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kingfisher7151

And then two became three?????

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How does this happen?

 

I have a third dog. Ugh. At this point she is a long term foster, but she will become mine permanently in the next few months.

 

She's a 15 month old rescue from Texas. A group of us uncovered a "training" facility that was full of abused, starving, very sick dogs. They are at felony fraud level as well, and are likely facing jail time.

 

This dog isn't at death's door, but she's in his driveway. Her name is Bodhi, and she's so damaged. Leash reactive, super afraid of men, came to me about 8 lbs. underweight. She has gained over 3 lbs. in her last week with me, despite having HORRIBLE diarrhea and worms. I had her flown to me, and now we're on our way to recovery.

 

Her breeder is actually local to me, I brought Bodhi to her and we had a good meeting. She's actually incredibly well bred from mostly working lines, with a dash of sport (which is where her color comes from.) Both parents were actively working on a cattle ranch until about a year ago. A good friend of mine is a behaviorist in California and she has 3 full siblings who are either established obedience dogs or very promising ones. Bodhi was the hands down pick of the litter based on her behaviorist evaluation, it makes me sick to see where she's at now. She is a pretty little thing, an interesting blue saddleback tri with half a blue eye. I'd never seek out the color, but having it come to me as a rescue is kinda neat. She's going to take SO much work, I'm going to spend my time looking back over the Kelso thread.

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Wow! She is beautiful.

 

Poor girl to have had such a rough start in life. And now so lucky to have landed in the perfect home that will see her through the bad times so she can learn to love again.

 

BTW, although "bodhi" is usually translated as "enlightened" or "awakened," my favorite Buddhist teacher translated it as "enlightenment" or "love" right after I'd adopted my Bodhi, which is how he got his name. So lots of love from my Bodhi to yours to help her in her transformation to her new life.

 

Congratulations.

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Good for you, to be helping her find the life she deserves.

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It's impossible to only have one, or two. Lol. Welcome to the foster failure club! I have found after rescuing three challenging dogs that the bond you build with them by working through their problems lasts forever. Best of luck with her and I know she'll have a great home.

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It always amazes me how patience, routine, dog speak and love can turn the most damaged dog around. Thank you for all your time and effort....as the starfish saying goes, you cannot save them all but you can certainly make a difference for this dog.

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I'm going to spend my time looking back over the Kelso thread.

I had the privileged of fostering Taff "Half Ear" and Amber -- both from the same puppy mill as Kelso. I can simply recommend quiet patience and persistence. I am amazed at these dogs' resilience; despite the horrific experiences Taff and Amber went through, they both showed that, with time, they were able to trust and respect people again. Trust is something you must earn. Working with those two (and some other challenging foster) "project" dogs was extremely rewarding experience for me; I hope you will find the same. Keep us updated on Bodhi's progress.

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Wow! She is beautiful.

 

Poor girl to have had such a rough start in life. And now so lucky to have landed in the perfect home that will see her through the bad times so she can learn to love again.

 

BTW, although "bodhi" is usually translated as "enlightenment" or "awakened," my favorite Buddhist teacher translated it as "enlightenment" or "love" right after I'd adopted my Bodhi, which is how he got his name. So lots of love from my Bodhi to yours to help her in her transformation to her new life.

 

Congratulations.

 

Bodhi was also the name of Patrick Swayze's character in Point Break. But hopefully this beautiful little girl won't start donning Reagan masks and robbing banks! :lol:

 

Seriously though, kudos and respect to you for saving and caring for this poor precious creature, and best wishes for you both.

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Wow. People can be so sick.

 

It looks like there's a gorgeous and amazing dog under that shell. I'm looking forward to hearing about her progress in the right hands

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Bodhi was also the name of Patrick Swayze's character in Point Break. But hopefully this beautiful little girl won't start donning Reagan masks and robbing banks! :lol:

 

And there's an actor named Bodhi Elfman who's had a recurring role on Criminal Minds as the very evil Mr. Scratch. Totally wrong names to be associated with that type of character. :blink:

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Thank you for fostering/adopting this little girl. I bet she will be a gem in the rough.

 

Although it would be interesting to know her back-story, it really doesn't matter because you work with the dog in front of you.

 

I saw this article a few days ago, and certainly agree with the major point - some rescue dogs just need a period of decompression. Not training, not socialization, not interaction. Just boring routine so they can figure things out.

 

http://kdmathews.com/first-thing-getting-dog-shelter-learn-decompression/

 

Obviously each dog is different. I have had a couple of foster dogs that were 'normal' from the get go. And at the other extreme, I had Gael, the unsocialized, skinny product of a pet breeder. Probably had never been inside her entire life. Feeding times were scrabbling for kibble thrown on the ground with other dogs kept in the same group pen. Some of her behaviors were heartbreaking. I did absolutely no training with her for the 3.5 months I had her. [Heck, for the first month, she walked in my blind spot when we took our outside walks. (She was on a 30 foot long line.) If I turned my head slightly, she adjusted her position to remain in my blind spot. I couldn't tell if she was peeing or eliminating unless I looked at her so I began to carry a mirror with me so I could see what she was doing behind me.] She just had to learn to be somewhat normal. There are other stories of Gael --- I wish I had kept a log like the Kelso story. I think she was my most rewarding foster.

 

Best of luck.

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Oh, I love her. :wub: So beautiful and unusually colored.

 

What I know is that you are embarking on a long journey with her, and it will be challenging and very rewarding. You will have lots of support here, and good ideas whenever you need them.

 

I know when I had Kelso it was a life saver for me to get the advice of people here, because sometimes in a situation like this something can be staring you in the face and you won't see it. Other perspectives are very valuable.

 

But mostly, it's just going very slowly, patience, love, and a constant keen observation of the dog that will reward you and the dog with success.

 

Best of luck with her!

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I read that article on decompression. while I agree with some of it, I definitely disagree with some of it. It basically says that you should leave the dog alone most of the time at first, "keep affection to a bare minimum, keep talking and training to almost non-existent levels" for two to three weeks!

 

I really disagree with this.

Of course, a dog fresh from a shelter (or even from a good foster home, for that matter) should not be mobbed with attention at first; it's too overwhelming. But not to talk to the dog or pet him/her would be ridiculous, and could make the dog feel unwelcome, ignored, and depressed. Gentle talk, gentle handling and petting and affection is the key.

 

As for training, there's no reason not to start it right away, and lots of reasons why not doing so is a bad idea. I am not talking about some kind of full-on obedience training, of course. But "wait" while door is opened, while food is put down, "sit" to have leash put on, "off" if needed.....those kinds of things are important, and give the dog a sense of belonging in the pack, and show him or her where they fit in, and what is expected of them. Naturally all this is done gently and with patience.

 

this article, while giving good information in part, because it reminds people how traumatized a dog can be coming from a shelter, goes too far. If one were to treat a dog that way, I think the dog could become even more uncertain of things, not having any way to understand that this is now Home, and safe. The best way to make a dog feel at home is to incorporate the dog into the daily household routine in a patient and kind manner.

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^^^Like Button simulation for the 2 posts above. And I'll add it ALL depends on the dog you've got.

 

Buzz whirled into our lives, having been in the shelter for a week or so. It took him, oh, maybe a minute to settle in. It took the other 2 dogs and the cats a bit longer to adjust to him.

 

Shoshone took months. And I made the mistake, with her, of too many attempts to get her to trust us and the situation. She came from a decent rescue, but before that she lived in close to starvation, (physical and emotional) conditions for a year. Kelso's story reminded me of her, her time with the rescue got her started, and that rescuer spent a lot of time sitting on the ground in Shonie's pen and doing anything other than looking at her.

 

Sammie came from a back-yard breeder who actually did pretty well with her dogs. She settled in under 2 weeks.

 

Gibbs took about a month or so, but responded to me instantly. It was the whole suburban thing that took longer for him.

 

Ya gotta watch how your dog responds and adjust to that dog's particular personality & background. Buzz would have been nudging hands, trying to climb into laps, dancing around our feet if we'd tried to ignore him for any length of time. Shoshone would have done much better with being ignored and not 'pushed' as much as we did.

 

Look at the dog. Think about how the dog is responding to what you're doing. Adjust as needed. IF there's a blueprint for the process, it's a very general one.

 

Ruth & Gibbs

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I read that article on decompression. while I agree with some of it, I definitely disagree with some of it. It basically says that you should leave the dog alone most of the time at first, "keep affection to a bare minimum, keep talking and training to almost non-existent levels" for two to three weeks!

 

I really disagree with this.

Of course, a dog fresh from a shelter (or even from a good foster home, for that matter) should not be mobbed with attention at first; it's too overwhelming. But not to talk to the dog or pet him/her would be ridiculous, and could make the dog feel unwelcome, ignored, and depressed. Gentle talk, gentle handling and petting and affection is the key.

D'Elle - the way I interpreted the section of the linked article you are referring to above is similar to what you are saying. I didn't take it literally as black and white i.e. don't show the new dog any affection at all - is definitely not what I took away from the article. And the way I read what you have written, it is very similar to what the article says: gentle talk, handling and affection is very similar [but not identical] to "keep affection to a bare minimum, etc.....". IMHO

 

. And I'll add it ALL depends on the dog you've got.

 

 

Ya gotta watch how your dog responds and adjust to that dog's particular personality & background. Buzz would have been nudging hands, trying to climb into laps, dancing around our feet if we'd tried to ignore him for any length of time. Shoshone would have done much better with being ignored and not 'pushed' as much as we did.

 

Look at the dog. Think about how the dog is responding to what you're doing. Adjust as needed. IF there's a blueprint for the process, it's a very general one.

 

Ruth & Gibbs

Ruth, I agree -- definitely the approach has to be tailored to the dog. I think that is extremely important. And as you learned from Shoshone, some dogs really need to decompress, learn to trust, come out of their shell at their own pace or whatever phrase someone wants to use.

 

I guess I am a bit sensitive to not push a foster dog too fast until I have had a few days, a week or more to get a read on their personality because of Gael. She was a a very good teacher. I had another dog that came to me from a pound where he crawled to the back of the kennel and averted his head if you looked at him. After 10-14 days, he was almost normal. But Gael took a lot longer. I could 'pet' her (and I did for a few seconds every day just to show her that nothing bad would happen to her), but I could tell she didn't like it. Frozen body, whale eyes. averted eyes, walking away. A wonderful woman adopted her after about 4 months. She had had 2 very fearful rescue dogs before and liked working to 'normalize' the fearful ones. She kept in touch with me for a couple of years, and within a few weeks, she was able to give Gael a daily 15 minute massage, plus brushing, which she said Gael enjoyed.

 

Actually, I got a bit sidetracked with the affection thing (which is somewhat minor). I think the main point of the article is not to overface the dog at first. At the rescue I occasionally foster for, there have been a few instances of adopting dogs to families who are so excited with their new dog that they bring the dog to meet all friends and family and/or invite friends and family to their home and bring the dog out to a lot of social places. And because the dog was not so confident to begin with, it begins to feel it has to defend itself. And we all know how that ends. Yes, they came back to the rescue - and often would change back to a 'normal' dog when they were in a less challenging environment. Often they would be successfully re-adopted to another family after they had gained more confidence and could deal with more social situations.

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On the point of people being too anxious to show off their new adoptee, this is where I actually think Facebook can be a positive. I have a friend who lost her elderly terrier to cancer early this year. She has just adopted a rescued ex-racing greyhound. She is posting many photos on Facebook to show off her new family member, but not having people come around to meet her yet. So she gets to share their excitement but protect the new dog as well.

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Wow, that is a beautiful girl. Stunning.

 

Good luck with her!

 

And I'll tag on with everyone else: my biggest mistake with my old reactive boy Buddy was trying to go too fast in the beginning. In a couple weeks, I realized that my pushing was just another thing that was making him scared. When I stepped back and gave him space and time (literal space and time, not metaphorical!), is when we started becoming a partnership.

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It's hard for me to imagine the type of person who neglects/abuses a dog, let alone such a beautiful one as her. She can now know what love is.

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We are kind of in the same boat, having adopted a dog from a farmer family we know (they quit their dairy farm and move to the city).

Big difference though, he comes from a good home, and is a friendly guy that seems to trust all humans.

He was supposed to be a foster, but I suspect he will live out his life here.

Also the third of three (I refuse to count my daughter's chi\pincher mix, that is not a real dog).

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I love to hear your guys' thoughts on all this! I've been doing a fair bit of decompression, at her pace. She's a bit goofy, in that she absolutely adores walks, car rides, or general adventures. But she's also inclined to be leash reactive to people who look at her and dogs, so we've been doing as much adventure time as she likes without seeing a soul. It seems to be working out really well, as she has made enormous strides over the last week.

 

She is EXTREMELY people oriented, she has been in my pocket from day one. She will do anything in her power to be touching me. But she also completely shuts down at the first sign that she *might* be in trouble. Full on belly crawl, play dead, submissive pee, whatever she can think of to try to call you off. But what she views as "in trouble" might be I tossed a frisbee a little too hard at the boys, or the jolly ball she and I were playing with yesterday suddenly looks a bit like a weapon. When that happens she will fly to the nearest crate or to the door to get back into the house. Where she's really improved is that if I accidentally scare her I am now able to call her back out and we can resume whatever we were doing pretty quickly after the "omg please don't kill me" panic.

 

Our training has been pretty informal, but she isn't jumping on me much anymore, she has a sit, a lured down, a wait for both, and a really solid recall. She is lapping it up, practically begging for ways to understand the world. She has really started playing with the boys, and is now running laps with them while they play fetch. She'll even body bump and play growl at them too.

 

We're in the middle of moving (great timing) so it's been fairly unavoidable that she's been meeting strangers at the house. She used to bark and growl at any newcomer, and now she actually runs up and wants attention from people as long as they don't acknowledge her. If anybody but me tries to call her name or get down on her level she barks and runs.

 

I know we have months and months to go to work out almost all of the kinks, but I'm really impressed with how quickly she has been able to become functional. Oh! And I took radiographs of her hips and elbows after she was having a hard time standing up, and both came out to be stellar. Still waiting on the tick panel results, but it was a big relief to know she avoided any structural problems after her rough start.

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Haha, happy dogs!

Sounds like you might have a keeper on your hands too.

No further thoughts, looks like you are doing a fine job getting this dog going again.

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