Happy Tails

Carls (ADOPTED!)  fosters named this good hearted boy, Carl, after the "Good Dog, Carl," children’s books. Our boy has an Australian Cattle Dog’s stocky shape and build, with the coloring and head of a German Shepherd. He weighs 56 lbs. and is 18 to 20 months old. Carl has the cattle dog desire to be with his people, and is a gentle soul. He does NOT have the pushy or willfulness of a cattle dog. He is just a happy, bouncy, playful boy, who wants to please and be with his people, and to be everyone’s friend - all humans, dogs and cats.

When meeting and playing with other dogs, he is very respectful, yet also playful. He plays well with all dogs, including dominant, bossy females. He wants the cats to play and at his foster home to play with him, and does play bows to them. If a cat doesn’t want to play, Carl is NOT pushy, and he will respectfully go away. If cats run, he will playfully chase and gently play tag with them. Carl enjoys and is good with the small children he has met. However, because of his jumping and exuberant zoomies, especially in the house, he can easily accidentally knock down people who are unstable on their feet, including children.

Carl is a moderate energy dog, who is quiet 80% of the time - relaxing with you around the house, or self entertaining with his squeaky toys. As a young dog, he does need daily exercise, to actively run around for a half hour or more, at least twice a day. This can be running/jogging, throwing the ball for him, or some other active tongue hanging out exercise. This will keep him more relaxed when inside, but won’t stop his spontaneous bursts of happy energy, when he thinks something thrilling is about to happen.

Our boy does have puppy-like personality. When he thinks something fun or really good is about to happen, like getting a treat or going for a walk, he can’t contain his excitement. He gets the zoomies and races around the house in glee. He sometimes leaps straight up, with all paws in the air, like a giant Jack Russell terrier. During these times, you just need to wait for him to calm down, and then reward the good behavior. He will calm in about 5-6 minutes. Carl also has a cattle dog’s sense of humor. When he can’t wait to go outside or to do something fun, he will often use his nose to push you from behind, to make you go faster. Other times he will use his front paw and poke you to hurry up.

Carl loves squeaky, plush toys. He flings and plays with his favorite toys.  He should not be given rawhide and hard chew toys or bones. Carl is a hard chewer and will try to devour chew toys and rawhides in seconds, breaking them into large chunks that he can swallow.

Carl is completely house broken. He enjoys car rides. On leash, he walks nicely with you and does not pull. He may only pull a bit, if he sees a squirrel or another dog he wants to meet. Carl does NOT like going into a crate, and will become very anxious and stressed in a crate. He is so good in the house, that he doesn’t need to be crated.

Carl is a very quiet boy. He has a high pitched cattle dog stress bark when frustrated or upset. His big dog bark has only been heard a couple of times when he heard another dog barking.

Carl is a very smart guy. He is naturally well behaved in the house and a wonderful inside family dog. We believe he was previously an outside dog and never learned that he shouldn’t jump up on people, or that paws should not be on the kitchen or dining table. He is learning quickly and follows the rules at his foster home, but will need continued work. Currently, he knows Sit and Leave It.

Carl sleeps in the bedroom with his fosters. If he needs to go out in the middle of the night, he will gently nudge them with his nose, lick their hand, or put his paw up on the mattress to let them know to let him out. He will also let them know this way, when it’s time to get up, too.  

Carl is a very healthy, happy, playful boy. He has tested heartworm negative in three recent tests conducted by U.C. Davis, and at the Davis Small Animal Clinic. When we first rescued Carl in mid-March, he tested positive for heartworm. On the confirming test, before the U.C. Davis specialist was to begin his heartworm injection treatment, Carl’s test result was negative. Treatment was postponed and we ordered two more tests, which were also negative. The U.C. Davis veterinary faculty unanimously agreed that we should presume that Carl does not currently have heartworm, and continue with regular monthly heartworm prevention pills, and re-test him in 6-months to re-reconfirm. Our hope is that he remains negative, but should he test positive and require treatment, it will be covered by HITTGV with the funds we raised for his treatment, when his initial tests were heartworm positive. If treatment is necessary, as a young and otherwise very healthy dog, he should make a full recovery and be able to live a very full and normal life afterwards.

If you are interested in meeting Carl, please begin our pre-adoption approval process by complete our online adoption form, at http://hittgv.org/index.php/adopt.  If you have specific questions, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us at (707) 583-9583.

Gus (Adopted!) is an Australian cattle dog mix, who is approximately 2-3 years old, and weighs 45 lbs. He is a very calm, sweet natured, mellow guy, who shows his zest for life with playful bursts of energy, when enjoying his toys or the company of other dogs. Being mostly cattle dog, he is a velcro dog who will follow his chosen person around. He also just likes the company of people and adores being petted. Gus is good with both men and women, but he is somewhat shy when first meeting people. Once Gus knows someone, he is very affectionate, and loves human attention. When playing or exploring, he will return to check in with you often. His easy going nature makes him excellent with other dogs, and he loves making new dog friends.

With new people, his first instinct is to watch you from a distance to decide if you are ok and a safe person, who will not grab or scare him. If you let him do this, he will come up to greet you after a few minutes. However, if an unknown person approaches or pursues him with outstretched hands, he will shy away and avoid their advances. He is terrified when initially encountering small children, and will place his tail between his legs and avoid them. If they are do not move too quickly, and are respectful and calm around him, over time he will realize that they don’t mean harm to him, and slowly warm up to them. When meeting other dogs, Gus is very friendly, polite, and on the submissive side. If they are good with him, he will invite them to play immediately. If grumpy dogs bark or snap at him, he will just jump back and try to be friends. While he is a low key dog most of the time, Gus does have energy to run and play, when the opportunity presents itself. His bursts of playful energy are often seen when he and his foster sister take turns chasing each other around the backyard. We have not yet seen him with cats, but our guess would be that he is fine with them.

Gus has a silly, happy side, which he shows when playing with soft stuffed toys, which he loves. He will sometimes entertain himself by tossing them into the air and catching them. He is NOT a chewer. He doesn’t chew on toys or anything else, and is not interested in chew-toys. Gus also is not a ball dog. He would rather run behind his foster sister as she chases a ball. His foster mom has not seen any strong herding tendencies in his behavior, and Gus also does NOT guard his food or any resources.

Gus seems to be a naturally polite boy. Besides meeting people and other dogs in a very well mannered way, he also does NOT jump up on people or get onto furniture (beds, sofas, etc.). In the house, Gus is very calm. He likes to be in the same room with people, but will just hang out quietly. In the evening, he will relax on his dog bed. He is very eager to please. If you lead him to a crate at night, he will go in, and will sleep quietly through the night. If you call him, he will come immediately.  He is fine when left home alone, and has not shown any separation anxiety.  His foster mom says that in a short time he seemed settled in and now nothing seems to bother him.  

As a relatively young guy Gus is an observant, curious, smart guy, who is eager to learn and tries to figure things out. During his first few minutes at a new place, he will want to wander and sniff everywhere, to become familiar with the entire place. Only after exploring and sniffing the entire yard and interior of a house, will he settle down, and begin following people around. We also believe that Gus lived in a situation, where he was never exposed to very much, and wants to investigate all the strange new things at his foster home. After watching his foster mom gardening, he later went to inspect what she was doing. She returned to find the gardening items that she had neatly left, all over the place in mess. In the house, his foster mom found place mats from the dining table scattered around the house, and pillows from the sofa flung around the living room. Gus never chews any of these items. He just uses them to redecorate! It’s clear that he was never taught anything and needs people who will be consistent and patient with him, to teach him what is appropriate to play with and what is not. Gus is a very smart, thinking dog.

Once Gus knows you and feels safe with people, he walks nicely on leash. When we first rescued him, he panicked and struggled each time a leash was around his neck or clipped to his collar. He can still get startled easily, and will shy away, by quick hand movement towards his head or neck area, especially if he doesn’t know someone well. He obviously has bad past associations with his collar being grabbed or a leash placed around his neck.  If he trusts you, he is fine walking on leash and will not avoid your reach. He also knows how to use a dog door. Although Gus is housebroken, and goes outside when he needs to truly do his business, his foster mom has caught him trying to mark in the house. He was very recently neutered, and because he is a fast learner and very eager to please, we believe that with his foster mom’s consistent, continued reinforcement not to do this, he will soon stop this behavior.  

In summary, Gus is a super sweet, loving, easy going, polite guy, who needs just a few tweaks to become the perfect companion. As with almost all the dogs we rescue, he needs some help to overcome some issues from his past life. We are seeking adopters who are willing to teach him boundaries, routines, while giving him the patient, loving support he needs. Gus would benefit greatly from obedience training classes, to both, learn basic commands and to help him gain confidence and exposure to new things. He would do best in a calm household with another dog to play with.

If you are interested in meeting Gus, please first complete our online Adoption Form (or download a hard copy) at this link:  http://hittgv.org/index.php/adopt and scroll down to find the online form. This is the first step of our adoption pre-approval process.

*COURTESY POSTING FOR THE MARIN HUMANE SOCIETY*  Please contact Kyle Dunlop -- email Kyle at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 415.506.6225 or 415.506.6253.  Address:  171 Bel Marin Keys Blvd., Novato, CA

Maka Lua (ADOPTED!) is a charming, fun, adorable little Cattle Dog/Corgi mix, a herding dog through and through! This funny, engaging girl who loves to play tug and to retrieve balls.  You would never know that she is 11 years old.  At around 40 lbs. our girl need to shed a few pounds, which shouldn’t be too much of a problem, since she loves toys and to play!  Make Lua has a sense of humor - and adores her people very, very much. She is one smart cookie for sure!  It's always challenging to keep up with a smart dog, but it's fun and rewarding too.

We are looking for very experienced owners who won't let her get away with mischief, but will instead guide her to be at her best. Sort of like herding the herding dog with management and training. As with a lot of herding dogs, Maka Lua can be more "in charge" than the people around her. Let's face it, she doesn't have much else to focus on and the rest of us are scurrying around inside our busy lives. Fortunately,

As with all of us, Maka Lua has a few quirks that she needs work on:  she doesn't like any kind of invasive handling, such as looking at her teeth and having her feet touched.  When you try to examine her at all, she will roll on her back and offer her belly up for rubs, as an alternative.  If you try to get her to cooperate more, she will really resist.  Little Maka Lua tested fine when other dogs were around her food.  However, she will guard high-value treats, such as pig ears and knuckle bones, but will happily trade those same items for treats. Experienced dog guardians will already know the importance of training and management, so you'll get to put those skills to use. She will do best with children old enough (16+) to participate in the process.

Maka Lua is interesting with other dogs… She meets some dogs with a polite greeting, and then when off leash ignored the other dog for more interesting things.  When she was brought to meet another dog her size, Maka Lua politely went to meet and sniff.  When the other dog gave her a sharp bark to back off, she immediately complied and moved away.  When she has met more timid or submissive dogs, who shy away from her, Maka Lua may get bossy or snarky with that dog, but it is very easy to get her attention to stop any unwanted behavior.  She might do well in a home with another well-mannered dog, with proper introduction and appropriate supervision. She will NOT do well at a dog park, so plan on getting her exercise elsewhere.

Yes, she's very cute but if that's' your only criteria you need to think twice. Maka Lua is a funny, silly dog but she is a WHOLE LOT of dog, and not for the uninitiated. For those with experience looking for an awesome companion, you might just have found her!

If you are interested in learning more or meeting this little lady, please contact Kyle Dunlop at the Marin Humane Society.  Email Kyle at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 415.506.6225 or 415.506.6253.  Address:  171 Bel Marin Keys Blvd., Novato, CA

Jackson (ADOPTED!) is the perfect dog for anyone wanting an easy going, happy, friendly, loving, and devoted companion. For a cattle dog mix, he is a medium-low energy guy, with the great cattle dog traits of being eager to please, extremely intelligent, and extremely loyal. Jackson is always up for whatever you may want to do, and makes a lot of eye contact to look for a sign from you. He adores all people and would make a wonderful addition to any family. Jackson is approximately 8 years old, and weighs approximately 30 lbs. He is a quiet boy, who rarely barks.

Jackson loves to hang out with people. He loves being petted almost as much as getting treats. He will come up to you, then bounce up and down to let you know he’s excited or eager for something. Sometimes he will approach you and place his paw on you to ask for petting or cuddling. He is great with anyone coming to the house and property. Those who know him have never seen any aggression from Jackson towards anyone.

Jackson and his Rottweiler brother, Truman, have been living outside with little human attention, since their person passed away last summer. Friends and relatives reached out to rescues to help find loving new homes for each of these dogs. While the two dogs are great together, it is believed that they would be fine in different homes, as long as they have loving human attention and companionship.

Although Jackson is a lower medium energy guy, he has a happy, enthusiastic spirit. When he knows you are giving out treats, he will leap up and down with excitement that cookies are to be had! Although, currently, Jackson seems like a lower energy dog, we believe it is because he and Truman are alone outside most of the time, with little to do. He may show more energy, once he is in a home, where he can get regular walks, more human interaction and mental stimulation. People who know him well, said that if given the attention and opportunity, Jackson would likely enjoy playing fetch or other games. He also knows a few commands, such as sit, stay, come, and no.

Jackson is fine around cats, and other dogs. He has a very good natured and balanced personality. He tends to be more submissive when around dogs with a stronger personality. With his brother Truman, he will politely wait his turn for petting after Truman moves away. Jackson would do well in a household with other dogs, and cats, or as an only dog, enjoying in all the attention.

Although, currently Jackson must live outside all the time, he is housebroken, and loves being inside the house. When his person was alive and brought the dogs inside, he would place a blanket down for each dog, and they would know to lie down on their spot. To our knowledge, Jackson has never been in a crate. He is a very good car passenger.  He will hop in the car and sit quietly in the back seat. He walks nicely on leash or off leash. When on walks, he will stay at or return to your side if you tell him to. He loves going with people on walks on or off leash.

Jackson still has plenty of life in him, and would benefit from more activity and regular walks. The rest of the time he would be happy to follow his person around or sit by your side.

If you may be interested in meeting Jackson to either foster or adopt, please begin by completing our online adoption form, at hittgv.org. Go to the Adopt button near the top of the page, and scroll down for the online form. If you have specific questions, please call or email us at (707) 583-9583 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Finn (ADOPTED!) is lovable 23 lb., two year old cattle dog mix, whose perfect day would be spent curled up on your lap after some quality exercise at the park, on a hiking trail, or running with his dog friends. He is a moderate energy dog, who needs a good 90 minutes of active daily exercise. During the day, he is happy to lay under the desk, while you work. If you get up, he will be at your side or watching you from his spot. He is a great medium dog to take to work, shopping, or dog-friendly cafes and bars.

We rescued him from a situation where he never saw the outside world and was shut in a trailer his entire life. Since Finn’s rescue, he has been exposed to many new experiences like cats and teenagers, and has responded in an appropriately cautious manner. After a moment of consideration usually by looking back at his person, he greets other dogs, cats, and adults in a submissive posture. Finn loves women of all ages and eventually warms up to adult men. He would NOT do well in a home with children under 12 years old, as he wants to herd or chase them.  

Finn is very unsure of himself and many things are new and scary to him. He needs continued regular exposure to the ways of the outside world and to gain confidence in different situations. He is also just beginning to learn proper social etiquette from people and other dogs. Currently, he will bark an alarm or growl his uneasiness, if he hears odd noises at night, or when people walk in the front door. Once he realizes things are ok, he stops barking. If he perceives a human as a threat - usually tall men standing up or walking towards him - he will bark and guard his human. He is fine and friendly with the same man, if the man is sitting or reclining.

Finn tends to be submissive with all other dogs, and seems to love the company of all dogs. With a proper introduction, he will begin playing chase and wrestle with the other dog(s). His herding genes will kick in, if playing with a few dogs. He will stay on the outside of the circle to gently nip at his playmates to keep them together. When with other dogs, Finn will check in with his human every few moments. We believe that Finn needs regular dog friends to play with, for both the exercise and continued socialization with other dogs. Currently, he is sometimes too curious about other dogs, and isn’t aware that he may be invading another dog’s space.

Our boy is just learning to play games, such as fetch and tug-of-war. He loves chew toys like bully sticks and Nylabones. Finn is neither possessive nor aggressive regarding his food or toys, and backs away if another dog or human reaches for it.

Finn’s favorite thing is going on walks with his human for new sights and smells. He is great on leash, as he always wants to be at your side. On walks, as when at the dog park, he will check in with you every few steps by nudging your knee with his nose. He may zig zag in front of you, to avoid scary shopping carts or strollers. He is ok around bicycles or loud trucks, but seems to not like rollerblades.

Finn is learning how to be a dog, and at home will follow you from room to room. When curled up on the couch, he will make contented grunts or dog singing. When at work with his human, he is entertained with a chew toy and will periodically ask for pets or attention. He can be mouthy and will try to use your hand as a chew toy if allowed. In a car, he curls up in his crate or the passenger seat without a sound, and likes his human to put a hand on him for comfort. If he needs to be left alone, he will whine until you leave, and then go to sleep in his crate without further noise.

Eager to please, Finn is very quick to learn and would benefit from further training. At night, he loves being in his crate and will sleep eight hours without a peep. Since he spent much of life living in a crate, he is still in the process of learning how to signal to his human when he needs to go outside to potty.

Finn would do best in a quiet, yet active home, with a consistent daily routine. HIs adopters need to be willing to routinely expose him to new places and positive experiences, to increase his confidence. He would thrive in a home with other friendly dogs as playmates, companions, and role models.

Finn is a great little guy, but he is still a herding dog, who needs to overcome the awful start he had in life. He has specific needs, and will require people who have an understanding of and experience with his breed. If he is not given enough daily exercise, or continually socialized, he may not continue to be the same calm, happy, friendly dog that he is now.  Finn is NOT for people who want an easy, submissive dog, and who don’t have the time or ability to work with him to achieve his full potential.

If you are interested in meeting Finn, we ask that you first complete our adoption questionnaire, which is the first step of our pre-adoption process. At our website (hittgv.org), click on the Adopt button near the top of the page, and scroll down 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..

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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.