Tag Archives: pitbull

Guest Blogger- King: The Story of a Deaf Dog

11 May

 Briana Wedel is a friend of mine from my hometown in Minnesota.  She has since moved to Texas but we keep in touch mainly through our posts about Pitbulls. Being in Texas Brianna sees and is involved in a very different world of animal rescue.  The shelters are often bursting at the seams, spay/neuter programs are nothing like they are here in MN, and Pitbulls often don’t make it out of shelters. I asked her if she’d ever like to write for my blog and she took me up on it!  She recently rescued a deaf dog and I’m so happy that she is sharing her story.  Deaf dogs are so wonderful and need all the promotion they can get!

Briana

My name is Briana Wedel and I’m here to share about deaf dogs. To start it all off I grew up in Minnesota around my aunt’s pit bull mixes and American Staffordshire Terriers. As kids my three older siblings and I loved going to my aunt’s home for visits because she always had anywhere from three to six dogs at any given point. It was so much fun, and that was when my love for this group and breed of dogs began.

Although I always wanted a dog throughout my college years, I waited until the time was right. I moved to Texas after college and started fostering cats for Animal Allies of Texas. Eventually, I found and adopted my first rescue dog through Animal Allies, when a pregnant AmStaff came into our rescue and later birthed twelve puppies, one of those being my Griffey.

Griffey

Griffey

My fiancé and I had Griffey for about a year when we were on vacation out of the country and a friend had shared a photo on Facebook of a deaf dog named King. He was at a shelter outside of Dallas. King’s scenario made me sensitive to his situation because he had a striking resemblance in markings and color to our Griffey. Not only that, King was labeled as “code red”.  This means once the shelter fills to capacity, he can and will be euthanized at any point. His code red status was due to how long he’d been at the shelter, which was most likely influenced by his being deaf and being a pit bull. Luckily for me, it didn’t take too much arm-twisting to get my fiancé on board with a second dog in our apartment.

King

Multiple people helped me extract King that very day from the shelter even though we were out of country!  Then another friend provided a temporarily foster home until we got back into the US (about five days later). We picked him and Griffey up the same day upon our arrival, we did their introductions, etc. I decided I needed to equip myself with some knowledge on how to be a deaf-dog owner. I got some helpful links and learning tools from another deaf dog owner, and became a fan of Deaf Dogs Rock (Facebook). We added King to our family in September of 2014 and the last eight months have been marvelous.

King and Griffey

King and Griffey

King and Griffey bonded immediately. I never knew I could find such a perfect pair of adult dogs. King is mellow, gentle and attached, Griffey is the complete opposite, but they balance each other out superbly. Training King has been “normal” considering his being deaf. We use treats and positive reinforcement when working on fun tricks and we completed his training on how to sit and lay down, which he already partially knew. Now he knows shake, good boy, and no-no, also!

The most common question that people ask me is ‘How do you get his attention?’ It’s not often that King is not nearby one of us, maybe this is why they often call deaf dogs “Velcro dogs”, because they like to be attached, but when it’s needed he does respond to floor vibrations and physical taps. We do not allow King to be off leash outside of fenced in areas, but I have read that vibration collars are very helpful, although shock-collars are not condoned. All in all, deaf dogs are not all that different. So, if you are looking for one of the best cuddle companions then adopt a deaf dog, you will not be disappointed.

King 2

The One That Got Away

8 Apr

One year ago I was 3 months pregnant.  My husband and I had also recently had a stretch of foster dogs who were all around 1.5 years old.  As far as I’m concerned a 1.5 year old, untrained dog, is just about the hardest foster dog.  You don’t know their history. You don’t know if they are misbehaving or if they simply don’t know better.  They have SO MUCH ENERGY.  Let me stress this again.  1.5 year old dogs have a LOT of energy!!  Especially pitbull-type dogs because they are an active breed. So, we took a mini-foster-break until we could get a foster puppy.  Puppies are not especially relaxing either, but they have their pro’s.  Mainly the fact that they are just so stinking cute.

Enter Rory. A tan, wrinkly-faced, wiggly-bottomed, puppy with oversized feet and a couple of adorably-white toes.

Rory.

The day we picked him up.

The day we picked him up.

Rory was beautiful, handsome, precious. I could go on and on.  Just look at him. He’s one adorable dog.  He also reminded me of my first-true-dog love, Hartley.

So cute.

So cute.

The first night we had Rory we had him in a crate in the room next to ours.  He cried ALL night long.  My husband and I took turns sleeping on the floor next to the crate.  My dog Chase occasionally got up, walked over to Rory’s kennel and nudged it.  I don’t know if he was offering sympathy or telling him to be quiet so he could sleep.  It was a long night.  We were clearly delirious from listening to the whining and from lack of sleep, because not once did it occur to us to move the crate in to our bedroom.  When our brain faculties returned to us the next day we tried this, and it worked like a charm.  Rory wanted to be near us.

Rory was a people dog.   He like Mylo and Chase, but his strongest desire was to be near his people.  When I let him out of his crate when I got home he would quickly potty, and then cling to my leg.  If I walked he walked as close to me as possible. He begged, with the cutest face and wagging tail, to be pet. He simply wanted to be adored.  He would eventually go play with the dogs, but he needed me first.

Rory was also a quick learner.  Because he wanted attention SO bad he was initially a jumper.  He learned that I wouldn’t pet him if he was jumping so as I walked around he scooted along on his butt trying to stay attached to my leg.  How cute?

Pet me please?!

Pet me please?!

Rory became very happy in our little family and I fell in love. Chase and Mylo liked him. Gene liked him. He was perfect.

Rory and Mylo

Rory and Mylo

Rory and Chase

Rory and Chase

The only thing that wasn’t perfect was that we had a baby on the way. Three dogs is always hard, and three dogs and a baby? I didn’t think we could do it.  We wouldn’t even all fit in a vehicle together.  How would I walk all three and push a stroller? Our house is so small, there wouldn’t be room for everyone.

I also struggled with the fact that Rory was SUCH a people dog.  Would he do better as the only dog in the house? He would certainly get more attention. Even before the baby, with three dogs, there was always a struggle for attention.

I knew that I couldn’t be a very good foster parent for Rory.  I wanted him too bad.  Even if, rationally, I knew that we couldn’t keep him, I wouldn’t ever think another family was good enough for him.

So, I made the gut-wrenching, heart-breaking decision to give him to another foster family.

I cried the entire 2.5 hour drive to drop him off with his new foster mom.  I remember my husband asking me “Do you really love the dog this much, or are these pregnancy hormone related tears?”   I wasn’t sure. I knew that Rory was perfect.  You don’t come across such a wonderful dog very often.  But I was pretty sure we were doing the right thing for everyone.

Last day with Rory

Last day with Rory

Rory’s new foster family also fell in love with him, and considered adopting him, but ended up letting him go to a wonderful couple who had no other dogs.

I’m happy he was adopted. And I hope he has an amazing life.  But I don’t think I’ll ever stop being sad that we couldn’t keep him.

Pitbulls

1 Mar

Pitbull_2

I could write an entire novel on Pitbulls: How they got such a bad repuation, What BSL is and why it’s not effective, how mistreated they are, how backyard breeding of pits is creating an overpopulation, and how incredibly cute, handsome, loyal, and loving they are. I could go on forever but it would be really hard for me to organize my thoughts and most of it has been written before. Also, no one will read that much informatino in one sitting so I want to see if I can briefly summarize some of my main arguments.

Number 1: Pitbull is NOT a breed.

I know people have heard me say this before but I’m not sure they listen. The term Pitbull is used to describe a GROUP of dogs with certain physical characteristics. If you have a “Purebred Pitbull” it is either an American Pitbull Terrier, a Staffordshire Terrier, or an American Bull Terrier. It is NOT a purebred Pitbull. I repeat, YOU DO NOT OWN A PUREBRED PITBULL. There is no such thing.

American Pitbull Terrier

American Pitbull Terrier


Staffordshire Terrier

Staffordshire Terrier


Bull Terrier

Bull Terrier

What difference does this make?

It makes a HUGE difference. Pitbulls are judged and discriminated against ALL THE TIME and yet there’s no such thing as a pitbull? Therefore people are judging an entire group of dogs: all three of the purebred dogs, many purebred dogs with similar physical qualities such as the American Bulldog or the Cane Corso Mastiff, and then also including in this group NUMEROUS mix-breed dogs that resemble either the American Pitbull Terrier, the Staffordshire Terrier or the American Bull Terrier.

Cane Corso Mastiff

Cane Corso Mastiff


American Bulldog

American Bulldog

This is also important to remember when you look at “Pitbull” statistics. How accurate can these statistics be when they are collecting date from a GROUP of similar-looking dogs and comparing this data to that of ONE purebred dog?

Another difference it makes?

Sheer NUMBERS. If we take any dog with a large square head, stocky chest, semi-straight tail, docked OR floppy ears and/or other “Pitbull” characteristics that is a LOT of dogs!! There is simply a LOT of dogs out there that can be called “Pitbulls”.

Number Two: The media HAS effected how you think about Pitbulls, and they ARE doing it on purpose.
The media has helped create a bad reputation for Pitbulls in MANY different ways.

Pitbull Attack Headline

Pitbull Attack Headline

Firstly, the media creates a belief that Pitbulls attack more than any other breed of dog by only reporting Pitbull attacks. Pitbull attacks are nationwide news making it in to hundreds of newspapers and on nationwide broadcasts. If a lab or a golden retriever attacks it may make it in to one or two newspapers.
This clearly leads the public to BELIEVE that Pitbulls are attacking all the time while no other dogs are.

The media then adds to this by always putting the words “Pitbull” and “Attack” together in the headline if the attack was done by an alleged Pitbull while hardly ever including the breed of any other dog attack simply stating “Child attacked by dog” or “Dog attacks woman”.
When people see “Pitbull Attacks” in the headlines they don’t even have to read the rest of the story. They already have an opinion in their head. See it enough times and you start to think that all pitbulls attack all the time.

“August 18, 2007 — A Labrador mix attacked a 70-year-old man, sending him to the hospital in critical condition. Police officers arrived at the scene and the dog was shot after charging the officers. This incident was reported in one article in the local paper.

August 19, 2007 — A 16-month-old child received fatal head and neck injuries after being attacked by a mixed-breed dog. This attack was reported on twice by the local paper.

August 20, 2007 — A six-year-old boy was hospitalized after having his ear torn off and receiving a severe bite to the head by a medium-sized, mixed-breed dog. This incident was reported in one article in the local paper.

August 21, 2007 — A 59-year-old woman was attacked in her home by two pit bulls and was hospitalized with severe, but not fatal, injuries. This attack was reported in over 230 articles in national and international newspapers, as well as major television news networks including CNN, MSNBC and Fox.”
Credit: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

http://blog.timesunion.com/dogs/pit-bulls-and-the-media/3597/

Secondly, the media is a huge perpetrator of using the term “Pitbull”. They have ensured that Pitbull has a negative connotation with the previous steps and now they can use the looseness of the term to their advantage. They already know that a “Pitbull” attack story is going to be a huge story, and since Pitbull encompasses all sorts of different dogs the media can call pretty much any dog they want a “Pitbull” just to make a story more newsworthy.

Number three: Breed Specific Legislation is whack.

Yes, I know I’m losing some of my professionalism here, but it simply. is. crap.

Breed Specific Legislation is legislation and rules about specific breeds of dogs thought to be “Dangerous Breeds”. This is often directed at Pitbulls and when BSL is in force there can be complete BANS on Pitbulls in entire cities or even states.

So, what was Number One again?

There is no actual Pitbull breed. The word Pitbull describes many dogs with different genetic backrounds that have similar physical characteristics.

Oh yes, that’s right.

So, we have a blanket ban on Pitbulls, to make people feel safer in their communities, that doesn’t look at how a dog acts, how a dog is treated, or how responsible their owners are but instead bans an entire GROUP of dogs that may or may not have similar behavioral characteristics, but do have similar looks.

Now.. If Pitbull is a term describing dogs based on their looks who’s to decide if my dog is a Pitbull or not?

This is a HUGE problem. It gives policemen and city legislators free reign to decide whether your dog is a Pitbull or not.

Cities with BSL in force spend incredible amounts of money collecting and putting down Pitbull type dogs and then can’t fathom why they aren’t having any results.

Well, for starters, criminals and bad dog owners are NOT being targeted. Anyone and everyone with a Pitbull type dog is being targeted. That seems like a huge waste of resources to me! Criminals and bad dog owners continue what they are doing while good, responsible dog owners are faced with either moving, finding a home for their dog outside of the BSL jurisdiction, or hiding their dog knowing that they’re risking the dog being confiscated (like a piece of property) and put down.. which is a nice word for murdered.

BSL is a blanket ban on Pitbulls that doesn’t really look at what the problems are. Irresponsible backyard breeders with un-altered males and females living together are a problem. Owners that keep their dogs chained and tethered their entire lives are a problem. Dog fighters are a problem. Drug dealers and criminals who have no idea what it really means to own a dog are a problem. BSL makes people “feel safer” but are they?

BSL is ridiculously expensive, is incredibly hard to enforce, hurts innocent people and kills innocent dogs. Period.

Piles of Pitbull type dogs confiscated and euthanised from BSL

Piles of Pitbull type dogs confiscated and euthanised from BSL

Number four: Backyard breeders have created a Pitbull overpopulation.

There are SO many Pitbull type dogs right now that 1 in SIX-HUNDRED Pitbulls is adopted from shelters. The other 599 die. This includes puppies. This is partly because of breed specific legislation and partly because every irresponsible Pitbull owner on earth seems to think that they need to have Pitbull puppies to make a couple bucks.

Pitbull puppies in a high kill shelter that will never make it out because people would rather buy from a backyard breeder.

Pitbull puppies in a high kill shelter that will never make it out because people would rather buy from a backyard breeder.

Some shelters euthanize Pitbulls the second after they walk through the door. They are not allowed to adopt out Pitbulls therefore they immediately put them down.

Pitbull Shelter2

At some shelters Pitbulls account for 50% of the shelters dogs. Because there are already so many Pits in these shelters they only get a few days or even a few hours to live. Their chances of being adopted are slim to none.

139469_oakland_RED_

All of the backyard breeding increases this overpopulation problem and continues the mix-breeding of Pitbulls, since remember, there are no purebred Pitbulls, and this mix-breeding increases the looseness of the term. Because of their size and typical good health Pitbull type dogs tend to have a lot of puppies, often as many as TEN puppies in one litter!

Because Pitbulls are often bred by inexperienced people and irresponsible owners females may be bred too young and too often, and the puppies likely won’t get dewormed or be given any vaccines. Then they are sold to people who will conitinue the process.

If people would adopt Pitbull type dogs from the shelters, instead of buying them from backyard breeders, we could decrease the numbers of Pitbulls euthanized every day (2800 Pitbulls are euthanized a day) and maybe this would give backyard breeders less of an incentive to keep breeding.

Another plus about Pitbulls being adopted instead of bought?
Pitbulls adopted from shelters are most often already spayed or neutered, or they are adopted with a contract dictating that the dog be spayed or neutered. This means that even if an owner is irresponsible and lets their dog roam or the owner thinks that having puppies would be fun the adopted dog CAN’T reproduce.

Read more about Pitbull overpopulation and Pitbull Euthanasia here: http://www.examiner.com/article/pit-bulls-and-euthanasia-rates

Number five: American Pitbull Terriers and Staffordshire Terriers (the most common of the purebreds referred to as Pitbulls) are NOT natural fighters.

Yes, these dogs have been used for years in fighting rings, but what you probably DON’T know is how hard it is to get these dogs to be fighters. SO many dogs fail. When dog fighting rings are busted the grounds are usually littered with the dog bones of the failures. The dogs that WONT fight. Dog fighters make their dogs live in a manner where violence is their only option and they find ways to escalate it. I won’t go into the long gorey details, but it’s important to know that dog fighters treat dog fighting like a science, and not very many dogs will even do it.

A not so well known fact about Pitbulls and dog fighting: Pitbulls were originally chosen not only because of their size and strength but because Pitbulls were the only dogs that would specifically NOT bite their humans when they got in the ring to stop a fight. They were chosen because of their LOYALTY to humans.

The rest of my main points about Pitbulls are based on how sweet they are, how forgiving they are, how much they can overcome, and how loyal they are. Maybe a Pitbull Part Two is neccesary? Stay tuned for why I LOVE Pitbulls.

Miss Mocha

25 Jan

Chase_1
Chase here. (Aren’t I handsome??)

Mom said I have get to tell you all about my new foster sister.

For the past couple of weeks it’s been just me and Mylo and our mom and dad. This has been really fun! We all four fit on the couch together, I barely have to share my toys, and I get at least one whole parent all for myself.
Chase_2
Snuggle_0

This Tuesday, though, mom was gone longer than usual. We were awake from our daytime naps, starting to get hungry, and starting to get worried about her. Turns out she was driving to pick up a puppy for Mylo and I to babysit hang out with.

Mocha_3

Mom and dad calls her Mocha. She’s really small compared to me and she has really cool stripes. (Mylo and I are both stripe-less but once Mylo got in to some wet paint and had spots for awhile.)

See how much more biggerer I am?

See how much more biggerer I am?

Mocha REALLY likes to play. She likes all of our toys, she likes to wrestle and she likes to run and bounce around. Mylo and I are getting so sleepy from babysitting playing with her. My favorite thing to do with Mocha is get her to chase me. I hold a toy in my mouth and stand really still until she gets close and then off I goes! She will follow me around the house for lots and lots of time.

Waiting for Mocha to chase me.

Waiting for Mocha to chase me.

And now I'm REALLY tired from all the chasing.

And now I’m REALLY tired from all the chasing.

Mylo’s favorite thing to do is steal toys from her and then put his face in the corner of the livingroom-beds and chew on it there. In order for her to get the toy back she has to crawl all over his head. He grumbles and growls but she’s not a-scared of him.

He's not in the corner, but this is one of his favorite things to chew on.

He’s not in the corner, but this is one of his favorite things to chew on.

Mom says Mocha is about 16 weeks old. She comes outside with us to go potty and at night time she has to sleep in her box (hehehe mom and dad lets me and Mylo sleep on the bedroom-bed.) Mom and dad are SOOO happy because she sleeps so good. Mylo and I are pretty happy too because we have box-trained puppys before and it can be very NOISY.

This photo made mom giggle.

This photo made mom giggle.

Mom says that Mylo and I have to keep being good foster brothers. I think that this means we have to keep letting Mocha steal sharing our toys, letting Mocha sit on the livingroom-beds and teach her how to sit for goodies. I have all sorts of things I can teach her, starting with begging asking PRETTY PLEASE for dinner. (I’m good at that.)

Mom says Mocha never stops moving so this was the only picture we could gets of her laying down.

Mom says Mocha never stops moving so this was the only picture we could gets of her laying down.

Now that you met Mocha, how about another picture of yours truly??

Look at me with my teeny friend!

Look at me with my teeny friend!

My First Nomination!

17 Jan

Thank you SO much to Pocket Pittie in the City: http://pocketpittieinthecity.blogspot.com/ for nominating Pitties for your Thoughts for the Liebster Award!

liebster

>”Liebster means Dearest in German, so the Liebster Blog Award is the Dearest Blog Award. It’s an award intended to recognize worthy, lesser known blogs and to help expose their work. Of course, accepting The Liebster Award comes with a few rules!”

Liebster Blog Award Rules
These are the rules as have been given to me:

1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you .
2. Share five things about yourself.
3. Answer five questions presented by Pocket Pittie in the City.
4. Ask five new questions to your nominated bloggers
5. Reveal your top five picks {with less than 200 readers} and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Copy and paste the award on your blog
7. Hope that the people you’ve sent the award to forward it to their five favorite up-and-coming bloggers and keep it going!

I am honored to accept this darling award, so here goes!

5 Things about myself:
1. My first true pittie love was my adopted Pitbull-Lab mix Hartley. He injested rope from a rope toy and died due to blocked and damaged intestines. He was only 15 months old.
2. I heard about Mylo a week after Hartley died. He had been abandonned in a house for 2 weeks and needed a home. I needed a reason to get up in the morning so it seemed perfect.
3. I have a math degree and am doing absolutely nothing with it.
4. My two biggest pet peeves are when people discriminate against Pitbulls and when animals are overweight.
5. It is my dream to own a boarding facility.

5 Questions present by Pocket Pittie in the City:
1. Is formal training “worth it” and why?
I believe that formal training is an excellent opportunity for both dog and owner. I wish that I had more time to take my dogs to classes for retrieving, agility, refresher courses, ect. I think it’s a good way to make sure you aren’t forgetting to continually work on your dogs behavior. This being said, my dogs have not had very much formal training. Haha.
2. What is your favorite activity to do with your pooch(es)?
My favorite activity is off-leash hiking. I know this goes against many dog owners belief systems, but my absolute favorite time with my dogs is when we’re deep in the woods with no one around and they get to be free. They are wonderful company and it’s always so beautiful to be outside and to watch them enjoy themselves.
3. If you like to cook, what’s your best dish?
I like to cook, but I’m not the greatest of cooks. I make a pretty good lasagna, but I can’t take any credit for the recipe. That was handed down to me.
4. What do your dogs do that makes you laugh EVERY time!?
My lab Mylo does actual FULL somersaults on the couch. He moans and groans and snorts the entire time and it’s hilarious.
5. What are your favorite things about dog blogging?
My favorite thing about blogging is discovering all the people out there that are just like me and understand what I’m doing.

I honestly have NO idea how to tell if I blog has more than 200 followers.. (I’m absolutely terrible with electronic concepts..) but here are my questions:
1. What kind of food do you feed your dogs and why?
2. What is your favorite animal related book?
3. I know you are all dog people, but what other kinds of pets do you have?
4. What is your favorite “guilty pleasure” food?
5. Do you exercise your dogs before work or after work?

and my nominees are…. Drum roll..
1. Leroy and Company: http://leroyandcompany.wordpress.com/
2. Temporary Home, Permanant Love: http://temporaryhomepermanentlove.com/
3. Pittieful Love: http://pittiefullove.wordpress.com/
4. And Foster Makes Five: http://andfostermakesfive.wordpress.com/
5. Dream Big, Bark Loudly: http://dreambigbarkloudly.wordpress.com/

Thank you again for the nomination, we all appreciate it!

The Pitties For Your Thoughts family.

The Pitties For Your Thoughts family.

One Step at a Time

17 Jan

Last Thursday we got the official bad news about Sophie. We all expected it but we were naivly hoping that she’d come around and realize that she’d been wrong about her new dad. Unfortunately this just wasn’t the case. Last Saturday Sophie went back in to foster care. What really makes this bad news is that she didn’t come back to US.

The director of Minnesota Pitbull Rescue and myself both agreed that it may not be in Sophie’s best interest to come back to my house if we cannot keep her forever. Sophie is clearly comfortable around our dogs, but we need to see if she can be comfortable in other situations. A huge benefit of her new foster home is that it is in the Twin Cities, which is where most of the MPBR events are held. ( I am over 2 hours away from most of the events). Going to the different MPBR events should really help Sophie adjust to new and different environments. She will have opportunities to socialize with other puppies but will have more chances to learn to be confident on her own. We’re hoping to see if Sophie has any actual socialization issues or if the way she felt about her dad was a one time thing related strictly to him. Since she never showed any nervousness at our house we felt like it’d be best to try her somewhere else.

This was very painful for me. I would have taken her back in a heartbeat and it kills me to know that she’s so happy at our house and we didn’t let her come back here. I know it’s for her own good, but it’s so hard for me not to feel guilty that I’m not just keeping her at our house.

I’m hoping that once she gains some confidence she will find somewhere new that she will be JUST as happy as she was at our house. I’m also impatiently waiting for some updates about how she’s doing at her new foster’s house. Stay tuned, I’ll let you know as soon as I hear anything!

Missing in Action. A little bit of news!

10 Jan

So, I feel like I haven’t blogged in FOREVER. Let me tell you right away, this IS NOT because I haven’t had anything to blog about, but instead because I don’t have the right words for all that’s happened lately.

I intended on writing a wonderful post about Sophie’s Christmas surprise. A couple of days before Christmas my brother and sister-in-law decided to start the “foster-to-adopt” program with Sophie! I was SO excited! Not only does she get a fantastic new family, two human siblings and a great new home, but I’ll also get to see her for the rest of her life!! My 7 year old niece, Mia, had been begging for Sophie for over a month and couldn’t believe it when her parents said she was staying. Sophie has met Mia before and has always been head-over-heels for her in return. The first thing I felt was extreme happiness and then a huge amount of relief. This time, instead of being torn into pieces between the fact that I SHOULD be happy, and my sadness and hurt about giving up a dog, I can focus on the fact that one of my fosters, and one that I love SOOO much, will remain in my family! I’ll even get to dog sit! I’ll get to see how she’s doing and I’ll always know JUST how much her family loves her. What more could a foster ask for?!

So you’re probably wondering WHY I didn’t write her amazing adoption story 2 weeks ago when I found out that she was getting a home, especially such an EXCITING home, for Christmas. I had every intention of doing so.. but the longer I waited the more we discovered that Sophie isn’t quite as happy about her new home as we all are.

Here’s a little backround on Sophie.. Sophie was just 12 weeks old when she came to our house. She had been with her siblings her entire life. Her first night in our house was her first night without them. She was scared and probably felt all alone.. but she soon discovered that she wasn’t alone. She bonded immediately to her foster-brothers Mylo and Chase. She became a confident, ram-rod of a puppy, and people who met her fell instantly in love with her.

I never had ANY idea that without her big brothers around she’d be insecure, afraid, and lose all of her spunk and character.

When we dropped Sophie off at her new house she was very scared. She wouldn’t go up to anyone other than Mia and she wouldn’t wander around the house. We all assumed that she would adjust quickly and be her ramrod-self any day. We all said “theres a lot going on today, she will adjust in a couple of days” and “She’s a puppy, it wont take long.”

During the next couple of days Sophie spent a lot of time with Mia but she continued to be afraid of her new house and her new family. Unless she was with Mia she mostly stayed in one room. Worst of all she decided to be incredibly afraid of her new dad. She wants nothing to do with him no matter what he does.

I have been putting off writing her adoption story because I assumed she would adjust soon and then I could write her happy story. I didn’t want to write about her incredibly happy news if she’s NOT happy and we’re not sure it will work out.

I decided to write her story now, though, because there are lessons to be learned from it.

Sophie has been in her new home for two weeks now. She has stopped running away from her new baby brother (she’s still not too sure about noisy babys but he’s not QUITE as scary anymore), she recently decided to brave some new rooms in the 3 story house, and she has gotten pretty used to her new mom. Unfortunately she’s still incredibly scared of her new dad.

Sophie’s behavior and attitude towards her new dad is such a shock because she was a huge daddy’s girl at our house. She’s never been afraid of men in our house, in fact, she’s never been afraid of anyone. What we failed to think about, however, is that Sophie had never spent a day of her life without a dog sibling. We got her directly from her litter as a pup and then she had Mylo and Chase. We never imagined she’d be so insecure without them. She was always so incredibly brave and outgoing. I never stopped to think about how she would adjust to being an only dog. I’ll admit that I’m always a fan of my foster dogs going to homes with other dogs, but I do also strongly believe that single dog homes are wonderful too. Especially single dog homes with children. I was so focused on the fact that she’d be getting two amazing parents, a 7 year old who can’t get enough of her and a bouncing baby brother to grow up with. I was completely sure that it’d be a great situation. Now I’m discovering that it’s a situation for me to learn from.

As a foster parent I will have to do a better job of testing my fosters in a variety of situations. I’m not saying it’s my fault that she’s adjusting so slowly, but if I had been expecting her to be a nervous, shy and insecure dog I would have been able to discuss this with the new family. If they weren’t EXPECTING her to adjust quickly, as puppies typically do, it may not seem so weird that she’s not.

Perhaps if I had tested her in a larger variety of situations I would have known what we needed to work on. I could have taken her to public places without Mylo and Chase. She could have been entered into puppy socialization classes. These are things that her new family will probably have to do now because I didn’t know that she needed it.

Her new family is trying everything they can to make her comfortable, but she’s simply not adjusting to her new dad. This makes ME sad, and I know it’s making her new family sad. I continue to tell them to give it time but eventually it needs to be decided if the situation is good for anyone involved.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that Sophie will get over her fears and get to stay with her new family, especially since I was so excited about this family! I thought that I had escaped the heartbreak of giving her up. We all want it to work out SO badly, but now we need to focus on making sure that whatever happens we act in the best interest of both the family and Sophie. I hope that, no matter what, her story can be a learning experience for everyone involved.

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