Sunday, April 4, 2010
New Addition (ok...since you last heard from me)
When you last heard from me, I had not yet gone on vacation. This particular vacation was to be an interesting one as we ended up leaving a day early for a very special reason.
This is M-dog. He is a rescue from down south and had been staying with a nice foster mommy in New Hampshire. We saw his video on Facebook and our hearts were stolen. We had been thinking for a long time that G-dog needed a buddy and since New Hampshire was not too far from the Cape, we decided to meet M-dog and his foster mommy halfway in between the Cape and her home. We found a state park where we could all take a walk together. This pic is the result of that walk, we took him home on the long ride back to PA.
M-dog was a sweetie right off the bat. He played with G-dog and liked to cuddle (something G-dog had never been fond of, Miss Independent). He was a tad possessive with his food but only to grumble a bit if G-dog go to close to the bowl. We met other doggies and went to the dog park. Finally the day came when we decided to introduce him to my brother's dog. That was when things started to go downhill...
To be fair, we were the one at fault here. We did this ALL wrong from the moment we brought M-dog back. We should have slowly socialized him instead of assuming that all was hunky dory. You see, we saw very quickly that Morgan had fear aggression towards larger dogs and Gatsby was a MUCH larger dog. The growling, snarling and jumping around that happened when M-dog met Gatsby was very scary. This was horrible news for us as we used to spend many long days together, Gatsby, G-dog and the rest of my family. We never even thought for one moment that there would possibly be a problem with M-dog and Gatsby. It gets worse though. After that confrontation, he started to have problems with other large dogs at the dog park and then smaller dogs. We had no idea what changed in our happy wiggly boy. He and G-dog still got along well even if he was a bit of a bully and he adored us. We felt like we broke our dog. :(
Our salvation was in Carol Siegrist. We took a class specifically for 'reactive' dogs. She gave us tools to help M-dog not to be so crazy around other dogs and he LOVED the attention of getting to go to class with me and P and get lots of treats. We are still working with him but he has come such a long way.
We wonder what might have happened to this sweet guy if he'd gotten with people that were not willing to put the time and effort in to him. It happens every day. People get a dog, they don't work with it and when it doesn't read their mind, they dump it. It breaks my heart daily. If you are considering getting a dog, please consider adoption. We are a rare case. Usually, when you adopt locally, especially with a rescue group, you can have many meetings to make sure all is ok between you and the dog and your surroundings. You also have a local support network if problems arise. We adopted M-dog on the spot and hoped it would be ok and, you know what, 95% of the time it is ok. It's actually wonderful. All I have to do is see an ASPCA commercial on TV, look at M-dog and G-dog and know that we saved two lives and in return, they made ours so much better.