I was completely burnt out last week.
My wife and I are fostering a dog for a local rescue group, named Happy. Overall, she is a great dog—she is sweet, calm, and affectionate—but Happy has some issues that can drive anyone crazy. She barks at everything that moves outside. She mounts everyone (human and dog) if given the opportunity. She can be dog aggressive. She is a major chewer (she chewed through two leashes, two of my gloves, and all the stuff animals we’ve given her). She is terrible walking on a leash. She has selective hearing and didn’t know any basic commands (sit, stay, down). She was afraid of loud noises, especially around cars.
Needless to say I wasn’t happy with Happy. There are times I have just wanted to call it quits with her; but then I look at her sweet face, I’m quickly reminded of what she might of went through coming from a high kill shelter. Rehabilitating and training Happy wasn’t going to be easy, but like everything in life; the biggest reward doesn’t come easily.
It’s been a week and a half; Happy has shown tremendous improvement in overall mood and behavior. She plays well with others, and her issues have either disappeared completely or have been reduced. Here’s what we did with her in the past week:
- We put her in a queue with our two dogs during feeding time and established clear boundaries about who eats first, and what to do after feeding. We taught her to ignore the food on command and to walk away when she is done eating. By doing this, she was able to eat around other dogs without showing any signs of aggression.
- We walk her with my pack for two hours each morning to strengthen our bond and to help her perfect walking on a leash.
- We leashed her up with my dog, Golo, in order to help her gain confidence and to mirror Golo’s behavior.
- We taught her basic commands using with food and affection, corrected her when she was up to no good (barking at the door, moves toward the object of her desire, and became tense around dogs).
Anh and I will continue to work on her issues, but overall, I’m pleased to say that Happy is now well-mannered and better balanced. She is ready to go to a forever home, where she can continue to shine.
If you’re interested in learning more about Happy, visit http://www.adoptapet.com/pet/15752282-rockville-maryland-manchester-terrier-mix
For my fellow entrepreneurs, if you ever want to hone your patience and discipline, get a dog. If already have a dog, and you love your dog but are too busy with life, order him/her a JoyBox from www.joyjoywoof.com (my new project).
Until next time, keep on moving forward.