Gotta Love a Rescue Dog

I've had quite a few puppies, but never one like this.

NowThisLife.com - Teddy sits
Teddy, Sit.
Our last three dogs, KD, Kayla and Gracie, came right from cages at the shelter, and all of them were pretty shell shocked from their time there. They had been crammed in with other dogs, in filthy conditions, and both KD and Gracie were dirty and sick. (The shelters are MUCH better now that they were years ago, so please don't let this scare you away...the new Sacramento County Shelter and the SSPCA are beautiful, clean and inviting.)

Also a shelter dog, Teddy lucked out and was rescued by Lynn Howe from A New Hope Animal Foundation and fostered by Kay Gramm-Palmieri, a trainer who worked miracles with him. She snatched him out just before he would have been euthanized, in trouble for being "mouthy." This means he likes to lunge at you with his mouth open, with his teeth able to make contact with your face, instead of just kissing gently.  He's much better now, although he still does it and we'll have to keep working on it. He was with her for foster care for a month and she crate trained him, taught him his basic commands, and socialized him with her four other dogs. He already walks nicely on the leash, sits, stays and comes to you for treats, is learning to roll over, and has only had one little accident in the house. I've never crate trained before, but after seeing it in action with Teddy, I'd never raise a puppy any other way.

Teddy and his foster pals
He's been trained to really like his crate because he gets fed there, gets treats there, and was acclimated to it slowly and carefully so he only has positive associations. Now he's to the point where he'll run in eagerly as soon as I get his food and he goes in at night when he's sleepy and settles in with no trouble. It's always seemed to me that crates were a little cruel, but seeing this guy has changed my mind. He's in a safe, comfy environment, where he can't get into any trouble. No chewed up shoes, no digging under fences, no falling into the pool and drowning, no bathroom accidents. When he comes out of the crate, after doing a quick sit to earn it, he goes right outside and goes potty. Then it's play time. When we go to work, after tiring him out with lots of play, some fun training with treats, and a walk, he goes back in for a nap. My mom has been coming over half way through the day and taking him to her house for a play session and then he comes back to his crate for another nap until I get home.

Teddy and Julie
If you are looking for a dog, please do consider rescue. There are so many amazing dogs, who are just as wonderful as Teddy, waiting for their forever homes. With the internet, I had such an easy time searching for available dogs in the area, viewing their photos, videos and profiles. When we met Teddy, we truly did feel like we already knew him. And I'm just amazed at how different it is having a puppy who has been started out correctly...I keep shaking my head at just how easy he is to live with. Puppies are always cute, but mostly drive you crazy. He's not that way at all.

He's a good boy, super smart, a quick learner and eager to please. He's gotten such a great start...now it's our job to keep him on track so he grows up to be the dog he is so capable of being. Being a pitbull mix, we want him to be a good breed ambassador as well as a loving and well behaved family dog and good canine citizen. Puppy classes with Kay start on April 11th and we'll continue with obedience training after that.

I feel so lucky to have this beautiful puppy and am so happy that our house feels like home again. When we lost Kayla, it felt desolate and so terribly quiet. We miss her, our sweet girl, but it's hard to be sad with this happy, busy boy to take care of. I've known for awhile that another dog was going to come into our lives soon, and I look at Teddy and smile so many times each day because I know that he was the one we were waiting for.

Right now he's stretched out on the bed, napping quietly right beside me. Writing and a happy dog...my bliss.

1 comment:

  1. Aww..I am touched.
    I had adopted my dog three years back and life has changed for good ever since. There's no feeling more overwhelming than having a dog who needed you just as much as you needed him.
    I will be back to hear more of you and teddy.
    Stay Blessed!


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