Do Dogs Remember?

Lady ArabellaOn July 9, 2010, my accountant, Kingsley Shinner contacted me about his mother’s dog.  I’ve known Kingsley since I moved to Deltona in 1989 and every year during tax time, I visited his office.  I had met his parents, and was saddened when I learned that his mother’s health was failing.  Kingsley helped guide me when I created The Dog Liberator, giving me advice and helping me incorporate out business, and put together our Articles of Incorporation to submit our request for non-profit status.  I never dreamed he would need my help.  He told me his mother had a collie, and asked me to find her a home.  From the moment Kelly arrived at my house, my children fell in love with her.  She was a very social and happy girl.  I immediately found a home for Kelly, where she was very  happy, loved, and well cared for.  She was renamed Lady Arabella.

Forgot to mention she is highly skilled!

Forgot to mention she is highly skilled!

Last Monday, however, I received an email from her owner stating that she was in poor health and could no longer care for Arabella.   Yesterday, I drove to Ocala to pick her up.  The last time I saw Arabella was at our 2011 reunion.

Her owner opened the back door of the car, and Arabella, looking a little bit overweight but gorgeous, walked toward me.  It only took one sniff before she recognized me.  She barked and whined loudly, jumped up on me, and showered me with kisses.  She spun in circles with her head up, literally screaming.  Does she remember me?  Her owner said, she did.  “She doesn’t act this way with total strangers – trust me, she remembers you.”  But how could that be?

I drove her home and she cried the minute I stopped the car, and cried all the way to the front door.  Once I opened the door, she immediately greeted Ozzie, Lady Di and China.  Rosie, of course, didn’t want to have anything to do with her!  So what did Arabella do?  She darted down the hallway and went straight to my daughter’s bedroom door, again, crying.  But Sarah is at a friend’s house for a few days.  So, Arabella once again remembered.

I got Arabella situated, and gave her some water, I called Kingsley’s office, making an appointment to see him.  He was not in.  An hour later, my phone rang; Kingsley in back in the office!  I drove just a few miles, and what happened was simply amazing.

My Co-Pilot!

My Co-Pilot!

The moment I opened the door to his suite, Arabella pulled so hard on the leash, I thought to myself, this is a fully trained dog, why is she pulling so hard?  She bolted directly into Kingsley’s office and jumped into his lap.  I don’t think he realized who she was at first, but she knew who he was.  Once again, she screamed with joy, barking at the top of her lungs; the entire building heard  her.  Imagine for a moment, hearing Lassie after Timmy has fallen in the well!  It was that loud.

Kingsley is reunited with his Kelly after 4 years.

Kingsley is reunited with his Kelly after 4 years.

Once a Diva, Always a Diva!

Once a Diva, Always a Diva!

Once Kingsley realized it was her, he was dumbfounded.  You see, his mother passed away shortly after he gave Kelly to me.

But here’s what I didn’t know.  I didn’t know that Kelly would spend her days at Kingsley’s office.  She knew where she was!

Arabella went to the vet, where everyone fell in love with her.  She got her nails trimmed, all of her vaccines, and a heartworm test.  She’s ready for her new home.

Tomorrow will be the beginning of a new chapter for Arabella.  I have promised her that she once again, she will have pretty bows in her hair, boys to play with, parents to love, and she might even get her nails painted.  I have promised Arabella little tiny humans.  These tiny humans might even want to put curlers in her hair.  Something tells me Arabella will be just fine with that!

I believe she will be adopted tomorrow, to her third home; a wonderful family in South Florida.  This family has five children, a one and a half year-old and a 3 year old, as well as, a 13, 15, and 17 year old.  This is a young family who spends their time out by the pool, and going places!  I’m so blessed to be able to give Arabella the greatest gift a rescuer can give –  her forever home.

Later this evening, my Sarah will come home.  I wonder what Lady Arabella will do!  Don’t you?

Going Home!

Going Home!

Update:  My Sarah did come home, and just as I thought, Arabella did remember her!  The next day she was adopted by Angela and her wonderful family!

See Arabella’s photos on her Facebook Photo Album!

Canine Reboot

Nutella, labeled a fear-biter

I’ve done this dozens of times… talked to owners who are frustrated with their dogs.  Wanting their dogs to be balanced, and happy.  Sometimes it’s the wife that hates the dog, sometimes it’s the husband.  Sometimes the dog doesn’t like the kids, or the grandparents.  Dog fights, cat fights… you name it.

One of the questions I HAVE TO ask when someone is trying to surrender their dog to me is, “if I can fix your dog, can you… would you… could you… keep your dog?”  sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes it’s no.

With the launch of Canine Connect, a service that I can offer to dog owners who truly care about the dogs, truly want the best for the dogs, but can no longer keep them, I’m asking that question more often.  “What if I can fix it?”

Over the past few weeks, the dogs I’ve fostered have really amazed me.  WiiGo transformed into the best little dog I’ve ever known.

McDreamy & McSteamy

McSteamy and McDreamy, terrified of everything, quickly became accustomed to home life and family living.  No longer afraid to walk through doorways, or put their paws on ceramic tile floors.  With their heads hung low all of the time, they were unsure, slow to trust, and not sure if I was friend of foe.  Just a few days later, I introduced them to the pack, one at a time.  Once they got to meet Lady Di… everything changed.  It was as if a light switch had been turned on, and they felt “safe”.  They exchanged play bows, and the heads were held high, tails were relaxed, and the playing began!  After that day they walked with pride, there was a bounce in their step, they greeted me with affection, and their adjustment period was about 48 hours.    Dogs do live in the moment.

Little Grace, being a happy dog!

And recently, Little Grace.  She was adopted yesterday, but before she left I had the pleasure of snapping a photo of her playing with the pack… and loving it!  It may not seem like a big deal to you, but it sure was a big deal to me!  It’s called joy!  If a dog can relax enough, be happy enough, have enough self-esteem, and know that it’s not going to be hurt, there’s absolutely no danger whatsoever, and it’s welcomed… they can play!  Way to go Little Grace… you made my day!

So if what if we could simply Reboot our dogs?  If I gave you a list of questions about your dog, would you know how to answer?

  • Is your dog shy, fearful, nervous, or anxious?
  • Is your dog aggressive, dominant or alpha?
  • Is your dog guarding you or protecting you?
  • Do you know why your dog acts like he wants to attack other dogs?
  • Does your dog have separation anxiety, or is he insecure?  Do you think the two are one in the same?
  • Do you think your dog is neurotic or bored?

Snapple, an Owner-Surrender

Snapple, Adopted

What would you think the main reason why people surrender or give away their dogs?

The Dog Liberator has rescued dogs that will otherwise be euthanized, OR at risk of being surrendered to a shelter or pound.

The Dog Liberator will help you rehome your dog through Canine Connect, thus preventing the dog from being adopted to the wrong family, which may ultimately lead to euthanasia.

Remember, owner-surrendered dogs are not protected under stray-hold policy.

Owner-surrendered dogs can and are sometimes put to sleep before their owners have left the parking lot.  

 

Chaos learns High Five

While I have spent over three years inviting strange new dogs into my home I:

  • introduced them to my family, friends, and neighbors
  • introduce them to new experiences like visiting the vet
  • going on walks
  • teaching them not to be afraid of the crate
  • teaching them to be quiet
  • starting them on housebreaking
  • show them how to properly greet strangers
  • teaching them not to bolt out of doorways
  • correcting them when they try to climb a fence.

My personal dogs have also spent three years inviting strange new dogs into their home, and they:

  • have showed them how to share a space
  • showed them that being rewarded has benefits
  • showed them how to interact with humans
  • showed them how to play properly
  • showed them how to come when called
  • but more importantly, my pack have taught dogs, how to be a good dog.

Deaf China takes Baby GaGa under her care

Dogs can teach another dog what a person can’t:

  • I can not teach a dog that greeting face to face is rude
  • I can not explain to a dog that sniffing the rear is polite
  • I can not approach a dog and correct their attempt to dominate… that’s Lady Di’s job
  • I can not initiate play with a dog who doesn’t know how to play… that’s China’s job
  • I can not show a dog that another dog is not a threat, that is Ozzie’s job

My home is what I used to call Border Collie Boot Camp.  Every fostered dog has had to find their way to survive and cohabitate here, eat side by side, enjoy bones without being growled at, and play ball without being attacked.  The result is probably the best gift I receive in rescue.  Watching a pack of dogs run together, play together, wrestle gently, and have a blast!

Lieutenant Colonel Di, Lieutenant Ozzie, and Private China!

 

There is no reason for the dogs to be nervous, fearful or anxious.  My pack clearly shows them that I am the pack leader, they can relax, and enjoy being a dog!  The true challenge is teaching the dog owners that their dog truly wants to be… just a great dog!

Maybe all your dog needs is a Canine Reboot!  Email me if you would like information on how we can Reboot Your Dog! TheDogLiberator@gmail.com

 

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