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 Bringing Home Gus 
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So a few of you know I have been trying to adopt a dog and asked me to post about it. It ended up being a completely different experience than I had expected lol

I started by looking around a lot at local shelters. Some of them have a really insane adoption procedure where you have to have in-home visits, follow ups, screening and other things. I was waiting for even a single call back and was kind of frustrated with the whole thing. I finally just walked into a different shelter (this one was not a no-kill shelter), walked to the counter and said to the woman, I want to adopt a dog. She smiled at me and said 'ok, do you have one in mind?' I said I didn’t, I had looked at so many dogs recently I wasn’t even sure who was in which shelter anymore so she told me to go ahead in and look.

I walked up and down the aisles, kennel after kennel reading the descriptions. They all looked great, there were a lot that said ‘already adopted’ and some that because of high prey drive, I couldn’t bring home with my cats. None of them really matched what I was looking for though.

Then I got to Gus, a part shepherd, part Shar pei mix. I had seen him online as a potential because of his temperament, he was more calm. They had more information on the papers in front of his kennel, he was 6 years old. He was laying on his bed quietly just kind of looking sad. They brought a large dog out for a walk and every other dog in the place jumped up to bark, except him. I walked down the rest of the way then came back. By now, he was up and walking around but still acting calm.

I went back out to the front and asked about him. They had me fill out an application then told me I could take Gus for a walk if I wanted, I said I would love to. They brought him out and we got started. He was not good on a leash at all lol but he was a sweet boy. When I got back, I went to sit in a room and interact with him for a bit. He put his head in my lap and looked up at me. I noticed that one side of his skull was flat, it looked like someone hit him in the head with something, enough to actually crush part of his skull :( he also had some scars on him as well.

I returned him to the trainers and they took him back in. They said he had come in as a stray and had separation anxiety. I told them I had a cat with separation anxiety so I had dealt with that before. They also told me he came into the shelter with a skin condition and needed a special diet and regular flea treatments because he may have a flea allergy. I said that wasn’t an issue either. My cat (the one who had separation anxiety) also had to be on a special diet so this was another thing I was prepared for and ok with.

They gave me more on his history, they didn’t know too much except he had come in as a stray and said they would put a hold on him for me for the next two days. If I was interested, call them and they would tell me when to come back as they couldn’t process the paper work right then. This would also give me time to think about it.

I left, though I had already made up my mind. I was apparently the first and only person to ask about him and I just had a feeling he was the one. I later found out he had been there for almost 3 months.

I couldn’t bring him back home without getting stuff so I figured I would go back the next day after getting the house ready. I did in fact call the next day, went and got him a bed, special food, a brush and other things. They said he didn’t really like playing with toys, he was more interested in following people around. I got him a squeaky ball because it seemed right and the rest of the toys I wasn’t sure of. I figured as I got to know him I would figure out what he likes, if anything.

I picked him up from the shelter and he was not super thrilled to be in the car. It took a good 10-20 minutes before I got him to calm down enough so I could drive. He kept trying to get into the front seat with me and was very stressed. By the time I got home, he was very upset and it got even more crazy. There was an incident with someone else’s dog out in my yard before I brought him in and I was in tears by the end of it.

I was sitting on my cedar chest in my living room, crying and wondering if I could handle him. He was stressed too but had come over and put his head in my lap and was licking my hand.

I had no idea what to do, when I got some help: Akelta the dog whisperer :lol: she came down to help me and took charge of the situation. All of the behaviors I had no idea how to handle she had an answer for. Soon we were running around my yard, tried to take him for a walk through the neighborhood then ended up going around a track at nearby school yard. Gus was really wound up and would not lay down. He had a lot of behaviors that would need training to correct but there was hope. Akelta showed me how to handle him, how to use positive reinforcement and gave me a lot of amazing tips and information.

Gus wouldn’t lay down the first day. We finally (after HOURS) managed to tire him out. He laid down but you could tell he was afraid. He would start to doze off, then snap awake and try to sit up. I was so worried he wouldn’t ever be comfortable, though Akelta told me he would and that he was nervous because I was nervous. This was kind of a wake up call for me. He was mirroring my energy and he was already attached to me even though it had only been a few hours. She said he knew I had rescued him and honestly after what we had already been through that afternoon, it made sense. I grew up with dogs but never had one that I was solely responsible for or that was 'mine'. I didn't know if anything like this could happen that quickly.

I listened to everything she said and followed her instructions exactly. By the end of the day she had him sitting (most of the time lol) on command and not pulling as much on the leash. I also found out he is amazing at fetch. He chases the ball then brings it back over and drops it right at your feet to throw it again. The squeaky ball was the perfect choice <333 I think he probably didn't play much at the shelter because he was probably nervous and stressed.

Today (the second day with me and just a little over 24 hours later) he is now a lot more relaxed. I am working on the separation anxiety and working to get him to be more independent and confident. It’s going to take some work, but I am so happy I got him. I have him sitting and shaking paws (he’s not 100% but he’s doing it). He is also really smart… when he wants a treat he will do tricks without me even asking LOL he came over and sat in front of me and gave me his paw and I was like, oh you want a treat now, don’t you?

He also does this really cute thing when he is curious where he cocks his head sideways. And he’s laying down and relaxing! The first day he wouldn't lay down at all and wouldn't even get on his bed, but today he is so much more relaxed.

He’s such a cute puppy, I love him so much. Thank you Akelta the dog whisperer, for helping me ^-^

Ok picture time... That face <333

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Finally on his bed hehehe

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All sacked out, he is definitely relaxed now :lol:

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He's such a handsome boy <333

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Sat May 13, 2017 7:08 pm
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awwweeee what a precious sweetie!


Sat May 13, 2017 7:09 pm
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Congrats Eilana He's Beautiful hope you two Will be Very happy Together :cloud:

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Sat May 13, 2017 7:12 pm
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Oh this post makes me so happy!! It is very difficult to being home a dog from the pound after 2 months. Most of them by that time have shit down and merely exist. His will gain confidence through you and will be a totally different dog in 2 weeks time. It sounds like you're already doing amazing work with him. I'm sorry your first day was so rocky but you stuck through it and don't think Gus doesn't notice. He's a handsome fellow and will be a loyal friend. I'm glad you have support too from Akelta. This is where' it takes a village phrase comes from. We all stick together for that common goal, right now to help you both adjust. When I'm on my computer I'll share an adoption story with you that ended up so sweet. I can't type for crap in my phone. Enojoy your time bonding with your new family member.


Sat May 13, 2017 8:07 pm
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Awww what a big puppy


Sat May 13, 2017 9:30 pm
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For each and every picture, I awww'ed the whole way through! Look at those precious innocent eyes....awwww

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Sun May 14, 2017 1:36 am
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He's a beautiful dog....and those gorgeous pleading eyes! He wants to be loved, wants a pack leader to make sure he is cared for and okay. Someone to give him a family and set some limits. I did not know Akelta was so good with animals! :D I am so glad you brought him home. He got the perfect human, and he will learn and grow calm and confident by seeing his master calm and confident! He is a little like a Demon. You will get out what work you put into your relationship a hundredfold!

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Sun May 14, 2017 4:42 am
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Back on my computer where I can type. I shared Trey's picture and a little info before. He was the huge doberman boy. When his mom was dying she yelled at him and hit him thinking he was not her dog and was going after her. He never left her side. He watched her body get taken away, her belongings and finally he was taken away from his home and everybody he knew. When we got him in my son's room, where he would be staying to recover, we couldn't walk in without him lunging at us. I had to walk in literally backwards without looking at him and slip a lead on him to get him outside to potty. Very very slowly increasing my interaction until I was on the bed and he put half his body up there with me and laid down on my legs. Ahhh, sweet success. He bonded with my son also pretty quickly. BUT, he always had that I can get in your personal space, you can't get in mine mentality, and we just had to learn that was just him, and love him for it.

He went up to Ohio to a rescue that is wonderful with placing senior dogs. He was loved by his foster family until somebody finally found the shine in his ruff. Hehe. His adoptive mom brought him home and called back 3 days later saying how she just couldn't do it. She couldn't get through to him and he obviously didn't trust her and didn't like her. We told her what to expect, but I guess she didn't believe it. We begged her, give him 2 weeks. Gave her instructions on how to slowly break through on his own terms. By that time if you still can't bond with him we'll come get him. She agreed. It didn't take that long. She found HIS way to make him comfortable, confident, learn to trust her, bond with her, love her. She knew she succeeded when he came to her while she was crying and plopped his baby down on her lap. They say dogs live in the moment and after fostering too many to count dogs, I know that is not the truth. These dogs get scars deeper that we could ever imagine. Even some of the young ones, never fully can break through that scar tissue, like my Andy. But most do, and become that "heart dog". The one that you can never imagine never having in your life. Every single one of them teaching us a lesson that we call needed to learn, sometimes painfully, sometimes gently, but ALWAYS a lesson nevertheless. Trey didn't have much time left after he was adopted. He was euthanized at 13 years old from bloat, but his spirit got to transition being a loved family pet because she found the beauty in his uniqueness and we all knew he was worth the extra time it took to bond.

Gus will grow every day and you'll grow along with him. There may be set backs. He'll start to wonder what buttons he can push, what can he get away with? You'll wonder what the hell were you thinking, and then you'll remember, oh ya! That's what I was thinking, when you look at him and see the pure love he has for you because YOU are the one that saved him.


Sun May 14, 2017 7:52 am
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*laughs* I was looking again at the pictures, and noticed the white cord above his head in picture 4 looked like an angel's halo!

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"The Master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried."

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Sun May 14, 2017 8:01 am
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Satan's Hellcat wrote:
*laughs* I was looking again at the pictures, and noticed the white cord above his head in picture 4 looked like an angel's halo!


:) I didn't notice that either. He probably THINKS he's an angel. Lol


Sun May 14, 2017 8:17 am
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