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If Paya was a candy, she'd be pop rocks. If she was a drink, she'd be hot chocolate with chili powder.

I adopted her from the shelter I worked at when she was roughly 8 weeks old. She and eight littermates were found in a box on the side of the road and we quickly placed the litter in foster care. I knew from the start that Paya would be trouble, when I saw that her littermates were calmly sleeping and she was climbing landscaping boulders and jumping off of them. The funny thing is I actually meant to adopt a puppy who would be 'a little less' than my working-line shepherd, Brae. But Paya can do everything that Brae can do, and then some.

Paya's prey drive is off the charts, and extremely primal. All of my dogs have high prey drive. But Paya's is different and magnitudes more intense. My boys at least knew when to turn it on, and when to turn it off. Paya thinks it's her job to find every squirrel during the day, every cat at night, every deer in the woods. She really tested my training skills and I am so proud of her for being completely responsive around prey animals, and trustworthy off leash - all through positive reinforcement training. However, I have to watch her more closely than I do my other dogs. That's the thing about choosing a high energy, high drive dog. You get a lot, but you need to put in a lot too.

Other than hunter-mode, Paya is an avid learner and extremely flashy when performing skills. She is quite normal in the house and settles beautifully. When I watch movies Paya loves sprawling across my lap and becoming a rag doll (except with grunts and snores). Paya loves to swim, play disc, and learn new tricks. She is bouncy, playful, and just disgustingly cute all the time.

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