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Nora

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About

Breed

Mixed Breed (Medium)

Age

4 Years

Gender

Female

Size

Medium (20-40 lbs.)

Can Live With

  • Dogs
  • Horses
  • Livestock
  • Older Children (12+)

Spayed/Neutered

Yes

Current on Vaccines

Yes

Specialized Care

  • Behavior Concerns
  • Medication

Location

Jersey City, NJ

Biography

We’ve made the heartbreaking decision to find a new home for our beloved 4-year-old Corgi mix, Nora. Nora was rescued from the “Friday Animal Market” in Kuwait by an NJ-based organization. She then suffered brain damage when her spay surgery was botched in January 2021, and since then, we have worked with a host of experts to improve her behavior and quality of life. She has made huge progress with this work, but it’s become clear that our house cannot be a happy, safe for space for her.

The good/ great stuff: Nora has all the love in the world for her pack; if she knows you, she will greet you an exuberant joy that melts your heart. She loves to play in the snow, and she loves a big space to run around in. Sometimes she’ll chase a ball or play tug-of-war with a toy. She’s a great play partner to other dogs she knows. She loves her walks and gets excited every time her leash comes off the hook. She’s a quick study for a new skill; she’s almost frighteningly smart, and she loves to show off her “dance” moves on her hind legs.

She is, however, a challenge. Her behavioral specialists tell us she’s the most complicated case they’ve ever seen. As it’s currently understood, she had a mini-stroke due to blood loss during her spay, and her brain re-wired such that any stimulus past a certain threshold – even positive stimulus, like a friend visiting – translates to physical pain. As a result, she can appear fickle: her needs for affection change on a dime; you can go from blissful belly rubs to a snapping jaw in a second. She also carries some trauma around being trapped from her early months, so she always needs an easy exit route, or she’ll become anxious and snarl to clear space.

In addition, she is highly territorial of her food, and she’ll defend it if you don’t respect her boundaries. She needs to eat alone, and it’s crucial to not let food get left on the floor or caught under furniture. She has a bark loud enough to shake the walls of Jericho, and she’ll use it if she perceives an intruder. She can become acclimated to new people in her space, but they need to show up persistently for a period of time, and she’ll bark at the them until she gets used to them. She does have a bite history, almost exclusively when she’s redirecting her anxiety, but the only beings that she’s ever bitten are the two of us. For anyone else, she just barks aggressively, even under incredibly stressful circumstances.

On walks, we’re careful to dodge other dogs, as she is reactive to them when on leash. It is a completely different story when she’s in an open area, such as a dog park; we’ve seen many times that she’ll bark continuously at another dog on a leash through the fence of a dog park, then run up and say hi as soon as that same dog enters the park. Again, though, she is happy to walk alongside another dog she has befriended.

We live a narrow row house whose shared walls bleed sounds that are a constant annoyance to Nora. Normal happenings on the street trigger her to sound the alarm, and because our space is crowded, it’s hard for her to find enough space to feel comfortable. With the constant stimuli, Nora is constantly activated and anxious, and because of her brain injury, that means she’s also always just a heartbeat away from physical pain.

Ultimately we think Nora will be happier in a home that doesn’t have so many anxiety-provoking circumstances, where she can relish the joyful things in her life without such a high risk of overstimulation. We’ve seen in the past that a calmer, less densely populated environment leads to better behavior across the board for her, and we think that should be her norm.

Nora needs a home with lots of space and quiet, where she can get attention when she wants and space when she needs. Best of all would be a home in the country with lots of space to run or a suburban home with a big fenced yard. Other dogs will almost certainly be fine once she gets the chance to know them. Children under 12 are not advised; Nora loves kids, but any child around her needs to know how to play carefully and respect her boundaries. Most of all, she needs patience and love and people who will meet her where she is; if she gets that, she will be a playful, loving delight.

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