Constance is now on foster with me. No effort involved in getting her into a travel crate - cost Lynn a couple of doggy treats - and she was totally silent and clean on the drive back home.
I did the usual for introductions - carried her in the crate into the back garden, closed the gate, opened the kennel door and let her sniff and wander about the garden for 10 minutes on her own. I sat back in a corner of the garden and ignored her. The next step, as usual, was to put a key in the back door but not open it - tells me a lot about the dog. In this instance,
Constance took it as an immediate invitation to go into the house, and sat down, right underneath the lock. So, she was happy with the prospect of going into a house. She had a sniff of the lounge and dining room, plus house crate, then went back outside to go to the toilet.
Fast forward half an hour, and she's had some treats, done some "sit" work to earn them and help establish a bond, and is now quite curled up on a doggy bed a couple of feet away from me, but remaining very alert and a little concerned.
She's very quiet - no barking at all - and remains very shy, as is to be expected given how nervous she's been at the rescue.
It will take some time to get her to approach me and, for that reason, I'm doing the usual of giving her her own space, into which she can gradually relax.
Well, Constance slept very soundly in her crate overnight - she'd gone to sleep before I went to bed - and was silent, aside from the odd contented gruffly noise, which English Bull Terriers do. At 8am, she went straight to the back door and nosed around as a signal for the loo.
On her return, I called the shy, man-wary, timid Constance over and she scampered over like a turbo-charged lamb and.... flipped onto her back for belly rubs.
A minute of belly rubs, and she went into a "play bow" and scampered around the room hoping I'd have a bit of a play with her, which I did, but we kept it calm. She then sat at my feet, facing me, tail wagging like mad.
What a change as she starts relaxing. I've never fostered an EBT before but I have had friends who have kept them in the past, so know they can be very playful.
Now that I have a dog which comes and sits when called, and isn't afraid to interact with me, training can begin.
Another perfect night with Constance.
Back inside, a couple of play bows, a small game of me play bowing in return and her scurrying around the lounge rug in utter delight.
English bull terriers are often described as looking like they're grinning when playing - no teeth, just a smile - and Constance certainly pulls this off. Except, I'm almost sure that it is a genuine smile of happiness.
She's very quiet, only letting out a soft, almost squeal-like sound when she's having a great time. Very endearing.
She's also doing the "bully love grunt" when she's settling into her warm bed - just a contented sound that seems to be saying "this is great".
This is her fourth day of foster and she has proven herself well here so far. So far, a very gentle dog who is letting her barriers to humans down and learning that she is cared for and loved.
For the past half an hour, she's been resting on the sofa, happy to get down if I beckon her off, and frequently rolling over onto her back for belly rubs. She clearly enjoys these, and she's started rolling over and extending a paw in my direction when she wants more. Communication, if not trust.
I think this girl will bond very quickly with a caring owner who is prepared to put some time into her training and welfare.
Constance's house etiquette has been pretty much perfect. Not a single accident anywhere - she always goes to the back door when it's time for the loo.
Nothing chewed/scratched/destroyed - plenty of walks and a cosy duvet keep this girl happy.
No jumping up - unless invited.
No bin rummaging - she knows when it's dinner time, where she's being fed, and how to behave.
Very quiet in the house - broken only by a brief bark if someone bangs the window or front door.
Constance becomes ever more affectionate by the day - I am greeted each morning by a wagging tail and a look of contentment in her eyes. Once we make eye contact, she flips onto her back for belly rubs - and seems to stay there for as long as I'm willing to stroke her.
She is remarkably calm when it's walkies time - no sprinting round the house, pounding the front door, or anything - she just sits calmly and waits for her lead, then walks calmly to the front door.