January 21st 2012 4:36 pm
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I've updated his profile to reflect our decision, but not his diary. Well, here it is, all official: we've decided to keep Shiloh.
There was a time after this decision in which we made a much more difficult one; to find Dingo another home. Dingo and Shiloh were not getting along at all. Shiloh was so shy, always cringing and severely lacking in confidence and Dingo saw these attributes as a trigger. Shiloh needed us, needed our home and Dingo was so independent and there was so little connection between us and him that I decided he deserved another home in which there wasn't all this friction. Thankfully, because it broke my heart to have to make that choice, things settled down and everyone (mostly) gets along and so we were able to keep everyone.
Now Shiloh is a permanent member of our family; he will always have a home with us and I think that while it took some time to sink in, he knows that now. He is a happier, calmer dog. We work on socialization and confidence and he can even go to the dog park every week and greet other dogs instead of hiding behind me all the time.
It has been a long 5 months, but it's been worth it.
August 30th 2011 5:21 pm
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August was a hard month for Shiloh; he was reluctantly given up by his original family because they could not cope with his anxious, reactive behavior. He met other dogs in an off-leash setting for the first time. He lived with other dogs and cats for the first time.
Yesterday, we've had Shiloh for three weeks and while at times he can be exhausting - especially with work, two other high energy dogs, the other half being in school and just normal day-to-day life (where do you fit dishes in; between desensitization training and the second bike ride of the day with the dogs or maybe after tug but before the giant wrestling match??) - at the heart of it all it comes down to the fact that he is a very sweet dog who just has trouble finding an appropriate outlet for all his energy.
While I know I am supposed to be extolling the virtues and at least slightly glossing over the "bad" to find him a new home, it would be best for everyone involved if I be upfront about it: Shiloh is not the dog for everyone. He is not Lassie or Benji. He is a dog who will need dedication and hard work. It will be trying, and sometimes seem thankless. He will sometimes take ten steps backward just when you think he's at the point you want him to be. The person who takes him home may second guess themselves and their ability to handle him, because I have myself.
But, in the end, when he's curled up next to you in bed sleeping peacefully and you look down on him and know he's a good dog, even if he has bad traits, and he loves you with all his doggy heart despite everything he puts you through, your heart swells up to breaking because it's true.
Shiloh resource guards, but he's very choosy about these items and with patience he will generally give the item up on his own. He's very open to trading for the resource.
Shiloh has mild separation anxiety and is very vocal about it. It can be very aggravating, especially if you don't have understanding neighbors. We've started leaving-and-returning exercises and now he's generally only upset when his temporary doggy siblings leave with a human without him.
Shiloh is wary of men, and will bark and growl at them, even men who live with him. He is very loud and it can be grating on your nerves, but if the men ignore him, reward the cessation of barking with a treat (and no eye contact or physical acknowledgement beyond the treat) and refrain from entering and exiting the room too much, it can be desensitized.
Shiloh needs lots of exercise. He will gladly run alongside my mountain bike until he drops in 100+ degree heat. Imagine what a running partner he would be! He is not a dog who will be content in the backyard, even with other dogs to play with. One long walk a day minimum, but he will reward you with a rousing game of tug at the end of the day, and then sleep on your feet or next to you on the couch.
I will gladly transport Shiloh anywhere in the Dallas/Fort Worth area for a meet-and-greet so you can see just how awesome this dog is. We're looking for a home for life for this guy; he's too emotionally involved in his Person to stand anything less than that. If you think you can give him that, what are you waiting for??
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