Likes: Lounging near his human, car rides, walks, the dog park.
Pet-Peeves: Being handled by strangers
Favorite Toy: Any stuffed chew toy
Favorite Walk: Anywhere with his human
Best Tricks: Biting someone while he's already under quarantine for biting someone!
Arrival Story: POTTER HAS BEEN ADOPTED -- TO MYSELF! The reason that I worked with & fostered Potter was due to his aggression issues. I was able to get him to be very good with me & he did great in my home with the other dogs, however the aggression issue was tough to try to resolve (doing so places other people at risk of being bitten) & myself & the animal welfare organization could not in good conscience put him up for adoption, so his only realistic options were that I adopt him myself, or euthanasia.
I was fostering Potter for a large & well-respected not for profit animal welfare organization located in the San Francisco Bay area. Immediately after my prior foster dog, Klepto, was adopted out, I brought Potter home with me.
Bio: Potter is an 9 year old neutered male Maltese, weighing approximately 9lbs. He was surrendered to the shelter in June of 2008 by owners who claimed he was "vocal" as the reason for surrendering him. They'd apparently had him his whole life. Potter is vocal, but only under certain situations, which can easily be minimized. Potter did not enjoy being handled (any sort of touch) by people at the shelter -- not too surprising, since he apparently was forced to live outside all the time. He could & would get very aggressive when someone did try to touch him (which I suspect is the real reason he was surrendered), but I love challenges like that, so I worked with Potter a lot at the shelter. He quickly learned he had to respect me (since biting wasn't having the desired effect, and he didn't have a gun or knife he could try using!), and once he respected me and tolerated my handling him, he learned very quickly to like, and then trust me. While this work had a positive impact on his overall general behavior, Potter would still occasionally respond aggressively with shelter staff who tried to handle him. As soon as my foster dog Klepto was adopted on September 25, I brought Potter home with me for 'intensive care' -- Christmas came three months early for Potter! Over the next couple weeks, I'll learn more about Potter's temperment, and work to resolve any major issues so that he can be put up for adoption and adopted out into the right home.
Physically, Potter seems perfectly healthy and is quite playful & energetic for his age. He is slightly blind in his left eye, due to a genetic defect or physical trauma long ago, but at the shelter, he was able to recognize me from 50' away.
Further updates about Potter will be in the form of diary entries, listed below.
It's hard to believe that Potter could almost be 13 years old, based on his his energy level. Just like the rest of his family, we love snoozing, but when it's time to play, Potter has more stamina & playful attitude than the younger dogs in the family.
Potter is not as affectionate as some of the rest, but he's very important to me as he's the sole remaining dog that also knew & lived with my beloved MinPins Nike & Baby -- Nike in particular being the whole reason that I've been directly involved with animal welfare. Potter knew Nike, and Baby, and our life in California (yes, this silly sentimentality is rather anthromorphic, but the linkage is important to me, as my life & memories revolve around my dogs).
Now that my dear boy Ralphie has died, Potter's role in the pack is more significant. My feral dog Bugsy relied on Ralph for comfort as his 'big brother,' & now hopefully Potter can fulfill that role.
He does not act like a typical 'senior' dog -- he is very energetic and loves chasing his younger brother Ralphie as Ralphie chases his tennis ball outside, plus Potter enjoys wrestling around with siblings Bugsy & Marnie inside the house. Thankfully, for every minute of running around, there's about 5 minutes of snoozing, so there is peace & quiet inside our home.
Potter is also pretty healthy, though for a day or two, once or twice a year he suffers from some sort of epileptic seizure. Vets can't diagnose it without doing a MRI scan ($1500+) & we're going to pass on that unless the seizures start happening more frequently.
For his birthday today, Potter got to sleep in a little later this morning while the other dogs were outside, he'll get some extra attention from me, and all the dogs will get a special treat.
I'm sure the people that surrendered Potter to the Humane Society shelter a couple years ago have forgotten all about him now, & perhaps replaced him with another dog that they can just leave outside 24/7...
It's really too bad humans aren't spayed/neutered AND EUTHANIZED like dogs are. The world would be a better place, for human & non-human animals alike.
Potter is doing great. He is actually OK with meeting new people both inside & outside of his home, as long as the introduction is handled properly, and the people don't try to handle him much.
Potter actually loves going to the dog park & interacting with other dogs. I just have to trot along behind him to stay close enough to ensure that no little kids at the dog park try to pick him up or something. Potter does great with my foster dogs, too.