Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Teddy Stays

The Junkyard Dog is still in my garage.

Without an appropriate foster home to bring him to, the rescue coordinator began to scrounge for a place to keep him. She found a place for Teddy The Junkyard Dog at a boarding kennel.

Meanwhile, my friend Amber and I were working with Teddy.

Amber has worked with dogs (and cats, birds, goats, chicks, baby ducks, rabbits, and ponies) her whole life. She just has a natural connection with all animals. Her methods are all based on her instincts and her experiences. I've learned invaluable practical techniques and timing from her. She is always open to hearing new research, comparing it to what she knows, and deciding if she thinks it will work. While we may differ on some of our approaches and philosophies regarding dog training, we complement each other.

We preformed a series of temperament tests and challenges for Teddy. Like his first night here, we listened to what Teddy had to say.

He's a fast learner. He is a resource guarder. He wants to be friends with other dogs but doesn't know how. He has been hit and kicked. He is still about 18 months old. He loves belly rubs. He has never been on a walk. He was attacked by another dog at least a year ago. He has not been to a vet before yesterday. He has not had rules. He has been poked with a stick or rod or something in that shape. His collar has been at the same size for at least three months. He hasn't had a bath in at least six months, if ever. He is a people pleaser and wicked smart. He's confused, but happy here.

When I got the call that the only place to take him was to a kennel, I was torn. Teddy does not know how to live with other dogs, so this isn't the best place for him. But it is better than a kennel. In my experience, Teddy doesn't have too much time left before some of these negative learned behaviors become compulsions that will be very difficult to fix. What is the point of saving a dog's life if his life is going to be limited to a cage, shelter shock, and developing neurosis?

Teddy is staying here.

This makes things a little difficult. I have to rotate shifts between Ollie and Marshall's outside time and Teddy's. Teddy is crated in the heated garage any time he isn't outside. (Amber joked that maybe that is a good thing. Perhaps the smells of motor oil and returnable beer cans make him feel more 'at home'.) In the garage we work on resource guarding, "leave it", and crate training basics like getting in and sitting nicely while the door is being opened or shut, and snuggling and pets to help make the crate his happy place.

Sit, Teddy. Stay. At least for a little while.

1 comment:

  1. Teddy's Petfinder ID # is 15638501
    Contact Paws For Life at for an adoption application or more information.