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How Kimber’s New Home And Pack Made Her The Happiest Pup

By Belinda Cai

Brittany Roetman and her boyfriend Nick have three dogs. Two of the pups, Sam and Norbert, are relatively well adjusted. The female spaniel mix, Kimber, however, has always struggled a bit. 

“We’ve had her about four years and it’s only recently that she has started to come out of her shell,” Brittany says. “She’s definitely been abused and was feral when Nick got her. She used to hide all day from us and never really barked, played or acted like a normal dog.” 

Then everything changed. The second the couple moved into a house together, she became a different dog. 

“She’s currently sitting next to me on the couch sleeping, something she’d never done before,” Brittany explains. “She cuddles now and even barks. Being with her whole pack constantly and not in an apartment has changed her a ton.”

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She cuddles now and even barks. Being with her whole pack constantly and not in an apartment has changed her a ton.

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Brittany and Kimber.

Dog Whisperer HQ: Tell us a little about Kimber.

Brittany: Kimber is a brown and white spaniel mix and has the cutest ears I’ve ever seen. She’s about four to five years old, and is very timid around new people. It took her about a year to warm up to Nick, my boyfriend, when he got her. When we started dating, she was very nervous around me, but I won her over. Once she opens up, she’s a total goof. We call her “Spaz” because she will just do the funniest thing. She jumps off the back of the couch, runs full force uphill in our yard barking the whole way up, and has even leapt head first into the creek outside our house just for fun. 

She has a bad habit of chewing on everything in sight. Including her own hind quarters. She has some issues to work through but it’s mostly just anxiety-based. She likes to be in a safe and quiet space, so having a house with a backyard is perfect for her. Apartment living was really hard on her with all the noise. 

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Once she opens up, she’s a total goof. We call her ‘Spaz’ because she will just do the funniest thing. She jumps off the back of the couch, runs full force uphill in our yard barking the whole way up, and has even leapt head first into the creek outside our house just for fun.

DW: Tell us about your other two dogs.

B: We have two other dogs, Sam and Norbert. Sam is a lab-chow mix who came to us as an owner surrender. He has a very calm and dignified personality until he sees grass, and then he starts rolling in it like a complete goofball. Norbert is my dog. I’ve had him for about five years now. He’s a Manchester Terrier that I found on the side of the road. He’s a bum half the time and the other half, he just wants to run.

My sister also lives with us and she just got a mini dachshund puppy named Charlie. He’s the newest to our pack (The East Atlanta Dog Squad, as we call them). He just wants to play with all of them but they’re still getting used to him.

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A happy Kimber.

DW: How do they all get along?

B: Sam, Norbert and Kimber all get along great. They enjoy lounging on the couch and running around the backyard together. Because Norbert and Kimber were both strays, they don’t know how to play very much but they have their own way of bonding. Like I said, they are still getting used to Charlie. Kimber isn’t too fond of him but Sam and Norbert are warming up. I’m sure Kimber will grow to love him in time; she just takes a minute to get comfortable with newcomers.

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She’s a completely different dog. Mainly, having a house with her whole pack where she feels safe has helped her come out of her shell. She used to hide behind the couch every time someone walked into the room and would stay there the whole time. Now she will only hide for a minute and then comes out to say hi.

DW: How has moving into a new house transformed Kimber?

B: She’s a completely different dog. Mainly, having a house with her whole pack where she feels safe has helped her come out of her shell. She used to hide behind the couch every time someone walked into the room and would stay there the whole time. Now she will only hide for a minute and then comes out to say hi.

Before we moved into the house she would even sleep under the bed all night. In the last year and a half, she has started to literally sleep right on my chest all night. While sleeping with a 30 pound dog on your chest isn’t the best thing, I would have it no other way.

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Whole gang’s here!

DW: So what’s it like with the whole pack?

B: We love our little pack. They all have such different personalities but they meld so perfectly together. I’ve even seen them accept my brother’s dogs and our parents’ dogs as members. 

Sam is the alpha protector and the others follow him. Kimber mainly just likes to be left alone but comes out when she wants to. Norbert likes to be rolled up in a blanket and pampered like the prince he is. Charlie just wants to know everything that’s happening. 

The East Atlanta Dog Squad is a close pack. We’ve even made our own hashtag on Instagram, #eastatlantadogsquad.

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