DBO Trolls Need to Do Their Homework

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Apparently I need to school some of the DBO folks about dog fighting.  Yesterday one of their trolls kept going on and on about Ray being only 40 lbs.  I couldn’t figure out why in the heck that would matter….then it dawned on me.  She was trying to use the DBO argument that the Vick dogs weren’t real fighting dogs, since they were, in some cases, so small.  She hadn’t a clue what she was talking about.

The dogs varied in size, from the tiny Oliver to Lucas, the Grand Champion.  But even Lucas was smaller than most people would think a champion should be.  In their mind a true fighting dog would be massive, like Bubba.  (I think we know from Bubba’s past injuries that he was NOT a good fighting dog.)

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When there is a fighting dog bust most of the dogs have a certain “look”…just like the Vicktory Dogs.  For the most part they are American Pit Bull Terrier mixes, which are smaller and lighter than Staffies or AmStaffs.  Most of them come from true fighting dog lines, bred for generations.

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Dog fighters have worked tirelessly to breed certain characteristics into their fighting lines.  Virtually no fighting dog is a “pure breed”.  When DNA testing was done on some of the Vicktory Dogs it was surprising to see the results.  Some of the small dogs had Boston Terrier in their lines.  One of the dogs actually had some Cocker Spaniel thrown in the mix.

These dogs, although small and light weight, are the preferred type for formal dog fighting.  I’m talking about organized dog fighting, not young thugs setting their dogs against each other as a test of their manhood.  Smaller dogs are faster and more agile than a large boned dog.  They make up in speed and tenacity what they lack in bulk.  A smaller dog tends to have more stamina than a larger, heavier dog.

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In an organized dog fighting match like-sized dogs are pitted against each other, similar to boxing or wrestling weight classes.  Each dog is weighed before the match to make sure they are the right size for this bout.  That is why there are usually several different sized dogs in any fighting kennel.

Another DBO contention is that the Vick dogs developed Babesia after they were rescued. Once again they are trying to address something they don’t understand.  Babesia is initially a tick borne illness, just like Lyme disease.  Fighting dogs, often chained out in the woods, are prone to tick infestations. Once a dog has been infected he can pass it on through his saliva, especially through deep puncture wounds.  Many, many fighting dogs are Babesia positive.  Ray was, and our girl Turtle is.

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There are things I wish I didn’t know about dog fighting and dog fighters.  But I forced myself to learn about it because of Ray.  I was trying to understand what he had endured.  Maybe the trolls of DBO should do the same thing.  As it stands now, they just come off sounding ignorant.

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Hate is Not Welcome Here

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Yesterday I put up a post about our boy Bosco and his issues with anxiety.  Unfortunately, that post was shared so many times that the hacks from Dogsbite got a hold of it.  Their comments on my blog were poisonous and uncalled for.

I hate the thought that I can’t write openly and honestly about working with challenging dogs without worrying that I am handing these individuals ammunition for their anti-pit campaign.

Ordinarily I never, ever remove comments.  I welcome discussion.  But these comments were only trying to shame me and all other pit bull terrier like dogs devotees.

I want to apologize to everyone who read those remarks.  And I want to apologize for removing them.  I don’t like to operate that way.  I am always willing to listen and debate points with thoughtful people.  I am NOT willing to entertain comments about killing my dogs.

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These are the same people who show up and post disgusting comments on every single pit bull story. One of them runs across an article, and then sends the link out to all of their cronies.  And they post horrific information.  They even posted on the story Arin Greenwood wrote about Ray’s death.

Their intention is never to educate.  Their intention is never to debate.  Their intention is to outlaw and kill every single pit bull like dog in the country.  And they will stoop to incredible lows to attain their goals.  They will target individuals.  They will post contact information.  They will call employers.  They will stop at nothing to smear the names and reputations of people who love this type of dog.

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Ask Bronwyn Dickey, the author of “Pit Bull: The Battle Over an American Icon”….they actually posted photos of her house and her address, asking people to terrorize her.   They sent a representative to one of her readings who had to be escorted out of the building after he was disruptive and threatening.

These are the same people who advocate for adopting pit bull terrier like dogs and then taking them to a vet to be put down.  They discuss ways to kill dogs in their neighborhood.  They threaten to shoot any pit they see in public. They are evil.  They are fanatics.

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I have news for them.  I don’t care what they think.  I am not going to stop writing about dogs.  I am not going to act like all dogs are perfect.  I am going to tell it like it is.  I am going to share whatever knowledge I have to help other people and their dogs.  But I am not going to listen to their poison when they start taking about my family members.   If your only purpose is to cause fear and hate, you aren’t welcome on my page.

Bottom line…I am a responsible caretaker of our companions.  My husband is an uber-responsible caregiver.  What dogs we choose to live with is no one’s business but our own.   How far we decide to go to help our dogs is no one’s business but our own.  Unless you are a trained behaviorist, a veterinarian or a certified trainer, you have no right telling us how to work with our dogs. If you are a DBO hater, your opinion is neither solicited nor welcome.

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So, much like landowners will “post” their property against trespass or hunting, I am “posting” on this blog.  Do not bring your evil here.  It will be removed.

The World is Sadder Today

 

17758239_685137015012168_6895442719047982529_o.jpgJust a couple short days ago the Vicktory family found out that Susan’s beloved Little Red passed away in her sleep.  This is one of those losses that cuts to the core of my heart.  Little was a dog who had the sweetest disposition of any dog I have ever met.  Her sheer presence made everyone feel happy.  Little made you want to be a better, calmer, nicer person. You wanted to be worthy of this sweet soul’s trust and affection.

I am so sad about her loss…..but I am sadder for her mom.  Susan was the perfect adopter for this frightened little girl.  She gave Little the type of life that every dog deserves.  I know she is hurting…..and there is little I can say to help heal the wounds.

Please keep Susan, and the rest of her dogs, in your thoughts today.  This was a very painful loss for everyone concerned.

Run free and happy Little Red…and give Ray some love from me.  I know he’ll help show you the ropes up there.

Over-Coming Anxiety for Bosco

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Bosco is the greatest little dog…who happens to have a real problem with anxiety.

I have postponed writing this post, because it’s hard to admit that sometimes the things you have always done are not working.  Kevin and I have had challenging dogs in the past, but they have easily responded to all of our positive reinforcement without issue.  That hasn’t been true of Bosco.

I knew when we took this boy on that he came with some baggage.  Between November and when we adopted him in March he had been bounced around like a pinball (through no fault of his own). I think we counted 7 places he’s spent time before he came to us:

  • He was found running at large in November and taken to Animal Control
  • Lucas County Pit Crew pulled him and he went into a foster home
  • He was adopted days before Christmas. In an incident that can’t be considered entirely his fault (or even mostly his fault) he bit his adopter, who contacted LCPC to pick him up immediately
  • LCPC picked him up and placed him in a foster home to complete a mandated quarantine
  • AC took legal action to force Bosco to complete his quarantine in a dismal municipal shelter, with an AC Officer who hates pit bull terrier type dogs
  • When the 10 day quarantine was up, Bosco went into a foster home
  • Ohio declared him a dangerous dog because of the bite, so he was moved to an out of state foster home.
  • He was driven across the country to our home in Arizona.

That is a whole lot of change for one little dog, who already had a shadowed past.  Lord knows what he dealt with in his previous life.

Immediately after coming home Bosco picked up a foxtail; a noxious weed seed that burrows into a dogs body and travels through muscle tissue, sometimes ending up in the heart, lungs or brain of a dog.  This nasty little hitch-hiker required three separate surgeries to find and remove.  Three more times that Bosco was removed from what he saw as a safe environment and had scary things done to him.  That’s when we really started seeing his anxiety increase.

It started fairly slowly.  We noticed that Bosco didn’t really enjoy his walks that much.  That once a car or truck passed us he would show signs of stress: head down, ears back, tail slightly tucked.  Then he started having issues with some people, for no apparent reason.  First in general, and then in our house. Our daughter couldn’t safely come in our home, as Bosco became so anxious he started acting out.

We did what I’ve always preached to others: we sought out a great trainer.  We spent time hanging out in the parking lot of the grocery store, with people and cars all around.  We gave him treats every time he would look at someone and not react.  When my daughter was coming to the house, I’d put him behind the baby gate and start treating him like crazy, so he would associate her visit with lots of treats.  All that did was make him think someone was coming into the house every time he got a treat.  So, I started taking him for a car ride if she had to come over. He loved car rides.  Until he figured out that someone had been in our home while we were gone.  Suddenly car rides became an additional stressor.

If someone would knock on the door he would lose every ounce of self-control, racing back and forth from the door to whoever was in the room with him.  He would aggressively herd us away from the door.  He wouldn’t allow us to even stand up until he had time to calm back down.  One night I had to change our dinner reservations 3 times, while we gave him the time he needed to calm down after the neighbor rang our doorbell.

Our little guy became OCD about everything in his life.  Every single thing needed to be done at the same time, by the same person, every day.  He couldn’t handle changes to his routine at all.  John Garcia called him a “by the book dog”.

You could tell this was one miserable little dog.  He’d look at us and his little front teeth would be chattering from the stress.  It was heart breaking….we could tell he wanted to be a good dog, but he was too tightly wound to relax and enjoy life.  You cannot train a dog who is this overwhelmed.  You have to deal with the stress and anxiety before he is able to concentrate on learning manners.

The final straw was when he was so stressed by a walk that he acted out towards Kevin.  The situation was no longer okay.  Something had to be done…not just for safety, but for Bosco’s happiness.

So, with the help of our vet, a behaviorist in Florida, and a dog trainer who I trust implicitly (yes I mean you Steffen Baldwin) we started Operation Make Bosco Happy.  We are primarily depending on nutraceuticals…nutritional supplements to help him become calmer.  Along with exercise and some other calmative items, we are working to help Bosco accept his world.

So here’s what is currently in our arsenal:

  • A DAP collar. This is a pheromone collar that works through the dog’s own body heat.  It gives out the same calming scents a mother dog gives out to her puppies.  Each collar lasts about a month.  You can also get a diffuser to plug in and flood your whole house with this calming scent.
  • NutriClear Free by Biotics is a nutritional supplement for detoxification and metabolic clearing. It is a powder that you mix with water (it smells like a vanilla milkshake).  Bosco thinks it is the tastiest thing ever and slurps it down before I can even stand up from setting the bowl on the floor.
  • ComposurePro supplement treats which have been proven to lower anxiety levels in dogs and cats.
  • Phosphatidylcholine by Biotics. According to their website this is “a supplemental source of this important phosoholipid, which is a major constituent of cell membranes, and is important for normal cellular membrane function and repair”.
  • Bio-B Complex by Biotics, a high potency dose of important B complex vitamins
  • A treadmill for exercise. Walks are currently to upsetting to Bosco.  Everything in the world is seen as dangerous.  With time we are hoping to resume walks, which should be a happy activity for a dog.  In the meantime, a few minutes of treadmill time will help lower his anxiety level.
  • Rescue Remedy in his water.  RR is a great natural calmative.
  • A minute dose of Clonidine, which is an anti-anxiety medication.

The one thing everyone agreed was important was limiting his exposure to triggers.  Which is why we temporarily suspended walks.  I also have a big sign on my front door asking that visitors not knock or ring bell.  Instead I give them our cellphone number to call or text. We aren’t taking car rides right now. In fact, we’ve pretty much hit a reset button on almost all of Bosco’s activities.

You can’t work on behavior modification with an anxious dog.  These tools are allowing Bosco to be comfortable enough to start fresh on training.

We are currently working on building up proficiency on the treadmill.  He seems to be totally open to the idea of walking or trotting on this equipment.  But right now he wants to do it with a person, and I don’t have the stamina to keep up with him. With time, and a little effort he will be trotting along by himself soon.  NOTE:  never leave your dog on a treadmill unattended, and never leash or chain him to the treadmill. 

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We are also working on positive muzzle training. There are times Bosco will be frightened or uncomfortable.  If he is already muzzle trained, and considers it a positive (treat filled) experience, he will be safer to take on rides and to things like medical appointments.  Muzzles are NOT just for aggressive dogs.  They can be a great tool for any dog.

Bosco is already showing a lot of improvement in his stress level.  I haven’t seen the teeth chattering behavior since we started working on this together.  And even if he reacts to a stressor (if something unfamiliar happens), his recovery time is much, much shorter.  With just a couple of minutes he is back to being our little clown of a dog.

There is no magic bullet.  This process takes effort from everyone involved.  Mainly it depends on both Kevin and me showing Bosco that we have his back and we are committed to keeping him safe.

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In the meantime, Bosco and Turtle are best buddies, and she helps him burn off his excess energy.  Bosco has the best dog skills of all our kids, which gives me a lot of hope for his eventual happiness in the world at large.

This is a great little dog.  And he is worth every bit of effort to help him live a happy, comfortable life.

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The Truth about Parrots

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I was somewhat taken aback by some of the comments on one of our Parrot Garden videos that I shared. The insinuation was that our birds lived in cramped and tiny cages, where they had nothing to do but pull out their feathers from stress. The person making these accusations was here, once, many years ago. Apparently she didn’t bother to ask questions or learn what we do to help enrich the lives of the birds in our care.

She obviously doesn’t realize that our caregivers give their all for these birds each and every day. She doesn’t know that we spend a lot of time following research, so we can meet the emotional and nutritional needs of our charges. That caregivers take their responsibilities so seriously and bond so tightly to their kids that they become members of our extended family. That we rejoice in each positive step forward. That each bird is considered an individual, with his or her own care plan for rehabilitation.

She doesn’t have a clue that many, if not most, of the birds come here after years or decades of a crap diet, suffering from nutritional deficiencies that affect their health. She wasn’t here when we took in a cockatiel who had vitamin a deficiency blindness from years of living in a dark basement on an all seed diet.

She has no idea how many birds come to us with stereotypical behaviors from years of living ignored in tiny cages. Feather destructive behavior, self-mutilation, screaming and biting all come from natural behaviors which have been amplified by captivity.
She is ignorant of the fact that most of these birds have been hand-raised by humans, and have never had the opportunity to learn the most basic of skills from their parents. They have no clue they are birds and they suffer from the anxiety of not knowing the things that would allow them to live a happy healthy life. The parental deprivation basically ensures they will live life as emotional cripples.

She is ignorant of the fact that many birds, not knowing they are birds, are terrified of our open flights. That sometimes it can take months to convince them it is safe with all that space. That some birds will never be comfortable outside of a cage. That is how they come to us, and that’s where we have to start. We work hard to find the least restrictive environment for every single one of our birds.

She isn’t aware that many of our birds came to us after being inappropriately handled by humans who didn’t realize full-body stroking could lead to mate bonding, and even more emotional problems.

She hasn’t seen our beautiful outdoor garden area where each bird has an enclosure planted with bird safe food to forage from, like dandelion, clover and millet.

She doesn’t understand that a bird missing feathers isn’t necessarily stressed or unhappy…that the feather destruction comes from a natural grooming behavior which has gone haywire. That once a bird started destroying feathers it is often a life-long issue….even if they have the best possible of lives.

She hasn’t seen the care we take to find the best possible home for each of our kids. How we worry and agonize as we see them out the door.

She isn’t here when we are having to say “no” to hundreds of birds who need to come here…part of the growing crisis of caged-birds in this country.

She is oblivious to the fact that our organization has never said “no” to any need we have wanted to meet, for any of our birds.

The Truth Still Matters

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Bubba says “ppffftt” to DBO idiots (photo by Justyne Moore)

Yesterday I read a distasteful opinion article entitled “Denying Reality Won’t Make Pitbulls Any Less Dangerous”. It is another hatchet job, masquerading as truth.  For the most part, I’ve tried to stop fighting these battles on-line.  It does no good, and it’s bad for my blood pressure.  But something about this smug article, with its defamatory title tic’d me off.  So, I responded:

Do you know why animal people were so incensed with Michael Vick? It was because of the cruel and abusive way he killed dogs. Why did he kill them? Because they wouldn’t fight. He killed any dog who wouldn’t fight. And there were a lot of them. Dog on dog aggression is not natural, for any breed. Most of this type of issue can be fixed by leaving puppies with their mothers for 12 weeks instead of 4-6. Those extra weeks are critical socialization windows. This is when a puppy learns the social skills necessary to be a happy, balanced dog. He learns bite inhibition. He learns dog body language. Many pit type dogs are bred by irresponsible people who want their money quickly, and sell puppies much too young. I understand and used to share your discomfort around pit like dogs…until I started working with them. Until I got to know that a well-trained, well-socialized, well-treated amstaff or staffie can be the most loving and loyal of companions. Until I met and fell in love with a little brown fighting dog from a notorious fight bust. That dog lived his life trying to recover from what was done to him. He was the victim of a crime, not the implement. He died without ever hurting anyone.

First thing this morning I discover the author has published the exact same article on another site and is now calling it  “The Cult of the Pitbull” (one word…sigh). Same drivel, same tired-ass DBO supporters gushing and thanking him for have the courage to speak the “truth”.   Let me tell you something:  if you can’t tell the difference between fact and opinion, you are one of the problems in this country.  People like this are why we have an issue with “fake news”. Truth matters.  It matters a lot.  And if we ignore it, as this author is asking us to do, it will cost innocent dogs their lives.

Here is my response to that second article…..

Pit bull terrier like dogs are the #1 most abused dog in the country. Pit bull terrier like dogs often appeal to bad, lazy or stupid people who want a dog for show or other nefarious purposes.

Pit bull terrier like dogs often have owners who abuse them, chain them up, don’t fix them, allow them to run at large, and encourage threatening behavior.

Pit bull terrier like dogs are often bred by ignorant backyard breeders who are in it for a buck, and sell puppies at 4-5 weeks, instead of the critical 12 weeks puppies need to stay with their mothers to learn bite inhibition, dog body language, and critical socialization skills.

Pit bull terrier like dogs are encouraged to behave in aggressive ways by idiots who want a tough looking/acting dog.

All of these are people issues, not breed issues.
A large, powerful, high energy dog of any type can be dangerous. We need to pass laws that are going to actually make us safer, not demonize one breed, which actually encourages punks to own them. Offer low cost (or free) easily accessible spay/neuter services. Offer dog safe training classes for kids (have been proven to reduce bite incidents by more than 50%) Enforce leash laws, outlaw chaining or 24/7 kenneling. Offer low cost or free puppy socialization and dog training classes. Enforce existing abuse/neglect laws. Hold bad owners accountable. In my mind, allowing a large, untrained, unsocialized dog to run at large, attacking a human or other dog is no different than getting drunk and getting behind the wheel of a car, and hurting someone.

My profile picture is of Bubba G….an amazing dog who was found in an alley in Denver, dying from dog fighting wounds that ultimately cost him both ears. At 90 lbs he could easily have ended up being extremely dangerous. When he came to me he was mouthy and unruly. Earlier this year he completed 18 months of training to become my service dog. He has flown the country with me. He meets thousands of people every years. He is 100% American Staffordshire Terrier (we had his dna tested). This is a true pit bull terrier type dog, and he throws all of your hysterical, unscientific assertions out the window. These are dogs, just dogs. But powerful, high energy dogs who need regular exercise and training. People cause their problems, and people should be held accountable.

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Changing the world, one person at a time (photo by Justyne Moore)

My purpose in responding to this jerk is not to change his mind.  That is impossible.  It is to try and mitigate some of the damage this type of article does to pit bull reputations, especially with people with limited or no personal experience with these amazing dogs.  It is rather like trying to fill a bucket with no bottom…..a waste of resources and energy.  My secret weapon for changing people’s minds is asleep at my feet.  He expects to be adored and it shines out through his eyes.  He is changing the world, one person at a time.

Baked Potato of a Dog

The world lost a very special, very loved little brown dog this week.

My first meeting with Oscar was when Vet Tech Annik brought him over to our building, along with his “girlfriend” Squeaker. Annik had taken on the dogs as a project, and was determined to help them both gain enough confidence to pass their Canine Good Citizen tests, so they could be adopted into homes of their own.  Every single day, without fail, she would pick up the dogs at lunch and take them on outings.  Today it was to experience the noisy environment I work in.

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It was immediately obvious that Squeaker was extremely nervous being in a new place.  She gave all the signs of a stressed, fearful dog.  All the while Oscar stoically sat, staring out the front door….no signs of stress…no lip licking, yawning, or actually any sign of movement at all.  I mentioned how much better he was handling the whole experience and was stunned when Annik corrected me immediately.  “Look at him” she directed “he is completely and totally shut down”.  And she was right.  When Oscar was stressed he just checked out and went somewhere far, far away in his own mind.

My husband Kevin began joining Annick on her daily outings, helping her work with both dogs, but concentrating on trying to help Oscar, who was very frightened of men.  He walked hundreds of miles with that boy.  Oscar would go almost anywhere to follow Squeaker….she was his bravery.  I joined the team too, and started having both dogs as “office dogs” once or twice a week.

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It was an easy transition to move him into my office when he needed a place to stay after Squeaker had ACL surgery on her leg.  How much different could it possibly be to have him in my office full time?  A lot actually.  Oscar didn’t know how to function without Squeaker. He was afraid of literally everything.

 

We worked every day to help Oscar learn the skills he needed to go into a home.  But it is very difficult working with a dog who won’t take a treat from you, and doesn’t want to play or receive affection.  What in the world do you use as a reinforcer?  Trainer Pat Whitacre worked with us to help us fined ways to help Oscar learn. Mostly we just worked to gain, and keep his trust.  Without a loving relationship, no forward motion was going to be possible.

The day Oscar walked up to me as I worked at my desk, and nudged my knee for some attention was one of the highest points of my life.  After literally months of being together 8 hours a day, he had finally decided I was safe.  From that point on, he made tremendous gains.  But it still took a massive effort to get this little brown dog through his CGC.

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Besides his discomfort with new people (the CGC test requires handling by a new person and a couple of “crowd” tests) Oscar had two major hurdles:  he would do a “fly by” when asked to come….heading straight at you and then veering at the last moment, and he HATED the feeling of sand on his stomach and refused to do a down on the ground.  It took repeated efforts to get him through these two items.

On the day of his actual CGC the tester allowed us to do the “stay” and “come” portion of the test first.  If he was going to pull his idea of a joke by running past me, there was no sense in continuing.  He nailed the test items, coming right to me when I called.  We left the “down” portion of the test until the end.  When the time came, I gave the cue, and Oscar turned his head away from me…..I almost panicked, but tried one last time: “Oscar, down”.  He heaved a sigh and lay down.  I promptly burst into tears.  Oscar had passed his CGC.

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It was just a short time later  I was told that a potential adopter was coming to meet our boy.  For those of you who foster, you know how difficult this is….a dog you have poured so much work into…is anyone really good enough to be his family?  I typed up a letter to this unknown person, trying to give her a sense of who Oscar really was.

Dear Potential Adopter:

When Oscar first came to live here, he spent all of his time in a corner, or under my desk.  We’d have to drag him out to go for a walk.  He refused to eat in front of us, and I’d have to leave his food in the evening, so that he could eat once we were all gone.  If I touched him, his skin would twitch like a horse with a fly on its back.  He refused to make eye contact with me, and would stare off into the distance if you looked at him.

Taking him for walks could be an exercise in futility.  He would walk 2 or 3 steps and then just stop.  The only way to get him going again would be to pick him up and set him down again a few steps later, or to pull him a step or two.  If there were people in sight, nothing could convince him to walk in that direction.

Slowly, over time, these behaviors started to change.   He now runs to me in the morning for a good butt scratch.  He goes for walks with Kevin without hesitation.  He will even take treats from strangers.  He is still very scared and shut down if he doesn’t know a person, but the time it takes to get comfortable has gone from weeks to a few days.

It will take Oscar some time to get comfortable in new surroundings.  He is very nervous and unsure of anything new.  It will take him a few weeks to know someone enough to trust and respond to them.  But this is a wonderful dog, who truly deserves a home of his own.  I can’t tell you how amazing he is.

There are a few things to keep in mind about Oscar:

  • He is scared to death of cameras.  Even if he is with someone he loves and trusts, cameras (even cellphone cameras) cause him to flee instantly.
  • Oscar has absolutely NO aggression.  When he is uncomfortable, he just “goes away” mentally.  You can see that he has checked out.
  • Oscar likes to have a safe place to hide.  I have never had a problem getting him out of these safe places, although sometimes you have to pull him.  Again, he shows NO aggression.
  • Oscar loves car rides.  The problem is getting him out of the car at the end!
  • Crowds and groups of people terrify him
  • He loves the packaged bones that you can get at Pet Stores
  • He loves to destroy stuffed animals.
  • He prefers jerky type treats to biscuit treats.
  • He loves a fluffy bed.
  • His favorite way of being petted is a butt scratch, followed by a body massage.  He is not all that fond of being petted on the head, unless he really trusts you.
  • He does love to tear up paper and will pull files off my desk to tear them up.  Garbage cans are another favorite.
  • He has only had one accident in my office, and that was when it was storming, and I think he was afraid to go outside.
  • He hates bread or a lot of other things that most dogs like.  But he will do anything for cheese.
  • Loud noises bother him a lot.

Thank you for being willing to give Oscar a chance.  It will take awhile for him to respond to you, but once he does, it is amazing.  I have never felt so honored as the day he came to me for affection.  This is a remarkable dog that we love very much.

It only took one meeting with Rachel to know she was the right person for Oscar.  I sobbed like a baby as we loaded Oscar into her car, but it wasn’t because I was worried about her as his person.  Only that I was going to miss him so desperately.  It was instantly apparent that Rachel was the one. The two of them were meant to be together.  Rachel was willing to let Oscar live life on his terms, and arranged her schedule around his needs.  She was the most perfect home possible.

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We were very fortunate to have built a relationship with Rachel so that both her and Oscar became part of our extended family.  Kevin and I were able to visit them on several occasions.  Rachel called him her Potato…and it was the best possible name for him.  The happiest I ever saw him was when he was living with Rachel and her mom in Colorado.  He had a little dachshund friend, and played with that dog all day long.  He looked so happy when we visited him there.  It made me tear up to remember how far he’d come.

This week Rachel had to say goodbye to her boy…this dog she had spent so much time with, meeting his special needs, earning his trust.  She let us know that it was time to let Oscar slip away.  I know how devastated she is……and I ache for her pain.  Please keep her in your heart……She needs your good thoughts right now.

One very special little dog is finally free from fear……