i was just about to give up and take my dog back when

This is a special section for dogs needing new homes and for inspiring stories of dogs that have found their furever home through Dogster or through the love and energy of rescuers. This is also the place to discuss shelters, rescue organizations, rescue strategies, issues, solutions, etc. and how we can all help in this critical endeavor. Remember that we are all here for the love of dog! If you are posting about a dog that needs a new home, please put your location in the topic of your thread so those close by can find you! Make sure to check out Dogster's dog adoption center!

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Barked: Wed Jan 8, '14 6:38pm PST 
i was just about to give up and take my new dog back to the shelter when i googled "should i take my dog back?" A dogster forum popped up and the responses had me in tears as they were such rewarding and successful stories.

I cried for two days straight trying to decide what to do as I really liked my new little guy (mumford) but he was bat s*** crazy. I hired a personal trainer and that barely did anything, even with me practicing every day. I had my boyfriend running him at 8 am every morning with no help. He pooped 8 times a day, peed 16 times a day, gulped food and water, jumped on me, bit my boyfriend. It seemed impossible, literally. Its now week two and while things have become more manageable I had a complete breaking point the past two days with him and I was so sad to even have though about taking him back and thats why I am so thankful for the forum I ran across.

Basically, I was just wondering if other people could share their success stories with rough new rescues and tips and pointers for me and others looking for answers about how to learn to love their new little crazy friends that are just trying to find a place in the home.


Puppy Mill- Product. Pet- Shop Survivor.
Barked: Wed Jan 8, '14 7:00pm PST 
Mihkoa is 10 yrs old. I gave her away after I had her for about 6-7 months from pressure from family and friends. She ate the carpet, peeled the linoleum off the floor, pooped immediately after I walked her when I left for work, and has loads of health problems. After a week I contacted the guy and told him I was miserable and asked if I could have her back, thankfully she was just as miserable and he was happy to return her. Mihkoa was instrumental in changing my life. She taught me how to be responsible, to love someone besides myself, to work together as a team towards the same goals, compassion, forgiveness, dedication, you name it... she means more to me than I can say. Today she lies at my feet, a well accomplished agility dog, therapy dog, and my best friend. Together we beat all the odds stacked against us. People told me to kill her, put her to sleep, she wasn't worth it, or worth the money. She's with every cent, and more. She's irreplaceable. I'm so thankful she's mine and I am hers. I'm afraid to think of where or what I'd be if God hadn't put this great animal in my path. Don't give up. The rainbow and pot of gold on the other side of that rain cloud is with the struggle. The struggles won't last forever, and you will be glad you put in the hard work to look back and see how far you both have come... together.

Barked: Wed Jan 8, '14 9:25pm PST 
so inspiring. i really hope mumford and I can get to a special place like that together too. thanks so much for sharing!

Jax (earned- her wings- 5/30/12)

Give me your- toy.
Barked: Thu Jan 9, '14 4:26am PST 

Valentines Day- Rescue 4ever my- Valentine
Barked: Thu Jan 9, '14 10:36am PST 
Honestly, it will take time. He needs time to adjust to his new home, new life, new everything! Imagine if you were completely uprooted. New country, new home, new people, no familiar anything...I am sure you would be a little cray cray yourself. Eventually you will adapt to your new surroundings, but it might take a while. The same goes for him, I was close to giving my dog back to the shelter. It was a month of pooping/peeing in the house, eating everything, chewing everything, destroying everything (he chewed through my bathroom wall and my Jimmy Choo's!) He probably caused me $1000 of damage (the Jimmy Choos seriously...well at least he has good taste). After two months, something in him snapped. Not sure what it was, but overnight he became the most well behaved dog ever. No accidents, no property or shoe damage. Granted he is still hyper and cray cray...just not a drive me up the wall cray cray smile

Just be patient smile Mumford will realize you are not going anywhere. He needs time to get to know his new mama

Edited by author Thu Jan 9, '14 10:37am PST


It ain't over- till the fat- kitty sings
Barked: Thu Jan 9, '14 10:39am PST 
Awww Mumford, cute name and adorable pup! Well gratefully both my dogs were potty trained already...however...I adopted Sophie "as is" from a high kill shelter. She was fear aggressive towards other dogs before we even left the shelter.
Just figured she likes to bark a lotshock
But no she was really very quiet at home. But when we walked and she saw any dog, even blocks away INSTANT CUJO. Then there were the times she pulled me over trying to get to another leashed dog. Almost broke my arm once, it looked like someone was beating me.
After a year of different leashes and collars and growing bigger arm muscles she finally stopped the yanking. The blessing was finding out she had perfect recall. In a safe area off leash became an option. We walk quite peacefully now...but that first year WOOF

Barked: Thu Jan 9, '14 5:39pm PST 
thanks for sharing guys :] its really good to know that these little guys just need some love to turn around
Jax (earned- her wings- 5/30/12)

Give me your- toy.
Barked: Thu Jan 9, '14 5:53pm PST 
In my experience, usually the hardest dogs to deal with are the best /smartest dogs. You never forget them and you always try and find another one just like them. (At least that's true for me). When we went to get Jax, she was 4 months old with other puppies in the most disgusting environment. They were living in their own filth, in a small pen outside with no clean water. They had a dog house that only one or two of the pups would fit into, to get out of the rain or cold and it looked like the pen had never been cleaned. I don't think they had any human contact except for when they threw the food over the fence. When we took Jax home, I gave her a bath every day for a week to get the stench out of her. She didn't know what grass, dirt, trees, toys or even what a food bowl was. She was terrified of all of them and more. She ran away from us every time we came near her. I started reading everything and anything I could find about dogs and dog training. I started to understand the way she thought and that was very helpful in getting her to face her fears and to understand how to help her. After many years, lots of patience and tender loving care, she became the best dog I ever had. Anyone who saw her as a puppy and knew her when she was older, couldn't believe she was the same dog. So, If you have the stamina and want to put the work in, you will end up with a great dog. Good Luck, keep your chin up and don't hesitate to visit Dogster anytime you have a question, need advice or just need to vent. hughug Oh, BTW, all the other pups that Jax was originally with were rescued too. smile

Edited by author Thu Jan 9, '14 6:08pm PST

Jewel, PCD

8.6lbs of fury- in a bow!
Barked: Fri Jan 10, '14 8:13am PST 
My foster dog Jettsen came to me straight off the Rez where he was found with a broken leg and quills in his face. They pulled the quills from his face at the spay/neuter clinic but weren't set up to deal with his leg so sent him to me like that! Leg just hanging there and he smelt to high heaven, I can only assume that after his leg broke he just laid there for a few days in his own filth before he could move.

The vet I took him to was in disbelief of his condition. He also had broken teeth and more quills still in his face which was infected. He had a few surgeries (his leg had to come off) and weeks of recovery before I started taking him out.

Only to discover that he was terrified of people. frown Men more than women, people holding things even more. And groups of people sent him into a blind panic that actually made me glad I'm so overweight because if I was skinny he would have dragged me down. He also didn't like to have his tail touched, he took my hand in his mouth to stop me.

He was with me for 4 months. I would have people sit on my couch and toss him treats. We would stand across the street from the area after hockey games to watch people leave and I'd just shovel treats in his mouth. I'd walk him with Jewel so he could see her ignore people and feel safer, ever seen a 45lbs dog try to hide behind an 8.5lbs dog? Don't work.

By the time he left he was so improved that when the couple came to meet him he didn't even growl at the husband! Previously he had growled at any man that came in the house. Growled then would run to hide. He also let the husband pick him up and put him in the truck without any trouble after only knowing him for two hours! A couple weeks after adopting Jettsen I was in their city and they walked him down to the MALL to see me and he just sat by the door to visit me and was chill with all the people coming and going and calling out how cute he was. In an update e-mail they've told me that Jettsen is Daddy's boy.

Jettsen made an amazing physical, mental and emotional recovery in the time he was with me. My friend that met him the day after I got him then didn't see him again for about a month kept gushing over how changed he was, even how he carried himself changed.

I will not lie, there are limits. I had a foster I couldn't help and I knew it and requested that he be moved to someone with more experience so I've been at both ends of this battle. I've saved a dog people didn't think I could (my own dad told me I'd never get Jettsen to like men after the first time they met) and I've had to admit I couldn't save a dog I thought I could.

ETA- Haha, he was also scared of doors and doorways!! I had to lay trails of treats, lure him and a couple times just carry him. And he would hide under the deck like he thought he shouldn't be in the house (that was so sad) but I could never get him out!! My dad had to put a bunch of boards around my deck so Jettsen would stop going under it. He also ate my door trying to get out one day but I don't blame him, he was on lots of meds after his surgeries and they upset his tummy. Plus I had taken a blanket when I picked him up and that was like his first thing and he'd freak out if I moved it or washed it. He needed his blanket ALWAYS, I sent it with him to his new home.

It's been a year since he was adopted and I still miss him!

Edited by author Fri Jan 10, '14 8:21am PST


Awesome Dog
Barked: Fri Jan 10, '14 11:04am PST 
I agree with Jax. The ones who are the most trouble have the most to teach us and are often the smartest dogs.

I never thought about taking Risa back. . .but there were several times I thought about just dropping her leash and walking away. (I never would have because it was unsafe to do so and I always loved her. But the thought crossed my mind several times.)

When I brought Risa home, she was 2.5 years old. She was underweight and very afraid of everything. I was fortunate that she was good in the house. She was housebroken, didn't try and eat my two guinea pigs, and was barely destructive. (In the 7.5 years I've had her, I barely need two hands to count the things she has destroyed.)

Outside, however, was a completely different story. She was terrified of new places, people, and other dogs. Novel items (sandwich board A-frames, poop disposal cans, etc.) scared her as well. When we walked past people, she bolted to the end of her leash trying to get away. No one could pet her save for me. If I took her somewhere new, she would pant heavily and tremble. If we went near the exit, she pulled to escape. Initially, she just froze when other dogs greeted her but, eventually, she started to lash out at them. It got so bad she would bark and bounce at dogs 20+ feet away or up on balconies when she saw them. On top of her fear issues, she also had incredible prey drive. As you can imagine, walks were not a lot of fun for us.

I wanted so badly to help her overcome her fears so she could enjoy the world outside our four walls. I used to cry out of frustration and sadness when I couldn't seem to help her. Walking is supposed to be one of the joys of dog ownership. . .but it never was fun for us.

I learned all that I could to try and help her. It has been a long journey full of sadness and overwhelming joy. To see her today, you'd never recognize her. I usually have to tell people she's fearful; it's not apparent right away. I sometimes even forget it myself! When I adopted her, there was no way she was ready to compete in dog sports. That was one of my goals. I thought it might never happen. While it's not easy, she does compete and she absolutely loves it. She's an incredible partner and performer. I love seeing that the dog I knew inside the house is now the same dog everyone else can see.

I didn't perform a miracle. She is not a confident social butterfly; she is still a fearful dog. But the bond forged between us through the struggles is so strong. And it's been worth it.
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