Week 17 
“This was a good week for Xena. She is more relaxed being with more than a few people at a time (although she does not like those with beards).” This pup got kudos from her handlers for her touch, sit and sit pretty commands this week. Xena also “is great in the dog yard running around and playing. She is going right up to other dogs with no problems.” As her handlers have told us before, this little Diva loves to be pampered. “She got her weekly bath, which she loves. We used new shampoo, and she smells great!” We know you will be pampered in your new home, Xena! Best wishes to you and your new family!

Week 16 
“This was a good week for Xena. She has been walking right up to strangers." This pup also worked with her newer handler more, and is getting used to his style of training. Xena and Hounder had some fun together in the doggie yard. “They really get along. She is a great dog who will make a great addition to anyone’s family.”

Week 15 
Xena was introduced to some agility training this week. There are two steel boxes and a block building about 2-1/2 feet high in the yard. At first she was afraid to go near the block, so her handler lured her there with a lot of treats. “Once she smelled the treats, she immediately tried to put her two paws on the edge, but she wouldn’t jump up on it. I decided to just pick her up and put her on top of it. She was very calm and she actually wagged her tail. On her own, Xena walked to the edge and leapt in the air. Once she hit the ground, she started to wag her tail really fast. She was super excited, so I turned it into a game for her.” With her handler’s encouragement, Xena now has the confidence to jump up on the block, and “has more fun than ever running and jumping on the different obstacles that we created.” We’re proud of you, little girl!

xenaWeek 14 
“Xena is really coming out of her shell.  She is still timid in crowds, and doesn’t like loud noises, but she has really relaxed around strangers.”  Her handlers awarded great marks for her sit and stay commands this week.  They also told us about Xena’s playful side. “She loves her new ball and rope toy.  This week, she was so cute when she was getting ready to go to sleep.  She got her stuffed giraffe toy, pulled it under her paws and fell asleep with it.  She is a great dog who has a lot of love to give.”

Field Trip Alert (as told by HOPE volunteer Cindy) - On Saturday, I went on a field trip with Margie, Danner and Xena.  I wanted to get to know Xena so I could tell potential adopters about her.  This was the first time I got to meet her.  As soon as she got out of Margie’s car, she came over to my car.  She was on a long lead and she came within about 3 feet of me.  I offered her a treat and she came over and took it right out of my hand.  I took her lead and we headed down to the field.  She and Danner enjoyed getting tangled in the leads and running ahead of us.  We practiced her recall and she would come running back and sit pretty for a treat.  She loved to explore with her nose and was very interested in all the smells in the field.

After our long walk, we put regular leashes on the dogs and walked through the campus.  We met a young lady and when she knelt down, Xena went right up to her for pets.  This was a big step for out little girl.  We then walked over to fenced in aera where we let Danner and Xena off leash.  They had fun running around.  We practiced, sit, stay and come.  Xena would run as fast as her little legs would go toward Margie or me and then sit.  When I was sitting on the ground, Xena came over and gave me two little kisses on my nose.  On the way back to the cars, a train went by us.  Xena was a little startled at first, but kept right on walking. 

One thing people may not know about Xena, is her ears are bisque colored and she has spots of bisque colored fur on her back.  She is a beautiful girl and is really coming out of her shell.  We are so proud of the progress she is making in the prison. 

Week 13 
Xena’s handlers continued to introduce her to new people this week.  One of them tells us that “I had different people spend 10-15 minutes with her outside of the cell.  She was treated when she did her basic commands for them.  It took her awhile to get used to the other people, but little by little, progress was made.  It’s slow at times, but it’s coming.  As she continues to grow, Xena is becoming stronger and more confident.”  Here’s to gentle voices and a lot of love in your future, little girl!

Week 12 
“This week was good for Xena.  She is going right up to strangers with confidence and is coming out of her shell.  She is still shy around groups, but her one-on-one contact is improving.”  Xena got gold stars for her sit, down, touch and sit pretty stills this week.   Her newest handler is not only taking the instructions from the other handlers and the professional trainers to heart, he is also reading a book on how to handle shy dogs so that he can better serve this pups needs.  “Xena is a great dog who, with a lot of love and the right training, will make a great addition to anyone’s family.”

Field Trip Alert (as told by HOPE volunteer Margie) - Xena took another field trip on Saturday with her good friend, canine volunteer Danner.  Danner took her over to the park for some exploring and lots of sniffing.  Xena really enjoys being outside and loves going for walks (no matter how cold it is).  They stopped to investigate the playground equipment since there wasn't anyone using it.  Several weeks ago Xena and Danner tried out some equipment at another playground.  At that time, Xena was hesitant but followed Danner and tried different things.  Today her self confidence was at a whole new level.  She walked up and down the steps with tail wagging, sometimes leading the way.  We went down a slide, crawled through a tunnel and walked across a mini  "suspension bridge" a couple of times.  Xena was really having fun.  After a while the driver started getting cold, so we drove over to Benny's Pet Depot for some indoor activity.  We walked up and down the aisles - both Xena and Danner thought the food and treat aisle was the best.  At the checkout, I was talking to a couple of the employees about Xena. Xena remained relaxed and even approached one for a treat.  With all attention on Xena, Danner apparently thought it was a good time to snatch a biscuit off one of the shelves.  Before anyone knew it, half of it was gone.  Xena thought that was a really cool thing to do - suddenly she grabbed one, but just held it in her mouth and then politely gave it up  (take note, Danner).  As a reward for her good manners, sweet Xena got to take the biscuit back to the prison with her to enjoy later.  Xena and her handlers' hard work is really paying off.

Week 11 
Xena’s handlers report that although they are still working on her confidence issues, “she does trust certain people, mainly those that she sees on a daily basis.  She has made tremendous progress, and continues to advance every day.”  Xena is becoming more familiar with her commands.  She knows down and sit very well, and in fact will do the latter when one of her handlers snaps his fingers two times.  “Xena does extremely well interacting with the other dogs. It’s like she’s a different dog when she’s around them.”  Although it may take some time for Xena to regain her confidence, her handlers are proud that “she shows a lot of improvement.  She’s gone from being a scared dog who just sat in the corner of her crate, to a less scared dog who is willing to walk up to people to see what they’re all about.”  Keep coming out of your shell, Xena!

Week 10 
Xena’s handlers tell us that she had another good week. She’s still warming up to having an additional handler in her world, but “she’s coming around to the idea of him taking her for walks and bathroom breaks.”   Xena continues to spend a lot of time on the block to meet people.  “She either likes them or she doesn’t.”  She will walk right up to some of the folks she sees, but she still shows fear around some others.”  This sweet miss really enjoys being pampered by her handlers.  “She loves getting baths, being massaged and, of course, her cheese sticks.  She is a great dog who just needs a lot of love and time to adjust to her new surroundings.”

Week 9 
Xena’s handlers report that she continues to excel in her basic obedience commands!  Although she also continues to get better around all of the people in her life, they concentrated her training this week on her socialization skills.  “We have been working on introducing her to at least three or four random people every day.”  With the help of two long leashes (so that she could go back to the safety of her cell when she got scared), patience, and the willingness of other inmates on the block to help out, Xena eventually took treats from some them!  “This helped build her confidence and trust in strangers.”  We know that you’re going to miss your friend, Kelsey, Xena.  But remember that all of us associated with the program are your friends (including Canine HOPE Volunteer Danner), and that you will someday never have to fear again.

Week 8 
Xena still has moments of “paws” with her new handler, but he knows that with time, she’ll come around to him.  This pup got kudos for her sit, down, touch and sit pretty commands this week.  She also did “very well not getting scared” when her handlers took her out on the block around other inmates she didn’t know.  Good girl!  Xena has no troubles having a good time outside!  “She loved playing and taking long walks in the snow this week.”  You’ve come a long way, little girl!

Field Trip Alert (as told by HOPE volunteer Margie) - Xena was taken out again yesterday by her good friend Danner and I wanted to share this with you because I was so proud of her and I knew that you all would be too. I've been wanting to get Xena out among people, not necessarily meeting them, but just around them, so we went over to the college to walk around campus, but the students weren't back yet from their break, so we pretty much had the place to ourselves.  It did give us the chance to go to the tennis courts and practice some off leash recalls - Xena was pretty responsive if I crouched down.  She'd come running back, sit right in front of me and then give me lots of kisses (which is new).   Then I decided to take a big leap and we drove over to Home Depot.  Really wasn't sure how that was going to go - in fact I thought we might end up only walking around the parking lot.  But the 3 of us walked right thru the doors and started walking up and down the aisles.  The place was pretty busy, lots of people, noises, etc. (all the things that scare Xena).  Granted, Xena was not the picture of confidence, but she didn't freak out, she wasn't pulling or zigzagging back and forth and we were able to go thru the entire store at a leisurely pace.  I was so proud of her.  To most people this would not sound like a very big deal, but for those of us who know her, we know how much courage it took.  When we got back to the car, Xena and Danner each got a special sweet potato wrap treat  :o)

Week 7 
Xena was introduced to an additional handler this week.  She was quite timid and nervous when she first met him.  In fact, she actually barked at him.  “I guess she was just protecting her domain.”  By using treats and toys, Xena came around and started to sniff her new cellie.  In just a short time, her new handler was able to pet her.  What a brave little girl you are!  Xena loved playing in the snow last week.  “She started walking, and then just barrel rolled in the snow.  When she got up, her tail was wagging and her mouth was an open smile.  She had so much fun.  Xena and Kelsey also enjoyed spending time with one another.”  Her handlers report that she is making strides in her training as well.  “In just a short 6 weeks, she has come a long way and continues to amaze me with her intelligence.”  They also have a tip for anyone who is thinking about adopting this little diva.  “Xena loves anything that has to do with grooming.”  We’re proud of you, sweet miss!

Week 6 
Xena’s handler spent some time walking her in and out of the cell, as well as the front door this week.  This shy girl is frightened of the front door because the lock is so loud.  Her handler used cheese/treats as well as a couple of training techniques to show her “that nothing is going to harm her.”  Xena takes comfort in the company of some of her pack mates.  “She and Jackie and Kelsey were all hanging out today.  Xena and Kelsey get along very well already.  As for Jackie, we had them in separate dog runs and they were able to sniff each other.  Surprisingly, when Xena pressed her body up against the fence, Jackie sniffed her and didn’t react.  After the initial meet, we allowed them to sniff/chase each other in their runs and they seemed to enjoy each other’s company.  Milestones were reached for both Xena and Jackie.”  Here’s to more milestones and a forever home, little girl!

Field Trip Alert (as told by HOPE volunteer Margie) - Xena was taken on another outing by her friend Danner.  When we left the prison, Xena was excited to go and at the car she actually pushed Danner out of the way and jumped right into the back.  Xena loves the car now and is an excellent passenger.  We rode over to New Cumberland.  Meeting new people is still hard for Xena.  The plan was to walk thru town where there would be people out shopping for Xmas. The weather however didn't cooperate and the winds seemed to keep most people off the streets.  Xena and Danner however were not deterred.  They explored all the streets and smells and didn't seem to mind the cold at all.  We made our way thru town to the borough park which we had pretty much to ourselves. We took the opportunity to investigate some of the playground equipment.  There was a tunnel to crawl thru, an open metal plank to cross over as well as both metal and plastic steps to go up and down.  Xena was hesitant at first, but would watch Danner and then would muster up the courage to try each thing.  As we went along I could see Xena's confidence building.  When she climbed down the last set of metal steps we had a celebration with lots of praise and pets and Xena had a big smile on her face with tail wagging.   As we walked back to the car, the wind was really blowing and a couple of times Xena got spooked by debris flying, but it was short lived.  Before returning to the prison, we stopped at one of the specialty stores and picked up a couple of homemade dog biscuits.  As I approached the car I could see two little smiling faces and tails going everywhere.  What better way to end the day than sharing a snack with a good friend.

Week 5 
Xena’s handler continued to work to rebuild her self-confidence this week.  “She’s has been such an abused dog, that she needs to be shown TLC every chance possible.  The better bond that can be created will make her training easier. She continues to make progress each day.”  Her handler says that patience goes a long way when working with this pup.  His patience is already paying off!  “Xena has been showing tons of emotion lately by wagging her tail and having a smile on her face.”  The day he wrote his journal, Xena’s handler had her outside in the doggie yard.  He started to run, and she took off after him!  “She was as happy as could be.  Usually, fast footsteps would have scared her, but in this case, she was just having some good old fun with her friendly handler.  This was positive to show her that not all fast movements or motions are harmful to her.  She is back on the path to success.”

Week 4 
This week, Xena’s handler worked to teach this timid girl the fine art of meeting strangers. It took two or three tries, and some treats, but eventually she realized that the strangers weren’t going to harm her and she would allow them to pet her by pushing against them.  “This gave her the foundation to start rebuilding her confidence with people.”  Her handler also learned that Xena loves to be bathed!  “She makes no fuss whatsoever.  She looks like a wet, drowned rat when she’s wet.  She loves to be brushed, but hates it when you try to brush her hair straight.  She prefers the fluff ball look and will start shaking to poof her fur back up.  Xena is a loving dog and has made a lot of progress in only three weeks.  She is being introduced back into society with all positive behavior, and could be ready for adoption soon.  Xena looks adorable. Check her out!”

xenaField Trip Alert (as told by HOPE volunteer Margie): Xena, our little scaredy dog went out on her first field trip, accompanied by canine Hope volunteer Danner.  Leaving the prison was a little scary, but not too bad.  When we got out to the car Xena was spooked and lay flat on the ground but when she saw Danner jump in the back, she must have decided it was safe and she jumped right in. She rode beautifully in the car.  We went over to the field at the college and started off with the long leads.  It wasn't long before the two of them were running along side by side, just having the best time.  Xena's tail went from being in a down position to being up and relaxed.  Her ears were also up and alert.  Occasionally as the two of them walked along, Xena would go over to Danner and give him a nudge as if to say "this is so much fun!!"  After a while, we switched to the regular leashes and walked through campus.  Xena did very well - there wasn't much pulling or zigzagging back and forth - she pretty much stayed beside Danner.  We met a dog along the way - a large boxer, and everyone did well with that.  There were lots of students walking around, changing classes and although Xena wasn't interested in meeting anyone, she was perfectly content to watch Danner as he demonstrated that meeting people and receiving pets is a really fun and safe activity. Once we got back to the car, Xena jumped right in (she's a pro now).  Back at the block we sat down with a few of the handlers and some of the other dogs.  Xena was right in the middle of everyone with tail up and wagging.  It's going to be a lot of fun to watch this sweet girl come out of her shell as she progresses thru the program.

Week 3 
Xena is beginning to show signs of trust again. WIth some help from her doggie mentor, Kelsey, she is finding her way back to a place of comfort and ease. Kelsey was just like Xena when she arrived at the jail several months ago -- scared of everything -- so the two had an immediate bond. They're like kindred spirits and Kelsey is more than happy to show Xena the ropes. This week, Xena made some great progress with meeting new people. She definitely wants to try, but sometimes her fear gets the better of her. So, her handlers have instituted the strangers with candy protocol. Xena is often too scared to walk up to someone new for a visit. But, she will be brave and go sniff a treat from their hand. Then she walks away to get herself together again. Once she's feeling settled, she goes back to the stranger and will take the treat right out of their hand. Within three treats she has usually made a new friend and can be seen sitting next to that person accepting petting and more treats. This is a huge step for this little girl and we care so proud of her and her handlers for their patience and persistence. Way to go!

Week 2 
Xena found her smile this week. She loves to play with Kelsey and when she does, her tail wags really fast and her mouth curls up into what can only be described as a smile. It's wonderful to see her relax and thoroughly enjoy herself. She takes cues from her doggie friends very well and is happy to give them a break when they've had enough playtime for awhile. Xena's handler has been training with them together. He puts them both in a stay and walks far across the dog yard. When he calls them to him, he says he can't even get the word "sit" out because they're already there and patiently waiting for their reward -- smart girls!! Xena is still skiddish, especially with unffamiliar sounds, but her handler says she has made a 180 degree turnaround since her arrival. She's making great progress and he has really high hopes for her. He reports that her tail is wagging more than ever and that's enough to give anyone some hope!

Week 1 
Her handler writes that our newest member of the HOPE program is a “very timid, scared girl who does not have much trust in people.  She will need a lot of TLC to bounce back. On the other hand, Xena shows great signs of being a fast learner.  She’s only been here two days, and has already learned the sit command.  She shows great potential, and I’m sure with a little training and work on both our parts, she’ll turn out to be a wonderful dog.”  Xena’s handler says that with her long white hair, she almost resembles a fox.  “Even though she is scared, she trusts me enough to brush her.  She loves being brushed.  She will sit all but on my foot and rub up against me while I’m brushing her.”  After just a few days, little Xena has taken a shine to her handler.  “I had her in the dog run, and when I walked away from her, she waited for a minute to find me, and then came walking right behind me. In just two days, she has made tremendous progress.”  Like her handler, we can’t wait to see how Xena progresses as more weeks go by!

UPDATE 11-10-12
Xena is heading to the big house today to get started. This little darling just needs to take a class atthe school of self confidence so she can learn to trust her human friends again. Her brother has just started class at the Roxbury institution and is off to a great start and we know Xena will be following in his pawprints.  She is a beautiful, three year old American Eskimo Dog who is available for adoption through Eskie Rescuers United .