Natalie came to us from Oregon with Wanda, Lightning, Fabio, Inca, Tater, Totter, Foz, Sugar, Newt, and Lady. She was initially very shy, but came out of her shell and bonded with Vaika people since her arrival. Even though she was a little nervous, she always tried her very best on the treadmill. Her very energetic and outgoing pal, Stinca, has played a huge role in helping Natalie to become more comfortable with the other dogs. Natalie passed away from tracheal lymphoma in the fall of 2020 and Stinca now misses her badly.
In our behavior tests Natalie was the one who kept repeatedly showing “standing at the hinge side of door” pattern, which scientifically meant that she could not memorize how does the door open, and probably was developing sign of canine cognitive dysfunction. This observation helped us in our research and Natalie's participation in the study reflected our understanding of this pathology.
Prior to joining our team, Natalie was on a team of about 10 dogs that did 5 mile tours. These loops usually lasted around one hour and happened between one and three times per day. Natalie preferred to be a wheel dog rather than a team leader. The year before she came to Cornell, Natalie, along with Fabio, was completely retired and spent her time going on walks and playing with her friends.