Regarding Elsa's "Canine"ality ??:
Overall, Elsa is tough, yet vulnerable and if you love on her, she'll eagerly reciprocate.
Oreo is Elsa's ride or die. The two of them are thick as really cute and cuddly thieves. They're kenneled separately, but spend most of each day co-lounging in a single bed outside of their kennels. In Oreo's absence, Elsa enjoys a soft, snuggle cuddle toy/crate-mate to nestle with.
While she's timid/defensive at first, she's much less so over time. As with many rescues, Elsa requires work and commitment on behalf of her human to build trust. A shy girl when approached, she's good at establishing boundaries and prefers to receive affection on her own terms. She'll come to you if you signal you're ready and available-e.g., sitting on the floor/furniture, or already loving on Oreo. She's alway eager to join/crash an in-session snuggle session! In fact, the two of them make sport out of competing for affection and it's over-the-top adorable. Pet one's belly and the other will come between and roll over to expose their own as they very sweetly and playfully bogart affection.
Elsa rarely jumps up onto furniture, but will gladly cuddle on it when invited. Belly rubs are her jam! Once you make friends, she'll let you lift her up to lay belly up on your lap to experience the unmistakable joy of a tongue-hanging-out-of-her-mouth good belly rub during which I swear she literally smiles. She enjoys a soft, cuddly toy in her kennel. While Elsa is not enthusiastic about taking walks and prefers independent backyard exploration, she isn't reluctant. She'll indulge her humans and accompany them on a daily walk around the block. She's an adventurer! Very importantly, let it be known that she REALLY loves treats.
And oh so amusingly, Elsa loves sock hunting (please check her kennel to find carefully stowed socks that go missing!) so, we've affectionately named her "Dobby." Keep a close eye out as she does normal mischief like shredding a fallen paper towel or napkin. Know that food placed on low surfaces, like coffee tables, is fair game! My husband set several bags of groceries on the floor once and Elsa and her accomplice, Oreo, experienced immeasurable joy upon finding the exact bag containing the smoked turkey sausage intended for a pot of beans. :)
On a more solemn note, Elsa would benefit from love, training and attention to address the following issues:
She's usually aggressive toward strangers of all ages, and will likely bite upon approach. While this is true for strangers, she'll simply cower and retreat if approached by those with whom she's familiar. She's clearly been through some things. The approach we, as her foster parents, take is to signal safety (as mentioned above) and then let her come to us.
She sometimes potties inside, even after spending time outside-probably once a week or more. A good thing-she tends to do this on hard surfaces off the beaten path like the laundry room floor.
She potties in non-designated areas like the patio instead of the grass.
Effort could be applied toward training Elsa to signal when she either wants in or out.
She barks what seems to be excessively at the neighbors.
She still experience fear/trepidation when approached by us, even though we've fostered her for several months. It's heartbreakingly clear that she's been through some things. Our advice...apply love generously.
She sometimes plays aggressively with other dogs, including Oreo, but it doesn't appear as though she acts maliciously.
I would not advise leaving Elsa unattended in the presence of small children.
Elsa requires careful and thoughtful introduction to new friends and acquaintances.
Important notes regarding her health:
Elsa eats about a half to 3/4 cup of food all day. We feed her while she's in her kennel to keep Oreo from eating her food.
She's been spayed.
She was diagnosed with Medial Patellar Luxation (MPL), for which the veterinarian has prescribed both pain and arthritis medications. During flare ups, she experiences pain as evidenced by cowering, yelping and snapping. However, after taking medications as prescribed, she's been pain free ever since. Though she's had only one episode during the three or so months we've been fortunate enough to foster her, we were advised that the problem is likely to recur over time.
Overall, Elsa is very easy to love. A compatible human would be exceptionally patient and committed to letting Elsa take all the time she needs to get to know you, willing to accept a little pushback without taking it personally and empathetic, while cherishing their role as a nurturer and friend. ??