Tails of a shelter pup

goodbye

August 16th 2010 8:29 pm
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today I said goodbye to jingle bells. firstly , I'm leaving tomorrow for canada to live a year there and my sister will continue visiting the rescue and stuff while I'm gone. She'll also be in charge of this account. But , not just that , Jingle Bells is getting adopted. A couple , the guy is a doctor, who's dog died a while ago. Theirs was one of 5 applications submitted for Jingle Bells and the rescue deemed them worthy of taking him home. He'll be gone by next week. My sister will pass on her (our) monthyl fee to Lupe a husky/aussie mix who also lives at the rescue and is very sweet. soon , this profile will be hers. Today when I said goodbye to Jingle Bells , I felt proud. Because although our training sessions were few and far in between ,and I'm a complete newbie, this dog has really made a lot of progress. I'm so happy that he's better behaved now and hopefully won't give his new owners as much trouble. He's a good boy, and i'm happy he gets to have a home. good luck , my sweet blonde boy!

 

his story.

August 2nd 2010 3:14 pm
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a few days ago , I had a chance to speak with the founder of the rescue who picked him up from the steets a few months before and took him to the rescue. I found out he's been at the rescue for about 3 months , that means he was picked up as a 3-4 month old. His neck was slit open (man made wound) and he had injuries (from dog fights) on his paws and ears. All of them were infected. In the neighborhood he was found in , there are suspected dog fighting circles and the lady that runs the rescue has heard about the dog fighters picking up strays and/or stealing people's pets to slit their throats open and let their pitbulls kill them as "training" for the fights. She suspects that is what he was being used for , due to the nature of his injuries. She has no idea if he escaped , or was for some reason discarded by the dog fighters. It took a long while for his wounds to heal , but I can't see any sign of them now. It made me sick when I heard that , how can people be so cruel!?!?!!? My poor boy would have died on the streets if it wasn't for the rescue!!!! I feel sorry for the pitbulls , too , it's not their fault. I think that he was originally someone's pet , he's a very attractive dog , and he just landed in the wrong hands for some reason. I hope all those dog fighters (and other cruel people) burn in hell for what they did to my Jingle Bells and to other dogs too.

 

better behaving

July 27th 2010 6:35 pm
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he is better ,actually. last sunday we took him to a park in a very "green" area of town and walked the circuit of the park with him , it was really long and he's getting fat so he was tired quickly. but he really enjoyed it, and tried to chase the ducks at the lake the whole time. yesterday I visited him again and his jumping up/mouthing is gettin easier to handle. I can sense when he's about to do it now , and I'm taking steps to prevent it. I jog with him , but when he has a toy in his mouth , so he can't bite. and when I see him looking at me like he's about to jump up , I stop and ignore him until he calms down and then we continue. He's also learning that when in doubt , sit. that helps a lot too. He'll mouth at me and I'll yelp and stand still and he doesn't know what else to do , so he'll sit , since he knows that's one guaranteed action that'll earn him a treat. He's the prettiest dog at the shelter and lots of people are getting interested in him. but I don't think the averafge joe can handle him. He's got some issues and he's young and energetic ,he needs someone who understands that and can work with it.

 

Yay! river trip!

July 18th 2010 2:58 pm
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after a lot of convincing, my sister and I got my parents to allow Jingle Bells in the car, so we could take him places. Today was the first time we took him anywhere that wasn't within a 5 minute walking distance from the rescue. We put a large sheet of thick plastic over the whole backseat of the car , to protect it from damp paws , drool , fur ,etc. He went into the car willingly enough. He sat between my sister and I , and he's just the right size , if he were a little larger we couldn't have taken him at all. Once in the car , I gave him a rawhide bone so he'd lay down to chew on it and be good. What I didn't plan for was that he chewed up and ate that bone in about 10 mins and fater it was gone he didn't have anything else to distract him. He did behave , the trip was short , just 20 mins although he had my sister pinned against the door of the car and was dropping his slobbery bone all over my legs. He also tried to sit up several times during the ride and slipped all over the place , because of the plastic. We took him to a nearby park , that had a river and is a popular spot for families , etc. We took him wlaking on one of the trails and he was really good. Hardly pulled and sat for me , too. He saw people with crutches , other dogs , babies , toddlers, bikes , joggers , etc and was unfazed by it all. We went down to the river's edge and he went in it to drink but never deep enough to get his belly fur wet. He's a chicken , and doesn't really like water. Afterwards , he sat down quietly (he was really tired) while we had something to drink. On the ride back to the rescue he acted up a bit near the end , whining and pacing and licking my face (gross!) and as soon as he got out of the car , peed on the road. He didn't want to go back in the pen when we took him back and he had to be carried in! poor boy, he wanted to go home with us. But we had a lot of fun and he behaved , so there will probably be more outings in the future.

 

disapointing incident.

July 13th 2010 4:53 pm
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*sigh* just when thenings were going so well. yesterday I went to visit him and things were going fine until I decided to run with him on the leash. he gets overexcited when my sister runs him on the leash and nips at her and I was trying to correct that , since he had never nipped at me. I ran him faster and longer than ever before and when I stopped he went crazy. He began barking and jumping on me , and grabbed the flap of my jena pocket and began playing tug with it! I supose it would have been funny to see , but it was not funny to me! He pulled on it , hard and in general tried to play with me like I was nother dog. He almost knocked me down and not mention all the slobber he got on me! I tried ingoring him but he was mouthing too hard and I had to recat to make him stop. I had to jerk him away from with the leash and even then he still tried to get to me to bite me and I had to jerk really , really hard on that leash until he was almost choking. he even growled at me! It was a play growl , I think (I hope). It's understandable , he's played with dogs most of his life and he doesn't know that it's not acceptable AT ALL to play with humans that way, but I don't know how to teach him. he wants to play , just doesn't know how. I understand but that doesn't change how I feel about it. I was pretty upset. for now , no more running. It just gets him way too over excited. and I think I'd better recommend a home with no small children for him. If I had been shorter or had reacted shrieking or making noise/moving in the wrong way , he would have knocked me down and things might have gotten ugly.

 

I'm so proud!

July 10th 2010 6:06 pm
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ok, maybe it's a little early to be proud , bol. but I can't help it :) just like a parent with their kids , I celebrate every little step. today I visited him. when they took him out of the pen , he was acting really wild and it seemed he had forgotten last time's lesson. he jumped on me for attention but I ignored him and soon he got down. he almost didn't allow his leash to be put on , he was so excited. I don't blame him however. he's a young dog that spends the days cooped up inside a pen and is released for an hour of activity. I would be excited , too. and it's a little early to expect perfection from him. but once we got out the door , he seemed to remember all we had worked on , and he really behaved. he hardly pulled on the leash on our walk , and everytime he turned around to check on me I praised him and gave him a treat. I'm not clicking that yet , because I'm still working on that sit , and I don't want to confuse him. and he learned his name!!! everytime I say "cascabel" on our walk , he turned around to look at me , his ears pricked! I'm so happy! he's sitting a lot more now , because he knows that's the way to the treats , bol. and when he sits , it's not for a half a second until I click and treat him. even when I take a long time juggling the leash , treat bag , clicker and my backpack he waits patiently until I do manage to click and treat. and 90% of the time , he'll stay in that sit for up to a minute, even after he's had his treat! he generalizes well , too. he'll sit in different enviroments , in distracting situations (other dogs , kids , birds, etc) and he'll sit when I'm sitting , standing up , etc. he'll sit for my sister too. all that's missing now is adding the cue ,and fading the food of course. I'm worried about the last part , though. He acted really good today around some kids who wanted to pet him , and a man , too. he's a lot calmer , and when we sat on a bench for a while to wait for someone , he layed calmly at my feet! I treated him a lot when he was lying down , and praised him for being so calm and quiet. he only mouthed my sister once , and stopped after she didn't react to him. overall , he;s just a much calmer dog! I remembered the first time I took him out on a walk , he was pulling everywhere , jumping , being crazy. in such a short time , such improvement!!! I'm really proud , I can't stop saying it!!

 

smart puppy!

July 8th 2010 3:49 pm
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I went to see him. He's a smart puppy! he picks things up fast. as soon as he sees the treat in my hands he will sit , even when we're in front of other dogs , people ,on the road , at the rescue , in front of me or beside me , etc. He's also gotten much better about not pulling on the leash , although I haven't worked formally on that. He's still mouthy though. arrrrg it's frustrating because on our walk he was behaving so nicely , and then he promptly decided to bite my sister's amrs and her jeans , etc. I told her to ignore him ,but she couldn't , she said he was biting her too hard and she gave him what he wanted-attention. the rest of the time he was an angel though. but this dog needs socialization ASAP , because while on our walk, he saw a guy in a uniform and started growling and barking at him. I dragged him closer and talked to the guy normally, until he quieted down. he still did not want that guy anywhere near him , though , I wonder why?

 

progress

July 3rd 2010 4:21 pm
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today I started clicker training. I loaded the clicker , that is , clickd often and gave him a treat everytime I did , to get him to make the association: click=treats. I decided to try this after suggestions from other dogsters. Normal training methods were not working with this dog , so let's see if I can make some progress with the clicker. As well as loading the clicker, I went on a walk with him , and played with a squeaky ball. That dog sure has energy! I can't let him off leash because he doesn't have recall , so I toss the ball and run after him , while he's on the leash. After a few minutes , I was exhausted. He was really happy , however. He's such a young dog , that wants to play and have fun , and he can't , stuck inside the kennel all day. I wish he could have a home , but the right home , with someone willing to continue with his training. I bought him a new collar and leash yesterday , red ones that look really good on him. but either because the collar is too cheap , or the dog is too strong , or I hadn't put it on right , he pulled after the ball once and the collar broke away and I was left holding a leahs with an opened collar on the end of it , while he ran happily around. luckily , I caught him easily , as he was too worried about the ball to even notice he had gotten loose.

 

hyper,mouthy puppy!

July 1st 2010 4:44 pm
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Jingle Bells sure is a handful. I'm trying to train him so the family that adopts him won't be tempted to give him up because he's too wild or something. It's been really hard so far, however. Today, 3 friends interested in the program and I went to the rescue so they could pick out dogs and get the applications , etc and also so we could walk the dogs. After a while we set out with Jingle Bells, and my friends with the dogs they had choosen. One friend walked Pearl , a cute white terrier mix, small but energetic. Another friend walked Matilda , a huge , bouncy shaggy brown dog with a sweet face. Another friend walked Lupe , a husky mix who is energetic but also calm when she needs to be. And I was walking Jingle Bells , the crazy pup. Jingle Bells pulls on the leash. I've been trying to correct it by staying still everytime he does until he slacks the lead and then continuing , but it's been tough. He's also mouthy. Really mouthy. I made some homemade bitter apple spray with alcohol and lemon juice and sprayed it on my hands and got him excited so he would mouth me. He did and it was obvious he disliked the taste of the spray , but just as I was feeling proud of myself he outsmarted me, lol. He discovered that although my hands tasted nasty , other parts of me , like my clothes and arms , did not. Next time I'm goning to have to give myself a bath in bitter apple, I think. just kidding. and he's the first dog I've ever met that won't sit for a treat. I've always considered sit an easy command. I've trained bull terrier and lab pups in it very easily. even adult dogs pick it up pretty quickly. but Jingle Bells is not an ordinary dog. I moved the treat over his head, right above it so he wouldn't jump, expecting him to react like a normal dog and sit. Instead, my crazy dog twisted and turned to keep the treat in view, but refused to sit. I tried again. He simply backed up and jumped for the treat. Several treats later , we were getting no where. He was so desperate for the treat, he didn't even give me a chance to put it over his head , as soon as he realized I had it , he would go crazy. Do they starve the dogs at the rescue? I would think so , given his reaction to the treat , except for the fact that Lupe , my friend's husky mix sat quietly when I used the exact same method, and she gets the same food he does. What a difficult dog! Oh well. If this doesn't prepare me for a doberman puppy of my own , I don't know what will.

 

choosing him.

June 30th 2010 8:58 am
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yesterday I went to the Pets Paradise animal rescue to pick out a dog with my sister to be it's godmothers. I had heards of this rescue when I was looking up rescues on the internet in my city that could spay my cousin's cat for a low fee. I found Pets Paradise and looked around on their website to see if they offered spay/neuter surgeries. they dis and the kitty was spayed there , and I also had a chance to see some of their adopatable dogs and cats. my heart went out to the poor homeless animals , but I knew my parents wouldn't let me have a dog. then I read about the godmother/godfather program. it seemed the perfect alternative to bringing a dog home , which was not an option. several days later , with the application filled out, we went to the rescue. that was yesterday. as soon as we arrived , dozens of dogs began barking their heads off and crowding the fence. I was overwhelmed but I knew exactly what I was looking for. a young , playful, friendly dog that we could take to visit family members , etc. We saw several dogs but something was lways wrong with them : one had an owner and was just in for boarding , another was so skittish he didn't let the guy taking care of them catch him , etc. Finally I saw Jingle Bells. He was not part of the crowd that had initally come to bark and cause chaos at the gate. I liked that. He was further back , playing with other dogs. I asked the guy to bring him out , and up close , I saw he was gorgeous. He has green eyes and beautiful white markings. He's energetic too , and the guy told us he was only 7 months old! I was in love with him already and we took him for a walk to see how we got along. He pulled on the leash quite a bit , and when he got over excited was mouthy , but he's still a puppy , and one that's never been trained,so overall I thought he had done well. A few minutes later we sealed the deal , and Jingle Bells became our official rescue dog! When I got home I told some dog loving friends about the program and the rescue and they decided they wanted to participate , too. that afternoon I returned to the rescue with another friend and her mom who had decided to help a shelter dog , too. they chose a smallish white female with a terrier look that was very sweet and calmer that jingle bells , perfect because my friend has a 7 year old sister who's nervous around big , bouncy dogs. another friend is going tomorrow to pick out the dog she's going to godmother. I'm so happy I brought 2 new people into the program and 2 other dogs could have a chance at a better life.

 
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