Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Transport Tale - Joey!

Oh my goodness what an adventure!

Joey - One happy and loving lil guy!

First, let me just give a shout out to Google Maps, ... I hate you!    >.>

It took me 2 HOURS to make up for the crap directions which were supposed to take 15 minutes...
Thank you to the gas station attendant, the lady at 7-11, and the 2 other vet clinics who helped me get to my location. (I think I need to invest in a GPS...)

When I finally got to the vet to pick up Joey he was all ready to go. Freshly groomed and bouncing around like a fluffy ping-pong ball, Joey just wanted to run, a lot! Then we discovered our little hitch... no leash and no collar. We made a make-shift collar/leash combo out of the one I keep in my car (for emergencies) and went for a walk before hopping into the car. I figured out a brilliant way to keep him secure, carabiner hook and the metal loop in the back of my car (for bungee cables) used to make an easy to open hook. I secured the handle of the leash in it and he could walk freely but not move past the center console, so he stayed out of my way while driving, but could be comfortable and put his little head on my shoulder when he wanted a pat. He is so sweet with people. Very playful and loving and he truly desires your attention!

Joey in the car sporting his new collar!
We paused at Walgreens just long enough for me to literally run in, ask which aisle for dog collars/leashes, grab one, swipe the card and run back to Joey, who seemed a little concerned as to why I'd left him in the car but was thrilled when he got to try on his new collar. He spent a moment enjoying the new feeling, then returned bouncing.

Once we hit the highway Joey was very calm and would occasionally get up, check that I was still driving, stare at a few other drivers, who stared back, and then he'd lay back down. When I cracked out a few crackers (breakfast!) He got very excited, but when he realized I couldn't share, he just lay down and chilled. No whining, No crying, just relaxed and calm.

When we finally arrived, the first order of business was some run time, and he loved stretching his legs. Then it came time for introductions. Mark brought out Hershey (sweet and gentle old chocolate lab) to meet him first and Joey immediately froze, tensed up, and growled. Lynne, Mark and I all had the same thought and all voiced it, "Ohhh crap this is gonna be interesting...." Joey was now meeting his new foster pack... and was immediately demonstrating no desire to share his new space.

Joey is great with people but isn't socialized, and because of this, is a little stressed when he deals with dogs. Mark carefully negotiated introductions, which took some time (45 minutes for the 3 member pack to meet Joey) but soon Joey was able to be around all 3 while on a lead, no growling, no tension, just observing.

To understand Joey's behavior, imagine you are Joey, who "speaks Spanish" and all the sudden 3 new faces are all speaking English to him (dog language) a language he doesn't understand. They are walking up to him, asking him about who he is, getting in his space, and he can't communicate that he isn't comfortable with this. So he gets upset, which is universal. Mark helped Joey learn dog, and by the end of the hour, Joey had graduated to ESL (English as a second language) and was learning how to play, who was dominant, and how to speak dog. Mark's dogs were amazing at helping Joey learn, and tolerated his outbursts very well. When he'd try to be dominant, they'd turn it into play, when he got tense they'd give him his space until he could handle it. If anyone could help Joey, it is Mark and his pack! He's like the Caesar Millan of Dog Liberator.
Meeting the kids

Joey's next test was meeting the kids. He was very good with meeting the little boy, but when the little girl came out something became very apparent. He'd had a little girl once. His eyes warmed, his posture melted into a happy pose and he wagged from nose to tail. I don't know much about Joey, but I know he likes kids, and misses his little girl. I almost cried seeing him and can only imagine how painful it had to be to be given up, and lose "his people."
Think he's a little happy?

Joey taught me 2 important things:

1. Always have a strong leash and collar with you
            He broke the "in case of emergencies " one when he jumped out of the car!
            Glad I bought him a second at Walgreens!

2. Never give up on a dog.
            Joey fought off Heart worms
            Learned how to be a dog in an hour
           Overcame the loss of his family and stress of the kennel.
           Came back from being very underweight
           and is STILL able to love people again & learn to be a functioning dog, even when we had our doubts.

__________ Click any of the following pictures for a larger version! __________

------------- Before my Visit -------------
From D.L. Page - Skinny lil guy

From D.L. Page
From D.L. Page- waiting for his forever home

From D.L. Page - Anyone wanna bet he'll be able to get away with murder?
------------- During my Visit -------------

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