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Azula’s Story

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Azula’s Story

Last year, after several months of looking for a female Vizsla to adopt, we learned from image004Stephanie of an older Vizsla named Azula who had been rescued from a puppy mill in upstate New York. We had a rescue Vizsla in the past, and knew that we could give this Vizsla a good life.  On a cold December day, we drove to upstate New York to pick up Azula from her foster mom, Bonnie Kelleher.  Bonnie had taken good care of Azula for some time, including her spay, and was treating her to the unaccustomed luxury of a warm indoor room.

We found Azula to be an athletic Vizsla with a happy temperament. She had some battle scars and was stretched from overbreeding, but was surprisingly comfortable with strangers. She likes to travel and was happy to get into her new bed for the trip back to Pennsylvania. We found that Azula needed constant human contact on the drive, or became worried.  This need to see and be near both of her humans lasted for about a month, until she came to understand that even if should couldn’t see us, we would always be back.  Her bed was initially her safe base, and remains her home base for naps, chewing on marrowbones, and storing her toys.

We live on a farm near Gettysburg, PA, with woods, fields and plenty of small critters.  It gave us enormous pleasure to watch Azula’s hunting instincts kick in.  She took to it naturally, hunting on point with tail on alert.  She thrusts her nose into the snow and takes big gusty breaths at the scent of voles and field mice.

image005Azula is true to her breed in not liking the cold.  It was tough to get her out of bed early in the morning when we get up, but we finally learned that it is easier on all of us to let her sleep in until the sun is up.  Once she gets out with her coat on and starts hunting, she is just fine.  We built a special warm room in the garage so that she has a comfortable place to take a break from patrolling the farm.  She loves being in front of the fireplace and sleeping under a polar fleece blanket.

Azula does not go outside unless the lead is attached, which is unusual in our experience. We think it still gives her comfort to know that a human is attached to her.

When we would release her from the lead, she used to run directly back to the door to come in. She still does that when she knows a meal is waiting for her.  But otherwise, she has become comfortable with some freedom, although she stays close to the house and barn and keeps tabs on us.

image006It has been interesting to watch Azula adapt and become more confident every week.  When we first fed her, she would take a mouthful and run to her bed to eat it.  But she soon realized that she is not in competition for food, and now eats from her bowl.  We worried that it would be difficult to housebreak a dog that hadn’t lived inside a house, but apart from misreading some of her signals early on, that has not been an issue.

Azula has settled in and knows that this is her home.  It is terrific to hear her sighing with contentment and to see good healthy stretching.  She has a full-length tail, which she wags at an amazing rate of speed.  She is a wonderful companion, friendly and popular with all of our friends.  She goes everywhere with us.   She is a lovely dog.  We regret only that we will not have as many years with her as we would like, but each year will be a happy one.

Marsha and Geoff Clymer



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