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!

(Page 2 of 2: Viewing entries 11 to 19)  
1  2  

Barked: Fri Jan 10, '14 9:45pm PST 
ahhhh i love reading these!! they give me so much hope and so much to look forward to!

Beauty and the- Beast
Barked: Sat Jan 11, '14 7:48am PST 
Mumford is soooooo cute. It is hard to believe such a cutie can be such a beastie!

Patience and consistency is the key to rewarding you with good household manners. I did not have problems with the potty housebreaking but certainly had issues with my 6 yr rescue GSD Seela. Willie was a rez dog rescue and is the perfect little angel boy.

I am sure that there are many ways to help with the potty training, but I found if the dog goes poop in the house, take it outside where you want him to go. Next time you take him outside, he will realize (hopefully sooner than later) this is the place to go. Give him a high value treat when he goes potty in the right spot. Restricting him in one area, or in the crate, until you take him outside to the bathroom will help. If this doesn't work, I am sure there are many other suggestions to try.

Most importantly, you do not know what this poor little guy went through before you got him. It is not the dogs fault he is like this, it is the people before you that gave him these problems. Eventually, he will learn to trust and respect you and you will be rewarded a thousand fold. It certainly makes you feel better knowing that you gave a beautiful dog a new chance at life.

Good luck and keep us posted our little Mumford.

Barked: Tue Jan 14, '14 5:49am PST 
Rigby (formerly Jorja) showed up in the shelter as a stray. It took AC months to be able to catch her as she was so crafty and terrified.

During her stay at the shelter, she was adopted out at least 3 times (that I know of) and returned each time for various reasons. The only reason I was told is that one family was allergic to her.

As a stray, we were fully prepared to help her transition into "house living." What we weren't prepared for was the submissive urination, the aggression, and complete and total lack of confidence.
Being a stray she knew absolutely nothing about being a "house pet."
Pee outside? What did that mean?
Feedings at the same time each day?
Words like "sit", "Shake a paw" and "stay"?

On the trick portion, Rigby quickly blossomed into a star. She's a smart little dog, and far too food motivated. That was the easy part. But she will shut down if it becomes too confusing or harsh for her. At which point she is out for the next few hours.

Coming home each day to not be able to show affection to the new dog (lest we spend the following minutes cleaning the floor) was difficult. At times it's been so bad to the point that we cannot pet her at all, any time, because she will urinate.
Housebreaking wasn't 100% for a very long time as she always seemed to be able to sneak away at certain times and leave us a present in the hallway.

And then came the aggression. I understand it now, once a dog has been deprived of food and has to fend for themselves, food becomes a very high priority to them. But her spats with Oz initially (and Ruby since) became very concerning as well.

I will admit, there were days I looked at her and asked myself what I had gotten into. Questioned, daily sometimes, if getting her was the right decision.

But with patience, and a love of learning, Rigby has blossomed into a great member of our family. While the submissive urinating isn't 100% gone, it's better. As with the aggression. But we've learned to seek out the signs and fix the situations before they occur.

She is by far the happiest and most affectionate dog we own. Her tail is *always* wagging, and when she feels confident that she wont have a SU accident, she is incredibly cuddly. She's eager to learn, and has an undeniable new love of life. She is probably my most rewarding "project" I've ever had the pleasure to work with.
As I type this, she's curled up next to me.

Lil Girl - R.I.P- Sweetheart

Barked: Tue Jan 14, '14 7:46am PST 
Flicka ~ CGC

NO-ONE is going- to sneak up on- my Mummy
Barked: Tue Jan 14, '14 5:58pm PST 
Kali earned- her wings- 10/21/14

She's game for- anything that's- fun.
Barked: Wed Jan 15, '14 5:13pm PST 

Barked: Fri Jan 17, '14 11:08pm PST 
Don't give up!

Noel has been a monster in a half. I work at a shelter, and I clearly remember Noel as a puppy...she was the shy one of her litter. Since she was a cute little puppy though, she got adopted very fast. Fast forward a year later, and she found herself being dumped back at the shelter because her owner was "moving". The guy said she was great with everyone...people, kids, dogs, etc. but in the shelter she was VERY nasty and aggressive. She had to be put in a quarantine room because she was a safety concern for volunteers, adopters, and even staff.

When I heard about Noel, I decided to foster her. I thought she was just scared in the shelter, and I assumed she would become a totally normal dog once back in a home environment considering the owner said all good things about her. Well, turns out he lied. Noel definitely got no socialization, and because of that, she has severe fear aggression. She had accidents for the first couple of months. She attacked the blowdryer and vacuum. It took her a month to get used to my father. She is also SEVERELY reactive to cars, dogs, and even people when out on a walk. She will literally try to lunge and attack a stranger or dog. I couldn't safely have people over, because when I did bring friends over, she bit them. I got to a point where I told the shelter that I could no longer foster her and she needed to be put to sleep. She had such a plethora of issues, and I felt totally unequipped to handle them. She could never be safely adopted out.

However, on the day she was supposed to be euthanized, it turns out that the appointment was never even made. When I called and found out, I decided to keep Noel. I realized she needed a chance, and I realized I was attached to her. Although Noel has many flaws, she has always been perfect at giving unconditional love. On some of my darkest and loneliest days, she just "knew" and would come lie with me all day in bed. She is the most affectionate and cuddly dog you could imagine. She is so intelligent and so happy. Seeing her run around our yard, go for a swim, etc. makes me so happy, knowing I am responsible for that happiness. She could be long gone by now, but I gave her a chance at a home and did not give up on her even though i've had my fair share of frustrating days with her. She still has problems, but some things have gotten better. She LOVES my dad now. She does not try to attack the blowdryer anymore, and when the vacuum comes out, she runs to her "room" and stays in there while I vacuum. There are days where I can walk her and she only shows minimal reactivity (this improved greatly once I got her a doggy backpack).

Through owning Noel, i've learned to appreciate the small things, and i've realized what unconditional love is really about. Do not give up! The work and time you put in will be returned to you ten fold.
Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Mon Jan 20, '14 6:40pm PST 
I have a few stories, I suppose.

I got Charlie at eight months old, was told he was house trained, crate trained, knew all his basic commands, etc. He HATED his crate(would howl and pee in it), had no issues with going to the bathroom in my house on my carpet, and only knew his name. It took a lot of effort, and frustrated tears, but he now is six years old, and knows around forty different commands. He's a very good boy and rarely has an accident(usually only if he has a seizure now), and I couldn't imagine my life without him. He's an amazing little dog. He changed my life for the better.

I got Maya when my mom and her husband got together. I took Maya with me when I moved into my own place, as she was very severely underweight, malnourished, and had nasty hip dysplasia and arthritis. My poor girl would lag behind on walks. She was also quite fear aggressive of strangers entering the home(would lunge, bark, snap at, and try to scare people off). It took over a year, but she put on weight quickly, was soon RUNNING in the dog park, and became accepting(and sometimes even trusting enough to let them pet her) of those I invited into the home. Unfortunately, her hips were very bad and I had to let her go in 2011.

My foster dog Beau came to me with a severe bite history(had bit several people before me, including some fosters that were afterwards afraid of him), severe resource guarding issues(he was RG with furniture, food, bones, crate, etc) and didn't trust people at all. After months of working with him to gain his trust, not only did he never bite me, but he went on to be adopted into a furever home, and got over his RG issues.

Ember FDX

Go Go Devil- Bunnies!
Barked: Wed Jan 22, '14 1:26pm PST 
I think Ember and I only made it through because I knew how bad it was going to be when I took her in. There were a lot of times I would stand with my eyes squeezed shut and fists clenched and say to myself, "You KNEW this was going to be part of it." Then I'd breathe for a second and keep working with her.

She was 2.5 years old, and weighed less than 28lb. She had fleas, and a massive tapeworm infestation to go with it (which is worth looking into if there is excessive pooping). She had chronic, systemic Lyme disease. She could and would open any door, slip any collar or harness (except those wonderful martingales). Her socialization was whatever she had experienced on the streets. She kills small animals, was violently reactive toward other dogs, and had never even seen a small dog before. Her "training" consisted of her noticing that people seemed nicer to her when she sat in front of them and raised a paw - a habit she retains to this day. Note that she did not actually know what "sit" meant, she only knew that assuming that position seemed to calm people.

She was very sick, yet she would not eat. She was under exercised, yet I could barely keep her safe outside the house. Instead, she would wake us up literally bouncing off the walls, screaming, at 5am. Oh yeah - she was also intact and had mild pyometra. Thankfully spaying went well despite her other ailments, and did seem to chill her out a bit.

We just took it all one day at a time. I taught her to run on a lunge line, like a horse. There was no way I could keep up with her, so this way she could reach and maintain top speed to burn off energy a few times a day. Walking was more about mental exercise, since she was reactive to everything. We practiced being quiet. Going in the crate and chewing a toy and that's all. Or going outside, and just sitting. These things were very, very difficult for a dog with such anxiety, who never learned to calm down.

We took 3 Basic Manners classes back to back, in which I had an understanding with the trainer. I would set up in the opposite corner from the rest of the class, load all manner of treats within my reach, and anchor Ember's leash down just in case. I'd spend the hour just keeping her from leaping 6 feet in the air, screaming. I put her in flyball for exercise and more distraction work, where we would do exercises on leash only and practice not reacting to the rest of the class (and yeah, that FDX after her name is an official flyball title. She competes today). I used my contacts to hand-pick dogs who could withstand her socially inept crap, and started socializing her.

It took 8 months. Other big things have happened since, but 8 months was when we were able to start living like a "normal" dog and owner. I still have to stay on top of her. She'll still take off if she sees a chance. But it isn't her goal anymore. She's happy now.

I wouldn't blame anyone who couldn't do it. In a way, I don't blame her former owners, either. They could have done a lot, LOT more, but ultimately they were looking for a pet. They got a full-on working dog. It was hard. It sucked. And it was one of the best things I've ever done.
  (Page 2 of 2: Viewing entries 11 to 19)  
1  2