Thursday, February 14, 2008

Friday Happy Dance!

Myth 9: I’m unsure about getting a rescue dog, because I’m afraid he won’t bond to me.
That sound you hear is all the people with rescued dogs falling over laughing. Because the exact opposite is nearly always true--your rescue dog will CLING to you.

Look at it from the dog’s perspective. He’s spent the bulk of the last year on a 6 foot chain in someone’s back yard because he committed the unconscionable sin of no longer being a puppy. At some point during the day, someone may remember to bring him food and water. The only attention he gets is when they yell at him for barking - or worse.

Finally, they take him for a car-ride--dumping him in a wooded area where he can have a "fighting chance." Despite everything, he waits there for their return or tries to get back home. He finds water somewhere. He raids trash cans and gets sick. If he’s extremely lucky, he survives long enough for an animal lover to find him and bring him to the shelter.

Then he sits in the loud, scary shelter run, starting to lose faith that his family will ever find him. The kennel people are nice, but he is one of a hundred needy dogs they have to care for so he gets no real attention. Finally, the shelter calls us. And you take him home.

You not only bring him into your house, you give him his own bed and bowl, and maybe a crate where he feels safe. You speak quietly to him. When he messes on the carpet, you don’t seem to mind--you just take him outside and then clean it up. You feed him regularly AND give him toys and treats and nylabones. He sleeps in your room. He may even have a big brother or sister to play with. He gets kisses and hugs all the time for "no reason". And when he goes out in the car, he always comes back.

Your rescue dog’s biggest fear is that you will spontaneously combust. GSDs are particularly sensitive about the connections with their people so once they have the attention they so desperately crave and need, they do whatever they can to ensure they never, ever lose it.

He’s not going to let you out of his sight for one minute. People with rescue dogs learn to function with a 70 pound shadow following us everywhere.

Article by Betsy Morris of MAGSR

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