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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Promised Dog Update

I promised an update after this morning's post.

"Bear" did very well at his debut.  Although he hung very close to me for the most part, as expected,  if someone happened to pat him, he'd try to follow them for more attention. I was surprised to see it. He seemed to honestly be seeking that good attention and willing to meet strangers.

Although he did show his shyness and his puppy-playfulness was absent, this was a good thing as of course, in a crowd it is NOT good to bound around and pounce on random dogs!

At one point he was starting to growl, shake his head, scratch at his ear, and recognizing these as signs of over-stimulation, I took him out of the action and let him hang out in a sheltered area between two fire trucks.

Actually, to be more accurate, Bear decided to hang out UNDER the fire truck. I understood.

A couple people happened by and petted him a bit, but it was calming, not too much for him, and before long he was back on his feet and ready to be social again.

Maybe that's why I understand Bear so well....I'm just like him:  perfectly willing and happy to be social, but if I can't have time in isolation I'll growl and snap and tweak out, too!

Overall, I'm very proud of him;  Bear is indeed a completely different dog than he was when he came to me at the end of December.  He's an ambassador for his breed and I'm still hoping and praying he'll find his forever home soon! Today's event was wonderful and had a good showing of several wonderful breeds and enthusiasts.

One of the things I love about people involved in dog rescues is the fact that we first love dogs; and the breed is secondary. If we can help out another breed, it's worth it, because it's a dog that deserves a good home.  Someone asked me today if the German Shepherd is my "breed of choice" and although they have always been a favorite of mine, I can't say it's the ultimate:  I love Greyhounds (remember my Fire?), and I grew up with a small Bichon-mix. I think I could fall in love with any breed. But outside of that, yes, Shepherds appeal to me for some reason. We butt heads like arch-rivals and match each other like best friends.  It's a recipe for understanding!


Elizabeth Mahlou said...

Thanks for the update. I love German Shepherds. We have owned a German Shepherd, who rescued me as a child when I was lost in the woods. We also owened a Malamute, whose strength was legendary: when I took him for a walk, he walked me! Thanks for sharing your dogs with us.

MJ said...

What an adorable picture!!

chloesmom said...

Love that photo -- and yes, I too love shepherds. Also have a soft spot for Goldens and Labs, along with the dogs from my birthplace, Newfoundlands. Ah heck, I just love dogs!

Mary333 said...

I'm glad Bear did well at his debut. The picture of the two dogs lying next to each other is adorable. German shepherds are beautiful, smart dogs. You seem to be very attuned to a dogs needs and moods, this is a nice gift to have because dogs are AWESOME! Too bad that my little girl is a cat lover :(

Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt said...

Bear is progressing SO well! Great work. You understand him so well.

Charlene said...

Adoro, like it or not, you are Bear's Mommy. You, Bear and your other doggie have bonded. There is no getting around it. If you two have to part, both of you will grieve. He'a such a darling. I do wish you would keep him just because he will be so lost without you and his "sister." He's grown a lot with the two of you. I wish, I wish...but I can't...

Adoro said...

Charlene ~ I can't afford "Bear". Yes, there is bonding, but that takes place always. I've done a lot of work with abused dogs, and in working with real pros, learned how quickly dogs bond.

Dogs live in the moment. Their "bond" isn't the same as a human bond, and breaking it isn't nearly so painful for them as it is for us.

Several years ago I chose to break such a bond, and saw first hand that I was no longer Alpha dog. I saw that the dogs I loved didn't love me as I loved them, for their focus and being was different. It was the recognition of their reality that gave me the ability to let go.

We as humans remember and love our pets and attach to them....they only attach to their Alpha. They are far more fickle than even the most fickle human.

It was a hard lesson for me but one I recall in complete rationality. Bear will do just fine without me, and I'll do just fine without him.

I can't afford him, I can't afford the dog I DO have, and quite honestly, I'm not sure what's going to happen as I don't think Frontline/Heartguard can come even CLOSE to my budget, for my dog and for Bear. And those are very basic items.

I love "Bear", but...he's not my dog. I find it far more honorable to work for an adoptive family than to claim what I want for myself.

And it is I'm at the edge of bankruptcy

I put it in your hands..what is better for "Bear"? To become a member of my home or to be surrendered once again to a foster home? Who will take him if I enter religious life, for if God calls, it is He to whom I respond...not a dog.

No..."Bear" is not my dog nor is that his name. In my home he'll receive affection and friendship and love....but in the home of his true owner he'll receive even more...a real home.

I can't provide that.

If I were to try, I'd be depriving him of his real home.