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Haley – Available for Adoption

Haley – Available for Adoption

Posted on 11 January 2014 by susan9472

Haley – 12/13













Yes, we really think so!   She has come a very long way in the nearly two years SLSR has had her, but it will  have to be a really special home.  Quiet, no children, a securely fenced yard, and at least one other friendly, playful dog because Haley takes many of her cues from other dogs.

The family who adopts Haley will need to understand her history and love her in spite of her quirks, realizing that she may never be a completely what you would call normal dog. She much prefers to be in the  house rather than outside which was not the case when she came to live with her foster mom, and she seems to really like it when people come to visit.  (And loves it when they bring dogs with them.)

She may have quirks, but she is a love!  Quiet, very sweet and gentle, and adorable. When people meet her, they would love to be able to hug and love her right away, and that is one of the difficult things about living with Haley—she isn’t ready for that and may never be.

She is quick to learn by repetition of words.  She has learned that hands can mean good things like petting, massage, and feeding her treats, although still  quite timid about those things.  When she is on a leash, she will walk along when you say “Let’s go, Haley” and does not pull on the leash, but startles easily and will jump away.

Her foster mom would adopt her in a New York minute, if not for circumstances that make it impossible.  The adoption process may take a while, as we feel that multivisits to the adopter’s home and to the foster home for the adopters will make the final placement less stressful for Haley.

If you are interested in meeting our special Sammy girl, click this link: Contact Us

















8/1/13 New Vignette by Haley

CRATE = HOUSE  I have a crate in Jackie’s bedroom, but we call it call my “house.”  It has a nice pad in it, and also my “baby,” a bone-shaped fleece toy with a squeaker in it and a pair of fleece bed socks.  One time when Jackie forgot to pick them up off the floor, I started carrying them around so she gave them to me. I also usually carry my baby out during the day and sometimes, I move it from place to place.  Then she has to find it at night to put back in the crate.  There’s also a small water bowl because when I go in my house at night there’s a Kong with peanut butter it and also some treats and Jackie doesn’t want me to ge thirsty during the night.

When I first came here to live I was made to go in my house every time Jackie left the house, but being a smart little girl, I started refusing to come in the house during the day, and Jackie figured it was because I had to go in my crate sometimes.  So as she tells it, she took a chance on me and didn’t put me in it one day.  I guess I was a good girl because she never put me in it again—at least in the daytime.  I still have to go in at night.  I used to run and hide under the desk, and run around the dining room table or sofa and she had to “herd” me into the bedroom, but now (see, I’m smart again) she says “house, Haley” and I put my tail and ears down, but I do go in.  A couple of nights ago, while she was reading in bed, I sneaked in and put myself to bed all by myself.  Now every night,  while she’s reading, I’m sure she hopes I’ll do it again—and probably I will—when I feel like it.

7/15/13 New Vignette by Haley

So when I found out I could go in and out of the yard, I really liked that, but I didn’t like having Jackie stand too close or be looking at me when I went out or came in.  So I would come up to the stoop, and then circle the yard, and then do it again.  Well, she FINALLY figured that out and would go to the other side of the room and stand with her back to me, and not look at me.  And then I would quietly (I’m very quiet) slip into the house and hurry by her to my little quilted nest.

Now, I have to brag again.  She sits on the arm of a sofa near the door, and I just walk on by going out and coming in, like I’m in charge and I’m just letting her do that.  Once in a while, I still look over my shoulder to make sure she’s still just sitting there and not following me too closely.

Sometimes I think Jackie is pretty silly though.  She has these soft stuffy things in a box—some of them make strange little squeaky noises—and she’ll toss them up in the air and make woofing and barking noises, and then toss one to me.  Of course, I just stand there and look at her, and maybe take a sniff, and then she just sighs and goes away.  But sometimes when a dog friend is over, I do the same things she does, and have a good time.  I just can’t figure out why a human would want to act that way.

She also ties one of the soft things to a rope or leash and walks by me wiggling it—but since I also just look at it and ignore it, she just sighs again and puts it away.  Sometimes I see an egg carton on the floor, and wonder what it is doing there,  So I investigate, pushing the lid up with my nose.  Guess what?  There are  treats in there, so naturally I eat them.  What a strange food bowl that is!!

7/7/13 New Vignette by Haley

Shhhh!  I’ll tell you a secret, but don’t tell Jackie.  When she’s working in the den, or another room, I sneak into the guest room and hop up on the bed to take my naps.  I’m not sure I’m supposed to be there, so when I hear her coming around the corner to the hall, I jump down and run by her, so she won’t catch me.  Now that I’ve been doing it for a while, I don’t run anymore, I just kind of trot because she never yells at me or anything.

Funny thing though, the bedspread is quilted, and all of a sudden one day, a smooth lightweight cover appeared over the bedspread.  I think I heard her tell somebody that it was a sheet so I wouldn’t get the spread dirty or get dog hair on it.

6/28/13 New Vignette by Haley

So when I first came to live with people, I didn’t want to be near them at all.  I wouldn’t take treats from anybody, and would just pace or run around the loveseat in the living room where I had made my little nest in an old quilt.  And I wouldn’t want you to think I’m perfect now, but when people offer me treats, I do take them very gently from their fingers—that’s assuming I like them.  Since I never go hungry anymore, I’m kind of selective.  And then when there’s another of my dog friends here, I just crowd right up to the table and beg with them.  As far as treats are concerned, Jackie was very excited when I actually ate a bite of hamburger in front of her because I usually take it to my quilt because I’m still in the habit of worrying that someone will take it.

6/20/13 New Vignette by Haley

Oh, yes, this is really important!  I want everyone to know that I really like other dogs, especially puppies, and want to play with them.  When I was at  Westinn Kennel, they let me go out and have playtime with the other dogs all the time. I also had a very special friend.  Elinor was only a ten-week-old Great Pyrenees pup when I met her, but it was love at first sight.  Now she is a year old and very big, but when I have to go to the kennel, Elinor and and I play just like we did when she was only a pup.

Now my foster mom invites her friends and their dogs over to play pretty often.  I really feel more comfortable with other dogs around and sort of learn what to do from them .  I have two Cardigan Corgi friends, Gus and Lily; a Clumber Spaniel friend, Poppy, and five Samoyed friends, Josie, Sammy D,. Murphy, Connor,and Rori.  Josie even came to spend a whole week with me and once Poppy and her mom stayed for eight days.  Well, I just wanted you to know that when I go to my forever home, I would love to have one or two playmates.


6/17/13 New Vignette by Haley

I was only about 35 pounds when I came to St. Louis.  Mary had put some weight on me, but I was still kind of skinny and always hungry!  I ate every bite of food anyone gave me—except I didn’t like the treats.  But I liked the cheap dog food that Jackie referred to as my “junk food” so I got pieces of that for treats.  Then we discovered the small Milkbone Marrow Bones—oh, my, they are still my favorites.  Jackie calls those “candy,” and I will usually come from anywhere to get my candy.  It’s usually reserved for when she leaves me home and goes away—or after my dinner for dessert.

But now I am over 50 pounds and since I don’t lick my bowl clean regularly, I notice it’s not quite as full as it was, and I am on something called “a diet.”  I’ve learned to eat little pieces of chicken, hamburger, steak, and even bits of pork chop.  Once I even ate a piece of scrambled egg—but I picked it up and put it down three times before I really ate it.

6/14/13 Update:

Haley’s foster mom, Jackie, has submitted wonderful vignettes of Haley’s progress in her home.  We will post them here regularly as updates.

Vignettes by Haley

When I first came to Jackie’s house, everything was new again. So I paced and paced in her backyard.  Around and around I went until I wore a path completely around the yard and through the periwinkle and the euonymus.  I’m proud to say that I hardly ever do that anymore and most of the grass has grown back and the periwinkle and euonymus are thriving!!

Then I found that I could stay out in the yard and didn’t just have to go out and potty and come back in.  So I found my hidey place in a corner of the yard and would curl up and snooze.  I even found a  place where I could go behind some big vines, and Jackie couldn’t see me very well—the first time this happened she was really worried that I had managed to escape somehow.

1/31/13 Update:

Haley’s been with us not quite a year and a half. She came to us from a puppy mill is Missouri by way of National Mill Dog Rescue in Colorado.  She’s now about 6 years old and still very shy and wary.  She’s also very healthy, spayed and up-to-date on her vaccinations and tests.  She’s come a long way and we’re proud of each of her breakthroughs.  She has been fostering with Jackie Parchman since October 18, and before that with Mary Riggs.

She’s happiest when playing with other dogs, especially puppies, and when she has company, she’s much more like a normal dog.  She seems to need another dog to show her how to live with people in a house.  I’ve taken my female Sammy, Josie, over to play several times, and Haley is beside herself with joy! She’s come from leaning as far away from a human as possible to venturing close enough to take a treat from our hands. She’s still not ready to come up for petting or cuddling. Truth be told, she may never be. But if you want or have to touch her for any reason, she will stand still for you.


1/9/13  Updates Coming Soon

In August of 2011, three female Samoyeds, 1 year, 2 years and 5 years old were picked up from a puppy miller in Mt. Vernon, MO by National Mill Dog Rescue. They were taken to Colorado Springs for vet care and evaluation. The two younger Sammies stayed in Colorado with Denver Samoyed Rescue. The older female, now named Haley, came to us.

Haley is a beautiful Sammy girl. She weighs about 35 lbs. When you see her, the first thing you want to do is pet her and hug her and tell her that she’s adorable. But you can’t because that’s the very last thing that Haley wants done to her. In fact, the greatest reward you can give is your absence. The truth is that she’s feral and it’s going to take a lot of time, patience, and caring to bring her to the point that she wants to be part of a world with humans in it.

She had begun her socialization process at Misfit Rehab and was making some “little baby steps” with learning to accept walking on a leash. She was joining in on the morning and afternoon walks and not fighting it too much.

Unfortunately, she contracted an infection in her intestines which put a halt to her progress.  After several weeks of medical tests, the correct medicine was found, and she’s now doing very well. She will have to be on this medication for her lifetime. She will be going back to Misfit to continue her learning and socialization with humans.

Haley has a long way to go and we’re very optimistic that she can break through and actually want to be with people.

Samoyeds with serious health and/or behavioral problems are a challenge.  The cost for rehabilitation is high, sometimes up to several thousand dollars per dog for these special needs cases.

Your tax deductible donation will help Haley along her road to recovery as well as all of the Samoyeds in our care.  Your donation goes towards veterinary care, boarding, food, professional training, and grooming expenses.

Would you consider donating today?  It’s simple, click on the “Donate” link at the top of the page, and select a donation amount of your choosing.  Every dollar helps.

Thank you, from all of us at St. Louis Samoyed Rescue

Comments (3)

SLSR Supporter – The Bark Bakery

SLSR Supporter – The Bark Bakery

Posted on 23 February 2013 by susan9472

Please take a minute to visit our new business partner, The Bark Bakery, a farm bakery located in Pennsylvania. All of their biscuits are custom made to order from fresh organic ingredients, healthy herbs and vitamin-rich fruits. We receive a 10% donation on each order.

Adoption coordinator Sue Kabler ordered Nick’s Naturals Signature Biscuit and her Josie loves them!

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Just For Fun: The Adventures Of Hyperdog

Posted on 31 January 2013 by susan9472

This story was written and photographed by a friend of an SLSR member.  Enjoy!

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New Book Featuring SLSR Dogs!

New Book Featuring SLSR Dogs!

Posted on 09 January 2013 by susan9472

Special news to announce, essays written by 3 SLSR members, Susan Wheeler, Carolyn Herkstroeter, and Suzanne Devaney, have been selected for publication in a new book titled, “Lost Souls: Found! Inspiring Stories About Northern-Breed Dogs.”

Happy Tails Books shares part of the proceeds from their publications with animal rescue groups.  (Mention St. Louis Samoyed Rescue on the order screen for the credit to be applied.)


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Spirit of St. Louis Samoyed Club

Posted on 20 November 2012 by susan9472

We invite you to visit the Spirit of St. Louis Samoyed Club’s web site.

SLSR and the Club co-sponsor the annual Canine Games at Purina Farms.

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Deadly Disease

Posted on 24 July 2011 by admin

Author: Sharon Mathers–Shared by Jeannine Kerr
From August 2002 issue of NCOTC On Lead

There is a deadly disease stalking your dog, a hideous,
stealthy thing just waiting its chance to steal your
beloved friend. It is not a new disease, or one for which
there are inoculations. The disease is called “Trust”.

You knew before you ever took your puppy home that it
could not be trusted. The breeder who provided you
with this precious animal warned you, drummed it into
your head. Puppies steal off counters, destroy anything
expensive, chase cats, take forever to house train, and
must never be allowed off lead!

When the big day finally arrived, heeding the sage
advice of the breeder, you escorted your puppy to his
new home, properly collared and tagged, the lead held
tightly in your hand.

At home the house was “puppy-proofed”. Everything of
value was stored in the spare bedroom, garbage stowed
on top of the refrigerator, cats separated, and a gate
placed across the living room to keep at least one part of
the house puddle free. All windows and doors had been
properly secured, and sign placed in all strategic points
reminding all to “Close the door!”

Soon it becomes second nature to make sure the door
closes nine tenths of a second after it was opened and
that it is really latched. “Don’t let the dog out” is your
second most verbalized expression. (The first is “No!”)
You worry and fuss constantly, terrified that your darling
will get out and disaster will surely follow. Your friends
comment about who you love most, your family or the
dog. You know that to relax your vigil for a moment
might lose him to you forever.

And so the weeks and months pass, with your puppy
becoming more civilized every day, and the seeds of
trust are planted. It seems that each new day brings
less destruction, less breakage. Almost before you
know it, your gangly, slurpy puppy has turned into an
elegant, dignified friend.

Now that he is a more reliable, sedate companion, you
take him more places. No longer does he chew the
steering wheel when left in the car. And darned if that
cake wasn’t still on the counter this morning. And, oh
yes, wasn’t that the cat he was sleeping with so cozily on
your pillow last night?

At this point you are beginning to become infected, the
disease is spreading its roots deep into your mind.
And then one of your friends suggest obedience classes,
and, after a time you even let him run loose from the car
into the house when you get home. Why not, he always
runs straight to the door, dancing a frenzy of joy and
waits to be let in. And, remember he comes every time
he is called. You know he is the exception that
disproves the rule. (And sometimes late at night you
even let him slip out the front door to go potty and then
right back in.)

Years pass—it is hard to remember why you ever
worried so much when he was a puppy. He would never
think of running out the door left open while you bring in
the packages from the car. It would be beneath his
dignity to jump out the window of the car while you run
into the convenience store. And when you take him for
those wonderful long walks at dawn, it only takes one
whistle to send him racing back to you in a burst of
speed when the walk comes too close to the highway.
(He still gets in the garbage, but nobody is perfect!)
This is the time the disease has waited for so patiently.
Sometimes it only has to wait a year or two, but often it
takes much longer. He spies the neighbor dog across
the street, and suddenly forgets everything he ever knew
about not slipping out doors, jumping out windows or
coming when called due to traffic. Perhaps it was only a
paper fluttering in the breeze, or even just the sheer joy
of running…

Stopped in an instant. Stilled forever—Your heart is
broken at the sight of his still, beautiful body. The
disease is trust. The final outcome, hit by a car.
Every morning my dog bounced around off lead
exploring. Every morning for seven years he came back
when he was called. He was perfectly obedient,
perfectly trustworthy. He died fourteen hours after being
hit by a car.

Please do not risk your friend and your heart. Save the
trust for things that do not matter.
Please read this every year on your puppy’s
birthday, lest we forget.

From Samoyed Update Volume 4, Issue 5
September-October, 2002

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Cotton Candy

Posted on 24 July 2011 by admin

Jennifer found this touching story and wanted to share it with us.

Cotton Candy
(aka Fairy Floss in Australia)

The smell is delicately sweet like the personality of a Sammy.

A Samoyed’s love is like the soft fluffy touch of cotton candy fresh out of the machine.

The thought of cotton candy evokes memories of carnivals and circuses from days long past; memories so similar to the memories of my first Sammy of a lifetime ago;

~the joy and excitement…of them coming to town…of coming home each day to a Sammy so happy to see me again;

~the thrill and awe…of the great feats of skill and strength of the performers…of the tricks and games and the obvious intelligence of the Sammy;

~the disappointment and sadness…when they packed up and left town…when my beloved Sammy took her last breath and quietly died in my arms.

by Alan R. Thompson, in memory of Princess

Samoyed Update Vol. 5, Issue 4
July-August, 2003
Jennifer is a Junior Member of the Spirit of St. Louis
Samoyed Club

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Missing dog to do list

Posted on 24 July 2011 by admin

Things to do now before an emergency

  • Be sure dog is microchipped
  • Be sure chip reads properly — your vet should test the scan
  • Be sure microchip company has current contact info– especially cell phones
  • Have current pix of your dog…both as it normally looks and dirty, grubby, muddy, wet, etc. (Think how the dogs will look if on their own for a couple of days or longer.)
  • Check collar and tags for current info.
  • Consider buying a collar that has the dog’s name and phone # printed, or a slide-on tag less likely to snag and pull off.
  • Padlock your gates and keep them locked
  • Have a current list of necessary phone numbers handy

Things to do in a missing dog emergency

  • Unlock and open your gates so they can come back in and home
  • Think like your dog: alert neighbors, other dog walkers etc in your immediate vicinity to which he/she might go and ask them to help
  • Ask neighbors if they have seen the Animal Control patrol vans in the area
  • Walk, drive, ride bikes around your vicinity calling, singing — use your voice so they can hear you
  • * Be sure to take leashes and treats and cell phone
  • Take another dog with you if possible, and enlist the aid of other dog walkers you normally meet on your walks
  • If you spot your dog and he won’t come, lie down or sit down and scream, howl or make weird noises to make them come investigate

Within the hour

  • Alert the microchip company
  • Alert your city or town animal control
  • Alert your vet
  • Alert neighboring city animal controls
  • Put food and water out on backyard patio or porch
  • If you think your dog was stolen, notify police


After a few hours

  • Print pix and post and distribute to every vet in the area; post on telephone poles, at grocery stores, near schools.
  • Visit the local city shelters and take your flyer with photos.
  • Enlist the aid of local Scout groups and kids — kids always notice the dogs and dogs are more likely to go up to them than adults
  • Enlarge the search zone by alerting local rescue groups; ;; Craigslist
  • Ask local bus drivers, UPS and FedEx drivers, meter readers, lawn workers – anyone who is going through your and adjacent neighborhoods to watch. Give them your cell phone number and treats for the dog.

Every day

  • Visit shelters regularly. Shelter people do not necessarily recognize breeds well, and you shouldn’t rely on strangers to recognize your dog, especially if he’s now so dirty and matted he looks more like a coyote.

Make the poster / flyer

  • Use pictures
  • Use dog’s name
  • Mention microchip
  • Use a phone number that has voice mail and caller ID if possible (will help if you get weird calls from people who may have stolen your dog or try to scam you out of reward money. Yes, they’re out there)
  • Mention infirmities, medications etc the dog needs. This may encourage someone who has the dog to call you or turn it in
  • Some say its best not to offer a reward for safe return. If you choose to, do not list an amount

Aside — Most of the above assumes the dog is a runaway, having dashed out of the door, dug out of the back yard etc. I recently found out we had a dognapper in our neighborhood that would snatch dogs and sell them at a local flea market for cash. Know your neighbors!

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Grapes and Raisins Can Be Dangerous

Posted on 24 July 2011 by admin

By Christine Wilford, DVM
Printed with permission of the AKC Gazette Vol.118, 10, p26
(as seen in OnLead, NCOTC, Nov. 2001)

Concern is being expressed about dogs that suffered
apparent kidney failure after ingesting grapes or raisins.
In the May 15, 2001 issue of the Journal of the American
Veterinary Medical Association, a letter to the editor
described preliminary observations of five dogs that had
ingested large quantities of grapes and five that had
ingested large quantities of raisins. All developed
serious medical problems. Information on the dogs was
obtained after a review of the cases in the computerized
database of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center in
Urbana, IL. The estimated amount of grape or raisins
ingested was known in only four of the 10 dogs. In those
dogs, it ranged from 9 ounces to 2 pounds. When the
body weight of the dog was considered, the “dose”
ranged between roughly 1 to 2.5 ounces per pound of
dog’s body weight.

Of the dogs who ate grapes, three ate red, seedless
grapes. The grapes came from several sources,
including grape crushings and fermented grapes from
wineries. The raisins involved were mostly from various
commercial brands of sundried raisins. In all reports,
vomiting began within the first few hours after ingestion.
Most dogs vomited or defecated partially digested
grapes or raisins. Loss of appetite, diarrhea, lethargy
and signs of abdominal pain were also reported. Not all
dogs exhibited all symptoms. Signs continued for
anywhere from several days to three weeks.

Laboratory findings were consistent with sudden onset of
kidney failure. Abnormal blood values developed in
most of the dogs within 24 hours to several days after
ingestion, including elevated levels of calcium,
phosphorus, BUN (blood-urea-nitrogen) and creatinine.
Abnormally decreased urine output and inability to
produce urine was reported in 5 dogs. Some dogs
produced abnormally dilute urine. Two dogs died and
three were euthanized because treatment was

Five dogs recovered after aggressive treatment, which
lasted up to three weeks in some cases. Intensive
treatment included intravenous fluid therapy, along with
medications to support remaining kidney function. One
dog underwent dialysis and recovered completely.
Microscopic examination of kidney tissue from one dog
revealed abnormalities, but those abnormalities were not
severe enough to explain the degree of clinical disease
experienced by the dog. At the time of publishing, the
results of screening tests for the presence of
contaminants in the dogs’ blood were negative, but the
results of some tests were not available yet.

Although no specific scientific reports have been
published, and there is currently no definitive
explanation, the authors advise that the ingestion of
significant quantities of grapes or raisins is a serious
situation and should be managed aggressively. If
ingestion is known to have occurred, try to prevent the
digestion and absorption of the grapes or raisins. To do
this, vomiting should be induced, the stomach should be
pumped, and activated charcoal should be initiated.
Fluid administration to maintain kidney function should
continue for at least 48 hours. Blood work should be
evaluated for at least 72 hours to monitor for the
development of kidney failure.

It is not certain what caused renal failure in these dogs.
Possible cause include mold toxins, high amounts of
vitamin D3, contamination with pesticides, heavy metals
or other environmental toxins, or some other unknown
toxin within the grape or raisin itself. Investigation into
this matter will continue.

Christine Wilford received her doctorate of veterinary
medicine from Texas A & M University.
She practices in Seattle (Reprinted from AMSCOP)
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Several e-mails have contained the same or similar
The following is from an item forwarded by a member of
the Samsmiles group:
“The ASPCA-run Animal Poison Control Center is
working hard to get the word out to people that raisins
and grapes are both considered toxic to dogs now.”

“They have a poison hotline – 888-4-ANIHELP (yes,
there is an extra digit there but never mind—this will help
you remember the number). They do charge for
immediate crisis poison counseling, but do NOT charge
people who call to provide information about a case, and
they are grateful for the data. So anyone who is quite
sure they’ve had a death caused by this, please contact
the center and provide the details.”

Samoyed Update Volume 4, Issue 4
July-August, 2002

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Bonding with the Adult Rescue Dog

Posted on 24 July 2011 by admin

© By Charlotte Mielziner
Member, APDT
Certified in Canine Behavior, Purdue University
Rally Judge, AKC and MBDC

Carolyn was frustrated. The lovely 6 year old Samoyed she fell in love with and brought home was not the affectionate, loyal companion she had expected. In all fairness, he was housebroken, gentle with the cat and walked well on lead, but it was something else. He would come forward for a treat, take it and back away. In the evenings, he would lay behind a rocker in the corner and stare at her as only Samoyeds can. He approached her when he wanted her to throw a tennis ball or to go out, but not for comfort. He frankly seemed better friends with the cat than her. Why didn’t he seem to like Carolyn?
The species from which dogs descended, the wolf closes its socialization window around the age of four to six months and rarely allows anyone else in their circle of friends for the rest of its life. Luckily, the dog remains pliable enough in its emotional makeup to bond at any age, but it can take longer once they are an adult. How long? It depends on many different factors. The age of the dog, its prior experiences, temperament, the new caretaker’s ability to provide leadership and consistent interaction. We cannot predict how and when a dog will finally bond with their new owner. Sometimes, they give their hearts with the first bowl of kibble, or it may take months. Be patient, there are things you can do to assist this process.

  1. Be the stable thing in your dog’s environment. Be the one person he can count on being there. Take him everywhere you can take a dog. Walk in the park today, stroll down a nature trail tomorrow and errands the next day. You must be the predictable thing he can count on. Become a pack of two, dedicated to each other in all life’s adventures.
  2. Take an obedience class. Even when your dog seems like he pays good attention and obeys basic commands, an obedience class is the single best method to help new owners learn to communicate and bond with their dog. It is also the safest venue to begin socializing your dog with other dogs. In just a few weeks, dogs go from lunging, barking whirlwinds of energy to calmer, focused partners with their handlers. An obedience trained dog is welcome in more places and has greater freedom in the home. The owner learns to focus on what the dog should do, not what they are doing wrong. But, be careful to whom you go. Work only with dedicated, professional positive motivation trainers.
  3. Use a house lead to keep in contact with your dog. A house lead is a six to ten foot lead that attaches to a buckle collar, not a training or prong collar, you always hold the other end, step on it, or tie to your belt. Many rescue dogs may spend a lot of time by themselves, in a crate or under a chair. It is as if they don’t feel welcome yet. Keep the dog on lead as many hours as possible and he is to go with you where ever you go in the house. If he is napping and you want a drink of water, he goes with you. A house lead is also a wonderful tool for helping the dog stay out of trouble until he learns the house rules.
  4. Touch your dog and speak to him as often as possible. The need for touch is just now being recognized for its comfort and as a method of unspoken reassurance. Stroke him as you put a bowl of kibble down, as you put on the lead and before you give him a treat. Bathe or brush him yourself, talking all the while about what a great dog he is. Make physical contact from you a pleasant thing by finding his favorite itchy spots and giving them a good scratch. You may even sit on the floor with him for a while each evening and give him a nice massage.
  5. Play with your dog. This does not mean sitting in a lounge chair and throwing a tennis ball for two minutes while you watch TV. Get up and move, give the dog your full attention. You may try having several tennis balls and as the dog goes for one, turn and run a few steps and throw another. Playing means getting a really good game of tug going, smiling, laughing and moving around with it. Truly have a good time playing and your dog will too.

Carolyn wisely chose to put all five of these tips into play. Some adopters can tell the moment their dog realizes he is truly in his forever home. She does not know when her dog finally bonded with her, but he did. She does remember the first time she said his name and he wagged his tail, “I knew we were on the right track!” He looks to her for reassurance, leadership and just plain fun. She thinks in this case, it was a process that took place over time. She says, “We sort of bonded with each other.” Trust grew and a real friendship between Carolyn and her dog evolved.

Today, Carolyn proudly states she regularly takes her Samoyed to a local nursing home as a therapy dog. Each morning, he watches closely as she gets ready for the day and waits for her gentle kiss on his nose. He dozes in the evenings with his head on her foot, so that when his special human moves he can be there, living a good life forever with his best friend.

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