Happy Tails

Emerson (ADOPTED!) loves all people, including children. More than anything he wants his very own people to bond with. He wants to be your partner and part of a family. Emerson is about 10 months old and weighs approximately 30-35 lbs. Our boy has the best traits of a cattle dog. He is super smart, incredibly loyal, very much wants to please people, and just wants to stay by your side. Besides being a very friendly guy, Emerson has a very sweet and playful disposition. He is also loves other dogs and tends to be submissive around both dogs and with people. He seems to be a little unsure of himself, and what he should be doing in various situations, and needs someone to guide him.

Emerson is being fostered in a home with a 1.5 year old toddler, a 12 year old child, a cat and other dogs. Chasing is fun game to him. When everyone is playing, Emerson sometimes want to herd. If children are running and playing with him, he will joyfully do a few soft, playful herding nips at their heels; but will stop it if he is told to. He loves to play with other dogs. If a cat runs, he will want to chase it, but if a cat stands it’s ground and hisses, Emerson will back off.

He is an indoor dog who enjoys lots of outdoor play time, and is always up for anything. As a young pup, while he can be content with moderate exercise, he would also love being in an active home, where he can go out on long hikes, and meet the challenge of active playing and running. Since he is good off leash, he would also do well with someone who goes out on horseback on trails. Emerson can also be content with one or two long walks and a few 15 minute active play sessions each day. He loves to play ball. If left alone outside in a yard, his busy brain will look for things to do and he may dig or get into whatever you may have left out there.

He has a very active and curious brain, and is going through a chewing stage. He is doing well with a lot of dog toys to chew on. He does like children’s toys (Barbie dolls are a favorite), but has NOT chewed any furniture. Emerson will wander around the house looking for things to play with and chew. Emerson has a soft, gentle mouth, which he likes to use to fondle your hands lightly, or give you puppy nibbles.

Emerson pretty much comes when called and stays close when off leash. He also walks fairly well on a leash, and likes to be at the end of his leash, exploring. When the leash is taut he doesn’t pull further. His fosters are working on teaching him to heel while on leash. Emerson is potty trained and good in the crate for a few hours. At this time he does not lift his leg to pee. As a submissive pup, when he is excited to meet someone or something scares him, he may occasionally accidentally leak a little pee. He is great riding quietly in the backseat of a car, and will wait patiently if left in the car during errands.

This is an exceptional pup, who needs continued training and would benefit from obedience training classes, to begin learning manners. Emerson needs someone who has the time to teach him new things, and who will keep his curious brain occupied, and take him to explore new places, and help him build up his confidence.

If you would like to meet Emerson, please first complete our adoption questionnaire (online form or download a hard copy). At our website (hittgv.org), click on the Adopt tab near the top of the page, and scroll down for the online Adoption Form.  If you have specific questions, you can call Tiffany at (707) 478-4227, or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Grace (ADOPTED!) is an extremely smart, loving, and athletic 2-3 year old, cattle dog and border collie mix with a real desire to work. She weighs 38 lbs., and is a moderate energy girl. Grace is shy at first; but once you gain her trust, she is extremely affectionate and will dive into your arms, kiss your face, and then tuck her head under your chin and paw at you for more love. Being close to and loved by her person, is what Grace wants more than anything else. She doesn’t play with most toys, but does enjoy playing tug of war with a rope toy. Tug can be used a training reward and a way to build a special bond with her person.
Grace’s fosters have been working with her every day on training, and to socialize her. She is as smart as they come, eager to please, and a fast learner, who loves her training sessions. She loves to trick-train and knows approximately 30 cues. Some of her favorites include: rebounding off of walls, jumping over hurdles, spinning, and performing a figure-8 around her handler’s legs. She usually learns tricks within 10 repetitions, at which point, a hand signal can be introduced. Within a few training sessions, the trick can be put on a verbal cue.

Grace was given a herding aptitude test through Herding 4 Ewe. The trainer said that with a patient handler, she could definitely be a good working herder. Grace loves to climb and balance on objects. Her fosters have been utilizing the Fitpaws Donut and Paw Pods as a way to provide a work out and increase her confidence.
When Grace’s foster family first found her, she was very fearful. For the first few weeks, she army crawled throughout their house because she was afraid of the ceiling (it was likely her first time being inside). She would freeze and then react if she saw a stranger (person or dog) in the distance (over 400 ft. away). She could not be in the same room with other dogs, and would even bark/react to dogs through a baby gate.
In the few months that she has spent with her fosters, she has progressed a great deal. On leashed walks, she is able to walk within 30 feet of other dogs and15 feet of strange humans, and still remain focused on her handler. If another dog barks at her, especially from behind a fence/barrier she will definitely bark back. She is alarmed by quick movements and wants to chase. She also reacts this way with squirrels and cats encountered on walks. With more rewards based training, she can learn to remain calm during these types of distractions.
Grace is basically a submissive dog, who has only started learning how to live with other creatures in the past few months. She is continuing to improve, but still has some issues being around other dogs, especially when the dogs are moving/playing. She can be in the same room with other dogs, but she tries to herd them if they move around too much. For this reason, she would do best in a home with no other dogs, or a much older dog, or a home where she could be kept separate from other dogs for a while in order to provide a slow introduction.

During most of the day, she is in the house, where she is most relaxed and happy. Grace is calm in the house. When Grace isn’t training or loving her people, she hangs out quietly in her crate. She is always crated while her fosters are away. Her crate is her safe space, and should be a part of her forever home. Because Grace is a world-class athlete, she cannot be left unattended in a backyard. She could easily climb over (or dig under) a 6 ft. fence.

Grace is completely housebroken, and may hold it for hours, if she is someplace where she is not comfortable. Grace is also getting more relaxed on car rides, since nearly all her rides have been to do fun things. We recommend that she ride in a crate when in the car.

Grace is usually a very quiet girl, who just wants to hang out with her people and work with them. The only times can be a bit barky is when she is working on new tricks, and when her people leave her. She will bark for a few minutes when her people leave, but quickly quiets down.

We believe that Grace would be be happy in a home with a small yard and a person who enjoys training activities. Grace is NOT recommended for someone with an active (running, hiking) lifestyle, or who wants to take her everywhere with them. Since Grace is just now learning to meet people without panicking, we do not recommend her for a home with children, who can make sudden unpredictable moves.

Grace’s ideal forever home should:
- provide plenty of time for her to bond with her person/people.
- be patient and not force her to do anything that she isn’t comfortable doing.
- provide plenty of mental and physical stimulation, either through trick training, agility sports, or by giving her a job.
- limit her exposure to high-distraction environments. Quiet country life would be best.  Busy neighborhoods/urban living/dog parks are NOT for her.
In summary, Grace is a sweet, loving girl, with incredible potential, who has had some extreme unknown trauma in her past. She needs plenty of TLC, patience, reassurance, time, encouragement, and slow positive exposure to new things, to learn how to be happy and confident. Grace is making excellent progress with her fosters, but her adopter(s) will need to continue the work. She is NOT for a novice dog owner.

If you are interested in meeting Grace, please first complete our adoption questionnaire (online form or download a hard copy). At our website (hittgv.org), click on the Adopt tab near the top of the page, and scroll down for the online Adoption 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.

Cider (ADOPTED!) is as adorable, charming, and cute as they come. She is a very sweet natured, bright and happy girl. She weighs 36 lbs. and is approximately 2 years old. Cider is a moderate energy pup, who adores human attention and crawling into your lap or snuggling on the sofa with you. She is great with all people and very free with her kisses. Everyone who has met her has fallen in love with her.  However, as is often the case with cattle dogs, Cider has an angel on one shoulder and a little devil on the other. Besides being devoted, curious, brave, and super smart, she also has a very busy, thinking brain, with a willful mind of her own, and an impish personality. Our girl is an extra challenge, because she is deaf. The vet who examined her believes she was born deaf in both ears. We sometimes suspect that she may hear certain loud and/or low rumbling sounds. As an eager to please, observant cattle dog, who figures things out, she will learn quickly.

More than anything Cider wants to belong and have her own people to bond and be with whenever she can. During the day, she likes to know where her people are, and will hang out somewhere in the same room or close by. If you move to another location, she will get up to see where you have gone. Cider has been trying to win over her foster dad, who doesn’t interact with her much. Whenever he enters the room, she goes to greet him with a big smile and wagging tail.

Cider likes her play time, but is also very content to curl up and relax with her people inside the house. She is still puppyish in some ways. Occasionally, she will get a spurt of glee, pick up a toy and race around the with it for a few minutes. Cider can be very mouthy when playfully interacting with people, and she becomes excited. She likes to play by taking your hands in her mouth and treat them like a chew toy. We are working to teach her that this is not an appropriate game to play. Cider loves children, but because she is mouthy, she may not be suitable for a home with young children, at least until she learns that puppy chews on hands is not appropriate behavior.

She has a very funny and endearing habit of taking shoes and slippers over to her bed or resting area(s) and sleeping with them. She seems comforted by having them with her when she is resting. She does not chew or destroy them. Her former fosters said she was fine left alone for several hours.  She seems to settle down nicely in a crate, especially if she has a few shoes with her for comfort. Cider is very quiet most of the time. If all is well, she rarely barks. She will bark in protest when she is upset, mostly if she is left out of something or being prevented from joining in an activity.

Cider is similar to a cat in some ways. She loves being on her bed or curled up in a small space. Her former foster once found her curled up in the baby’s car seat. We have not seen her with cats, but suspect that she would not do well with them, due to her desire to police and/or herd other animals. While playing with other dogs, she herds by giving a small nip to the feet or rear, and sometimes behind the ears. She is completely submissive with people, and does NOT herd or show any willfulness to humans.

She meets other dogs, large and small, calmly and politely, with a low wag, and is friendly and playful with other dogs. However, once she feels comfortable in a multi-dog home, Cider will attempt to hog her person and block other dogs from approaching. In a multi-dog household, it must be made clear to her that she is not the dog traffic cop, and she must share her person. If there are other dogs in the same home, Cider’s person needs to be a very clear leader, with training and breed experience. Otherwise, she will try to control the dog traffic in the household. We believe that she had just never been taught anything, including manners. Because she is so bright and wants to please people, we feel sure that she will comply, once she understands that you do not want this. Other than this desire to be possessive of her person/people, Cider does NOT show any other guarding behavior. She is easy around food and toys, and waits her turn politely for treats, with the other dogs.

Cider enjoys going out on walks to see and take in the scents of new places. We believe that before we rescued Cider, she was likely not taken out on walks or exposed to new experiences. She is extremely curious and eager to explore areas with her nose. She is very good at staying close to her person, walking right at your knee, half a step behind. In unfamiliar surroundings, Cider wants to make sure she doesn’t lose sight of her person. However, when in public, she needs to be on leash, since she cannot hear approaching cars or bicycles, and if she becomes distracted, she may not see you beckoning her. Cider is still learning how to walk on leash, and tends to follow her nose when out on walks.

Cider is completely housebroken. In a car, she rides quietly, both in the back seat or in a crate, and seems to enjoy watching the world go by, although she is nervous about where she is being taken. We believe Cider is afraid of the dark. At night, she is reluctant to walk in dark, unlit areas. At bedtime, when the lights are out, if she does not know where her people are, she will give out sharp, alarm barks. Cider seems especially fearful when in a car, on dark country roads at night. She will tremble and pant quickly during the entire ride on a dark road. The first time we drove in the dark, her heart raced so fast, that we feared she would have a heart attack. She is better in the car at night, if in a well lit town areas.

Cider needs moderate exercise and to learn through gradual exposure to new experiences and situations. She needs some work to catch up on training she should have received as a puppy. We are seeking adopter(s) who can see the incredible potential in Cider, and who will return all the love in her heart. Besides having a knowledge an appreciation for the busy, stubborn and silly cattle dog brain, her adopters will need to have the time and patience to teach her manners, boundaries and basic hand signal commands. Cider has learned a quick hand signal for Stop and finger wag for No, to stop her inappropriate action; although, it may take a repetition of a few times, because she may think (or hope) you didn’t mean it the first time.

We encourage any adopter to learn about the special challenges of and attention needed for a deaf, strong willed cattle dog.

If you are interested in meeting Cider, we ask that you first complete our adoption questionnaire (online form or download a hard copy). At our website (hittgv.org), click on the Adopt tab near the top of the page, and scroll down for the online Adoption 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.

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.

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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.