Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Adopted Dog Update: Pepper

We recently received an update from a Pet Haven dog who was adopted almost 8 years ago ... we LOVE getting updates so please send your updates to us at dogs@pethavenmn.org. Here is an update on Blackie (now Pepper!) .... thanks Raquel for providing Blackie with such a wonderful home!

"It was eight years ago last month that I bought my very own townhouse in St. Louis Park, and nine days later that a 6 1/2-month old black mini-poodle from Pet Haven arrived at my place. He came with the name "Blackie" and the caveat that I could "try him out" due to his severe separation anxiety and habit of wailing for hours like a small child once his human left. It was imperative that his foster mom, Kristin, found a new home for him, even if it was temporary, as her neighbors had complained about his crying while she was away.

I grew up with a mini-poodle and always wanted a dog of my own as an adult, so I was happy to give him a try. Kristin noted that if it didn’t work out I shouldn’t feel bad as he was small, non-shedding and VERY friendly, so he would certainly find a forever home soon.

After our trial period of five days, there was no way possible I could return my new little buddy. I had already fallen hard for him. I consulted a vet about his separation anxiety and with her advice, we worked through his issue naturally. As she suggested, he would learn over time that I would return each day and also recommended dog training to help improve his self-esteem.

Each day when I left for work, I put him in his kennel and set the borrowed video camera to record how he was doing. It was a slow process – my vet noted it would probably take a couple of months, but she was right – soon he was crying less and less, and became more confident and trusting that I would return after my workday was done. Eventually he stopped crying altogether. And lucky for both of us, my neighbors never heard him once.

I renamed him Pepper and we enrolled in dog training school. He was at the top of the class and learned all of the commands very easily, and quickly learned his potty training, too. In addition to the basic commands, he can also roll over (both ways), beg, crawl, high five, gimme 10, and the cutest of all – “head down”, where he lay his head down on your chest like he’s snuggling with you.

Since Pepper’s arrival eight years ago, my husband and I have added three more rescued canines to our pack who were hard-to-place due to their individual situations. Pepper is my resident lap warmer, a big mama's boy, and the pack leader as I believe he knows he’s the oldest and the smartest. We love him and our other crazy canines dearly; they are a great bunch, make us laugh every day, and we really enjoy our unique furry family and spoiling them. I’m not sure what we’d do without them. They have taught us so much.

Thank you, Pet Haven, for the wonderful service you provide to our furry friends and their adoptive families. The world is a much better place for it! "

1 comment:

Evik said...

My wife and four rescue dogs make up my entire family, my life. Our little crew has learned to accept each other for our differences and appreciate our personalities and peculiarities. I can hardly wait till we rescue our next lost soul.