Saturday, June 9, 2012
I finally have some time to post an update on our special house guest, Mr. Rocky Balboa. My husband's stepfather, who is in his 60's, had a stroke two days after I picked Rocky up from his previous owners in Dunkirk, so with dealing with that, I've had to prioritize what can and can't be done. Unfortunately, typing up an update has been on the back burner until tonight. Now, on to Rocky...
Out of the dozen or so dogs Sam and our families have owned over the course of our lives, Rocky is one of the smartest, if not the smartest dog either of us have ever spent a lot of time with. We are including the three dobies and one shepherd my husband grew up with and the Belgian Malinois mix that I grew up with in this equation. Rocky is a genius of a dog. He learns VERY quickly and is highly motivated by food, as you may have surmised from his more than pleasantly plump figure in his pictures! He has learned to sit, stay, go to bed, and leave it so far, and is currently working on "down."
He loves to play catch and is a super-responsive and loveable little dude.
He is completely housebroken, and only marked twice in the house during the first two days he was here. Considering, that Lulu, our former puppymill mama, marks in at least one doorway daily, I was very impressed that Rocky resisted the urge! Rocky is also micro-chipped, UTD until September on his vaccinations, neutered, and has no known health problems.
When he went to the vet, he was found to be healthy but a little chubby. Dr. Inkley and his tech both commented on what a nice dog he was and everyone in the waiting room loved him! I am so proud of the little dude!
Alright, now for the challenges with Rocky. As I said, he is VERY smart. Unfortunately, as is often the case with very smart dogs, he also has a dominant personality. It is really obvious that up until he lived with us, he was never given consistent boundaries and consistent reinforcement and correction as needed. Rocky has a tendency to be possessive of everything: food, toys, places in the house, specific people, attention, etc. We have been working with him on this since day one. He is very attentive to people and responds very well to praise and scratches, as well as food. He has a bed next to his crate in the bathroom that we gave to him on the first day, he likes this area and will go to it when he is feeling overwhelmed. If he doesn't recognize that he is getting to his breaking point, we say, "Go to bed." and he goes, with no problem. I think this is something that his forever home will find beneficial to continue.
When Rocky first came to us, he would snap at our other animals if they approached while he was getting attention or a treat. We have addressed that by giving a verbal correction (just a "no", or "rocky, no"), and then paying attention to the other animal for a moment while monitoring Rocky, once he is being appropriate (sitting calmly), we pay attention to him, sometimes giving a treat and then paying attention to both animals. The same is true of dinner time. Sam and I have been hand feeding Rocky all of his meals, requiring him to complete a short obedience task before each bite of food. He really seems to enjoy this and has become much less grabby with food. Same thing with toys.
He also has a tendency to try to passively guard things, so that's another thing that needs immediate correction when it's noticed. Usually, just a "no Rocky." or re-directing him to another area of the house.
Overall, Rocky really is a nice dog, and he will make the right people a wonderful pet, but he's never going to be an "easy" dog. He needs people who have a lot of experience with dominant dogs, and who don't just think they know what they're doing. He is going to need to be actively worked with by all members of the family on a daily basis, and consistent boundaries will have to be set and stuck to. He needs this to forge a positive relationship with all members of the household and to feel secure about his place in the world. For a family that is willing to do that, he will be a great dog.
-Renee Posey Randolph, NY
Thursday, June 7, 2012
My dear sweet Maggie is really doing great these days. Her control is back and that surprised the doctors. Plus she is easier to clean now. The $4K operation was worth every penny. Just look at that face and you will agree. She is my snuggle bunny. I'm thankful every day that NEBTR saved her life for me. Nothing more important in my life than Maggie and Roxann, -- Walter Williams What a special man Walter is for caring for her so selflessly! Maggie is definitely blessed in finding him.
Sadie Mae is a gorgeous, little 2 year old girl we picked up from her owners on Saturday. They very reluctantly gave her up because she was too rough with their newborn son and jumped over the mom when she was breastfeeding on the sofa. She is spayed, housebroken, UTD on her shots/preventatives and seems to be in excellent health. She was clearly well cared for. Right now she is frightened and confused, so it is difficult to say what her true personality is like. She's quite a beauty!
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Tori, a former puppy mill mama lived in a crate for 3 years goes to a river for the first time and discovers she loves to swim. Miraculous!
Tori is doing phenomenally well! Just learned how to sit, loves rolling around on her back in her dog bed and comes to work each day. None of her teeth need to be pulled (whew). If only that puppy mill owner could see her now!
Archie with Walter and Muno
Archie, a/k/a Big Boy, is a three year old neutered male who came from the Camden Shelter in Blackwood, NJ. He is a big boy... weighing in at 55.4 lbs! He's the biggest BT I've ever seen. He is a purebred surrended by owner. He's currently on two medications for seizures, Levetiraceta 500MG (3x a day) and Phenobarbital 64.8 MG (2x a day). He was surrendered on the 30th and they said he didn't have any seizures while at the shelter. He was surrendered because they could no longer afford him. The owner surrender form states he's good with other dogs, which so far he's doing good with my two, Walter and Muno. The intake form says he's friendly with children but he has high energy. So far, he's a big mellow dude but I'm sure he's scared to death. I will try and post a photo so you can see him compared to my two!!
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Monday, June 4, 2012
Whitey, my 2 1/2 yr old foster went to his new home yesterday!! Attached is a picture of him with his new family the Reddys .
And here is the first update from his new family:
Hi Elly. He is a GREAT dog. We just love him. Our friends also love him. He is very gentle and playful. We decided to change his name to Wilson. We will keep you posted.
Sunday, June 3, 2012
I am so happy, I chased my first squirrel today!
A human bed, it's so comfy and clean! And there is a nice human who lets me cuddle with her; though she has given me my very own bed, it's really great to try all these new things provided for my ease and enjoyment. No more nasty, dirty cages like the puppy mill factory where I used to live, yucch.....
Tori is in Brooklyn and she's ADORABLE, having a great time tossing around a
squeak toy and rolling around on her back in her new bed.
She was great on her first Brooklyn walk, said hi to everyone, especially people
who were sitting on their brownstone stoops- she ran up and gave everyone a
kiss. Also gentle and sweet with other dogs, male & female!
She was/is a little weirded out by the elevator, which must seem like a space
Thank you to all who helped get her here, especially Brad, Jerrilyn and Dawn. And Rebecca, her foster mom!