Adopt Alice Gerrard's dog, Polly

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Notice to dog lovers and folk aficionados: Alice Gerrard is looking to place her two-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier mix, Polly, into a good home—one without the regular separation caused by Gerrard’s career as a travelling musician.

Gerrard’s four-decade musical career has included iconic duets with Hazel Adkins, collaborations with Tommy Jarrell, Enoch Rutherford, Otis Burris and many others—including, more recently, members of Megafaun and Hiss Golden Messenger. She’s a tireless advocate for traditional music, writing essays and liner notes and contributing to documentaries on the subject, but her career is hardly stuck in the past. Bittersweet, her first collection of original music, was released last summer.

But that level of activity is exactly why Gerrard feels Polly might be better suited in another home. “I realize that Polly is too much for me, and the fact that I go out of town quite a bit,” she said in a statement copied below. “She needs to run, work, play.”

Polly has some minor anxiety and aggression issues, which Gerrard has been working on with specialists, and which she described in her statement. Gerrard is looking to find Polly a home where she would be the only pet, and with an owner who can give her more time and activity.

More information about Polly is available at www.facebook.com/homeforpolly.

Read Gerrard’s full statement below:
Polly is looking for a new home. She needs a home with people who can give her a life that is more energetic and consistent than mine. Pretty Polly is a great dog, sweet, funny, very focused, eager to please, a little over two-plus years old, female, strong, in good health, 60 pounds, is an American Staffordshire Terrier mix. She is a rescue and I’ve had her for a little over a year. She is smart and learns quickly. Polly is house trained, knows sit, stay, lie down, and is very highly food motivated. She walks very well on a gentle leader and does not pull. She also walks well on a regular collar, but pulls occasionally. I’ve never used a prong collar on her.

Polly has done some agility classes and is currently in nose work classes at Dog Fun Forever with Sue McKinney, and is an occasional at Sunny Acres Doggie Day Care. Polly is spayed, micro-chipped, is up to date on all shots and is on heartworm preventative and flea-tick prevention.

I realize that Polly is too much for me, and the fact that I go out of town quite a bit. She needs to run, work, play. Polly is a high-energy girl with some fear aggression issues. She has anxiety around being left and around being surprised, and I noticed when I first got her that she seemed afraid of men in particular, especially if they came suddenly into a room. That proved to be true occasionally, but not all the time, and is manageable. Polly is totally fine with most people and most other dogs. Occasionally, if she is surprised by someone, she reacts aggressively by scary barking; she has never bitten anybody. Mostly she loves to play with other dogs, but occasionally she is aggressive with a particular dog. We went to talk with a dog behaviorist at NC State Veterinary School, and they put her on 2 capsules of Fluoxetine (basically prozac) per day. She loves taking them with peanut butter. I feel that her anxiety level is a bit lower with the medication. They showed me how to train her to be ok with a muzzle if ever needed. We’ve worked on that and she doesn’t mind wearing it. We went to visit my son who has cat. She wore the muzzle when the cat was around which lowered my anxiety. Mostly cats keep away.

Polly loves children, although I wouldn’t have her around small children as she is too big and strong. My 10-year-old-granddaughter played with her constantly, taking toys away from her, hugging her, chasing her, playing keep away, etc. Polly loves to play, and loves challenges like finding treats in hidden places.

She would do very well in a family or with a person:

● who would exercise her vigorously as in jogging, biking, hiking, etc.
● who doesn’t have small children
● who would not have cats—she chases cats if she gets the chance (she’s never caught one)
● where she would be the only dog
● could spend more time than I can in consistent training and reinforcing

Her crate, bed, toys (yes, she has a toy box), mat, and some other stuff would go with her.

Please contact me by email—agerrard@mindspring.com—if you are interested in meeting Polly and talking with me about her. I will ask for references including a vet, and a re-homing fee of $75 which I will donate to a rescue organization.

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