Autumn & Aspen
by: Heather Mills & Nikki Ritter, AVHS ACT and Transport Coordinator
When AVHS staff first met Aspen and Autumn, a pair of two year old Australian Cattle Dog sisters, we knew immediately that they were two very special girls.
Surrendered to the shelter by a caring individual, it was explained that the pair were recently saved from being shot by a farmer who raised them. Staff was told that Autumn is deaf and that she and Aspen were a bonded pair.
The girls had to be carried into the building because they had never worn collars or leashes before. They spent their first hours in an open area which allowed staff to assess them further. Both girls were frightened of people, cowering in corners and avoiding eye contact. With patience and persistence one of our amazing volunteers was able to sit with them and, gradually, after a couple of hours, they warmed up to him.
Over the past couple months, staff slowly worked with the pair to gain trust, introduce collars, and begin leash training. During this time it was confirmed that Autumn is largely deaf. Aspen and Autumn showed daily progress with staff and eventually became socialized to the point where they were able to be introduced to new volunteers, each of whom they would greet readily with wagging tails! Now the pair will go on walks with leashes, and have even begun learning new commands like ‘watch’ and ‘touch’, with specific hand signals used for Autumn.
Most recently, we’ve discovered each dog has independence and they actually thrive with time away from each other. They have each blossomed into their own unique personalities and are no longer considered a bonded pair.
AVHS staff is amazed by how far these two loving dogs have come, and we are so excited for their future families to come and meet them and take them home forever! If you’d like to meet Aspen or Autumn, please start by filling out an adoption application at ark-valley.org or calling AVHS at 719-395-2737 to learn more!
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