the day cuddling with her family on the sofa and in bed.

She is curious about and friendly with people she meets, and is patient when petted and poked by small children and adults. Duchess meets most dogs well, and is well socialized as her owner regularly rescued dogs and cats. However, in recently time she has had a couple grumpy responses when meeting a new dog. But generally, she is very friendly and has always had a doggy playmates, so she should be fine in a home with another dog.

Duchess is very alert and likes routine. When her people are not home, she will sit or sleep at the window waiting for their return. Duchess will watch the street from the front window and will bark at the neighbors, passing cars, the mailman, delivery vans, and the landscaper.

Although Duchess is 11, she can learn new tricks and is very eager to please. She should not be taken outside off leash as she does not have good recall and if distracted by a squirrel or other small animal, she may not hear your calls for her to return. She was not crate trained and prefers to sleep in the same room as her family on her dog bed or in bed with her owner. Duchess is completely house broken. She knows how to use a dog door, or can get your attention when she needs to go outside.

Since she spent most of her life roaming a large piece of property, leash training was not needed. She would walk near her owner as they took their daily walk around the property. For these reasons, Duchess has only had sporadic on leash experience. When her person got sick, they moved to a subdivision and Duchess began learning about walking on a leash. With a bit more time and training, we believe that with time walking politely and comfortably on leash will become second nature to her.

Duchess has shown only minor herding instinct. Only on a few rare occasions has Duchess tried to herd visitors. She is more likely to approach visitors and ask to be pet. She will sit next to or on the feet of the visitor and paw at them asking to be pet.

She loves getting into the car, and will ride quietly. Her health is good, although she does get the occasional ear infection and has a grain allergy, so she is fed high quality grain free food.

If you have questions or want more information about Duchess, please contact Wendy Cramer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call:  (415) 250-7209.  If you are interested in meeting Duchess, please first complete our adoption questionnaire (online form or download a hard copy), which is the first step in the adoption process. At our website (hittgv.org), please click on the Adopt tab near the top of the page, and scroll down to find the online Adoption Form. The current guardians for Duchess are requesting an adoption fee of $75.00, in the form of a donation to HITTGV.

Cisco (ADOPTED!) is between 1 and 2 years old and weighs 48 lbs. He is a charming, incredibly loving, smart, silly, playful and sometimes pushy cattle dog, who adores human attention. Cisco’s natural core personality is a submissive, goofy, fun-loving guy. He often wakes up his foster mom in the morning with a sweet cuddle and kisses. He quickly bonds with his very own people and dogs, and wants to be right next to them all the time. Cisco is very responsive and eager to learn. He is easy when handled ― and allows his fosters to touch his ears, face, and paws easily. When petted, he relaxes and often lays down for belly rubs. 

Cisco has good house manners. He is very observant, and quickly learned several basic commands―sit, stay, off, leave it, etc. He now sits patiently before he gets his food and to have his leash put on. At mealtimes, once he’s done eating, he waits politely for his foster sisters to finish eating before he goes over to lick both their bowls. He willingly goes into his crate when told “in your bed.” He often takes naps in it on his own. 

He loves to play with his foster sisters. Cisco is mostly submissive with them, but will sometimes playfully take toys away from them. He would need to be paired with a happy, tolerant dog who wouldn’t mind this, as he learns more manners.

However, Cisco is also a work in progress. Before we rescued Cisco, he was obviously never exposed to or learned things that most household dogs know from an early age. We do not believe he had ever been walked on leash before, but is learning good leash manners now. Cisco also did not know how to play with toys when we rescued him, but now he has his favorites that he carries around throughout the day. Initially, he was nervous about getting in the car, but he has learned to enjoy car rides to fun destinations. He rides nicely in the backseat or in the front as your co-pilot. He does not like to be left alone, and gets a little anxious, but will eventually settle.

At his core, Cisco is a submissive dog, who doesn't want any trouble. However, due to his unknown traumatic past, he can be extremely reactive when first encountering some dogs and people. Once he realizes that another dog is friendly, he and figures out that he is safe, he gets over his initial reactiveness, and is good with people and other dogs. For this reason, he needs adopters who have experience working with reactive dogs.

Cisco has two HITTGV fosters working with him and with professional trainers to reduce his reactivity and get him on the right path in life. As he continues to be exposed to positive new experiences, his fosters are seeing his confidence grow and his behavior improve steadily. Because he sometimes panics when seeing strange dogs, and reacts by pulling and snapping indiscriminately, he may accidentally bite those standing nearest to him. At times, we still use a soft muzzle for him, when there may be a chance of meeting unknown dogs or people. He has grown into great relationships with both foster people and their dogs.

The ideal situation for Cisco is in a mature, calm household (no children), with people who are experienced dog handlers who can gently train him, while building his trust and confidence, and discouraging his reactive tendencies.

If you are interested in meeting Cisco, please complete our online adoption form, which is the first step of our pre-adoption process. At our website (hittgv.org), please click on the Adopt tab near the top of the page, and scroll down to find the online form. You can also email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have specific questions about Cisco or our process.

Augie (ADOPTED!) is a 15-18 months old, 41 pound boy, who is very friendly, full of life and kisses. He meets everyone with a tail wag, and has a very happy disposition. He is a moderate energy guy, but as a young dog, he needs daily exercise. Augie wants to play and walk first thing in the morning. Once he has had his morning exercise, he is mellow for the rest of the day and content to hang out with his people. He does, however, have youthful exuberance and if you are up for it, he is always up for playing or a hike or some exercise. Augie is a “Velcro," or maybe a super glue dog, who wants to be with his person or his pack more than anything. In the sweetest, most loving way, he wants to sit by your side every chance he gets. He also enjoys snuggling on the couch with his person.

Augie loves his walks! When the leashes come out, he runs to the door and sits calmly waiting to be leashed. He may tug a little a first because he's so excited to get out in the world, but he quickly settles into a nice pace by your side. Augie is very responsive to cues from both humans and other dogs. If told Leave It, he will do so immediately.
He knows Sit, frequently comes when called, and is learning to take treats gently. He sometimes jumps up on people and counters and is being taught "Off!" Augie is a quick and eager learner.

Augie is a quiet boy who rarely barks--even when the other dogs are barking. So far, his foster mom has only heard him bark a couple of times when someone has come to the door.  He is very well mannered in the house, and hangs out quietly.

He has met some dogs very nicely, both male and female, but may not like every dog he meets. Augie gets very excited about meeting other dogs he sees. He is very balanced, and not naturally a dominant dog. Will not challenge another more dominant dog. However, if an unknown dog is acting up, by barking or lunging behavior, Augie will respond the same way. If another is fine, he is fine. He seems to take his cues from the energy of the other dog. He liked his foster sister (an female ACD) at their very first meeting.

Augie loves playing tug-of-war and hanging out with his foster sister. We think he would do well with a mellow, easy going, or playful dog. He would also be fine as an only dog. He enjoys playing with toys. There may be a scuffle for a toy if playing fetch with one ball and two dogs.  We have not seen him interact with small children, but with older kids, he is friendly and polite. He has a high prey drive and would not do well in a household with cats. Augie enjoys car rides, and needs more rides to fun destinations.

Augie was rescued after a month in a shelter kennel. As a result, he does not like being kenneled or crated. His foster mom is working on crate training him with positive reinforcement. If another dog approaches his food or a toy he has, he does sometimes give a little warning growl, but his foster mom has been working with him and seen improvement. Augie has shown some herding tendencies. He sometimes nips at other dogs’ heels and is gently mouthy, sometimes taking his foster mom's foot or arm into his mouth to play,

Augie has the potential to be the perfect pet. We are seeking adopters who will continue teaching him boundaries, appropriate behavior, and giving him more exposure to new things in the world. If you are interested in meeting and possibly adopting Augie, we ask that you first complete our adoption questionnaire, which is the first step of our adoption process. At our website (hittgv.org), please click on the Adopt tab near the top of the page, and scroll down to find the online Adoption Form.

Teddy (ADOPTED!) is very quiet, friendly, go with the flow, muscular Shiba-Inu and chihuahua mix, who weighs 13 lbs. and we estimate is around 2 years old. He loves other dogs and cats, and is very easy about meeting them. His foster has two cats and Teddy enjoys hanging out with them.  Teddy acts like a big brother, who looks out for the more delicate cat, to make sure he’s okay.  Our boy was initially wary when first meeting new people, but within minutes, as soon as he knows you are friendly, he will greet you warmly. Once he knows a person, he will completely trust you, and enjoys playing with you one-on-one. If he can reach, he will try to place his front paws and his head on your lap to ask for attention. Teddy loves human contact, to be touching you, and snuggling. One of his favorite things, is to lay next to you, or on top of you, if you are laying down, on the sofa. He likes children, but we do not recommend small children, who may suddenly grab for him, or scare him with sudden moves and loud noises.

Teddy loves going out for walks and fairly nicely on leash. When he sees the leash come out, he runs around the house in happy excitement. Our boy also love toys and playing fetch. He is a quiet dog, who will find ways to entertain himself, whether it’s shaking his toys around, stockpiling his rawhide chews, hiding his toys. As a young dog, Teddy will get bursts of energy, sometimes jumping on and off the sofa, or rolling around on his bed and rubbing his face on his blanket, while making happy noises. He is extremely quiet, and NOT a barker. The only time he has barked was when other dogs started barking first. While he has a lot of the playful young pup in him, Teddy can also be a very calm, relaxed dog, who is happy to snooze on the couch or on his bed for much of the day.

Teddy is currently being fed next to his crate. He does NOT guard his food or toys, but if he is eating and you come near his food, he will stop, afraid that you may take it from him. He does well in a large crate, with lots of bedding and his toys all around him. He sleeps in his crate at night, and will make squeaky noises to let you know if he needs to go out. If he is crated with the door closed and he sees you enter the room, he will whine to be let out so he can greet you. If you have been away, when you return, Teddy celebrates your return by racing around the room and then inviting you to play with him. Teddy loves riding in a car. He will sit in the back seat and rest his front leg on the arm rest.

Because of some abusive treatment he has had in the past, Teddy does need a gentle, quiet, and patient people. Teddy shows the flight behavior of a dog who has been abused. He is not skittish by nature, but if you reach for him quickly, he will run. Also, anytime he sees an open door, he will bolt out through it. If pursued he will run and try to evade being grabbed, even by people he knows and loves. In the first days with his fosters, when they approached him, he was anticipating being punished. He would squeal and cry, and cower or fall to the floor, thinking he was going to be hurt. We are also sure that Teddy was kept outside 24/7. He was originally found wandering down a road, dragging nearly 7 lbs. of chains, which were wrapped around his neck. Teddy He is very smart and learns very quickly. He was recently neutered and his fosters are still working on his potty training. He is making good progress, but needs to be watched and continued reinforcement.

In summary, Teddy is an incredibly happy, loving and playful boy, who clearly had a bad start in life. He has a big heart and is making great strides in gaining confidence and overcoming his past. If you are interested in meeting and potentially adopting Teddy, we ask that you first complete our adoption questionnaire, which is the first step of our pre-adoption process. At our website (hittgv.org), please click on the Adopt tab near the top of the page, and scroll down to find the online Adoption Form.

Nani (ADOPTED!) (pronounced Nah-Nee), in Hawaiian means pretty or enjoyable - and that is exactly what this dog is. Nani is about a year old and weighs around 38 lbs.  We believe she is a mix of Australian kelpie and cattle dog. She has a soft, very loving, and submissive personality. She bonds quickly and will follow her person from room to room. Nani is easy and sweet with well behaved children, warms up to women quickly, but is initially a bit hesitant when meeting new men. For a young dog, she is a moderate energy girl, although she does have her bursts of happy, youthful energy, when she playfully runs like the wind.

Nani is a joy to have as a companion. She loves to be near her person, give kisses and roll over for petting and one-on-one time. If you are busy, she will lay quietly nearby waiting for whatever is next. When you look at her or give her attention, her tail will reply with a low, happy wag. As a basically submissive girl, Nani meets other dogs her size or bigger, with respect, although she seems a bit nervous. She gets along well with other calm and friendly dogs, and even tries to make friends with dogs who ignore her. Our girl has a very warm and caring heart. After two days at her new foster home, the other dogs are tolerating, but avoiding Nani. Even so, on day two, when on a walk, her senior canine foster sister tired and stopped suddenly to lay down and rest, twice; and each time Nani showed concern and returned to her to nuzzle her, as if to ask if she was alright. She has also invited her older foster sister to play, but to no avail.  Because of the way she wants to befriend the older dogs in her foster home, we believe that Nani would love to have another dog around her size or larger as a playmate.

She very much wants to please, and is always ready to cuddle or interact with her human(s). Nani isn’t sure of herself and doesn’t know if she is always welcome. Sometimes she will
sit quietly and wait to be invited to join you, and other times when she cannot contain the happy puppy in her, she will leap up to sit by you on the couch or bed and shower you with kisses.  Most of the time, Nani is calm and well mannered, quietly hanging out in the house. However, when she is excited and wants to show how much she loves you, she will need to learn that she should not leap up on people and furniture to get close to you. Nani is very observant and bright, and learns quickly. She watches her person’s face for cues, and her ears are like very expressive flags, moving up and down with her worried or happy thoughts. She is also extremely quiet and the only times she has let out one or two barks was in warning if she is startled by someone approaching or believes an intruder is approaching the house or room.  If she is startled and barks, and is told to stop, she complies immediately.

On leash, Nani needs some practice. We believe she hasn’t been out on walks, and everything is new to her. As a result, she tends to wander from side to side and stop, depending on what she sees and smells. Otherwise she walks nicely and does NOT pull. Although she is unsure of where she is being taken with each car ride, she rides quietly in the car, and watches the scenery go by. So far, Nani seems to be housebroken. Barely out of puppyhood, Nani has already been uprooted from at least two homes and found herself in the shelter several times.  She is currently a bit cautious during the first few seconds/minutes in a new situation or when being driven someplace. Also, she will not do her business during leash walks. She will wait until she returns home to go on familiar property, where she feels comfortable. We were told, third-hand, that this dog has high prey drive and should not be in a household with cats, and that she did not do well with a small dog. So far, we have not seen her with either of these, and cannot verify whether this is true. We will update this description as we learn more about Nani.

If you are interested in meeting and potentially adopting Nani, we ask that you first complete our adoption questionnaire, which is the first step of our pre-adoption process. At our website (hittgv.org), please click on the Adopt tab near the top of the page, and scroll down to find the online Adoption Form.


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.


Please click to donate a bed to our Shelter.