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Happy Tail: Greta - Hero of the Day!

Over and over again the big lab's separation anxiety with subsequent destructive outbursts or escapades got Greta in trouble. Over and over she was adopted and then returned. Finally, she was adopted by Gabe Harris and his family in Russell Springs and had a furever home. An incident this past week with a home intruder proved the Harris' faith in Greta was not misplaced, that they had, indeed, a Hero Dog.
The next earlier Happy Tail: If you can't adopt, sponsor or provide foster care Posted January 12, 2014.

By Peg Schaeffer

In March, 2012 I was contacted by the Cumberland County Animal Shelter in Crossville, TN. They were overrun with dogs and had a chocolate Labrador Retriever that was scheduled to be euthanized. They said she was a sweet dog and could I pull her. I could and I did. So Greta came to the rescue.

Separation anxiety made her a runaway requiring extra care

Greta was a sweetheart but hated to be left alone. Even if she could see you she would panic. If I went to feed the horses and didn't take her she would be terribly upset even though she could see me through the fence. Not too long after I got her she disappeared. A little while later a car pulled up to the gate with Greta inside. They found her roaming on Wheeler Hill dodging traffic and looking very frightened. So I took great care to keep Greta with me at all times. She wasn't a problem she just didn't want to be left behind.

Still, she escaped again and was gone for months

Again she disappeared and this time was gone for a few months. I had given up on her and hoped that she hadn't gotten killed and hopefully had found a home on her own. Then I got a call from a woman who said a chocolate Lab had showed up at her house a few months ago. She said she loved the dog and her daughter had gotten very attached to her. The problem was whenever they left she would destroy something. That day she had eaten her daughter's bicycle helmet and that was the last straw. Guess who the dog was? It was Greta. So Greta came home again.

Finally, Greta was adopted, even though her problem was known

In November a woman contacted us looking for a chocolate Lab to adopt. I told her about Greta but warned her about Greta's separation anxiety. She came to meet Greta and fell in love with her. Who wouldn't? So Greta went to a new home. A few days later she came back. Although I had warned the woman about Greta's problem I guess she didn't believe me. She went shopping and left Greta in the house. She came home to find her curtains all torn down. So Greta came back again.

Greta's destructive moments meant another pet/human divorce

It was never a problem when Greta came back. We're here most of the time and if I go anywhere I take some dogs with me. So Greta was never left alone. She was a good dog and loved the water. She would play in the pool and sometimes on a hot day you would see her on the deck with her front paws in one water bucket and her back paws in another. I had come to believe Greta would be another forever rescue dog.

The following June I got a call from Diana Harris from Russell Springs. She and her husband, Troy were looking for a chocolate Lab. They had a young son, Gabe, and the dog would have to be good with children. They came to look at a Lab named Ginger. Well Ginger can be aloof at times. She took one look at everyone and thought she'd go sleep in her dog house. She wouldn't let me put a leash on her. There was no way she was cooperating. So I mentioned Greta.

For the Harrises of Russell Springs, separation anxiety was no issue

I told them about Greta's separation anxiety and they weren't concerned. They said usually someone was home. The liked the fact that she loved the water because they like to go to the lake. Gabe met Greta and it was an instant match. So Greta went to another, hopefully, furever home.

Diana stayed in touch sending me pictures of Greta and Gabe. Apparently Greta decided this was a family that wouldn't abandon her and she loved them. She proved her love this week.

I got this email from Troy Harris on Thursday:
"This could happen anywhere....!!!! 10am give or take, I was at office, and my wife Dianna was at home alone, (with exception of the dogs!!). She was in the bathroom when she heard our 6 yr. old adopted chocolate lab growling and the other dogs barking...sometimes they bark at other dogs outside...but this time the lab kept growling and apparently very upset. Well the next thing she heard was a male voice that said "Oh s**t". When she went into the living room apparently an uninvited gueste voice that said oh sh@@!!!!! when she went into the living room, apparently an uninvited guest was bitten by our lab, she had blood on her mouth and just a small amount on the floor inside the front door!!! The intruder made a hasty exit and knocked over a chair on the front porch when he jumped the rail. have to give a big shout out to our hero of the day...Greta our chocolate lab!!!! Adopted from Sugarfoot farm rescue!!! was bitten by our chocolate Lab, Greta. She had blood on her mouth and a small amount on the floor inside the front door. The intruder made a hasty exit and knocked over a chair on the front porch when he jumped the rail. Have to give a big shout out to our hero of the day ... Greta, our chocolate Lab. Adopted from Sugarfoot Farm Rescue."
So the chocolate Lab who was abandoned by her original owners and left at a shelter to die has proven her devotion to the family who adopted her despite her quirk. Good girl Greta and thanks to the Harris family for sticking with her.

Peg Schaeffer, Sugarfoot Farm Rescue, 860 Sparksville Road, Columbia, KY 42728 Telephone: home 270-378-4521 or cell 270-634-4675 email:

This story was posted on 2014-01-26 06:16:43
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Greta: From separation anxiety problem dog to hero

2014-01-26 - Sugarfoot Farm Rescue, 860 Sparksville Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Peg Schaeffer. Over and over the big, lovable chocolate lab from a rescue in Crossville, TN, was returned by her new adoptive people. Finally, a Russell County family, fully knowing her history of misbehavior at moments of separation anxiety attacks, took her home to live with them. This past week, Greta more than proved her worth and proved she's got the right stuff to be a hero dog. Above, Greta showing her lab - drinking and wearing water while on one of several sojourns at Sugarfoot Farm Rescue.
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A hero gets a hug: Gabe and Greta

2014-01-26 - Russell Springs, KY - Photo by Troy Harris. Greta with her young owner, Gabe Harris.. She's always been great - downright perfect - as long as her people are around, as she is above with Gabe. She suffers from separation anxiety - but that's never been a problem for the Harris family of Russell County - someone is always home, as a would be burglar found out this past week when Greta proved herself a heroine.
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