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 Bringing Home Gus 
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Aww thank you everyone, yes he is quite big, bigger than I thought ... my mom has a mastiff so when I saw him I didn't realize he isn't a medium dog LOL I was glad I got one of the large beds, he fits perfectly on it.

H_Wright wrote:
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.

This made me cry and that's so beautiful you gave Trey that chance. Akelta helped so much and hearing what you say is helping so much too. I didn't know that could happen that they would give up like that. We always had shelter dogs or strays/free dogs when I was growing up but they were more socialized with people than Gus is. I am starting to see things I need to work with him on but I am also seeing his personality more. I am getting a crash course in the way dogs think and act LOL ... I can tell right now he doesn't fully trust me. I know I am going to have to work up to that point with him and I am just trying to be patient and consistent. Every new thing he does I am researching ways to handle it and reading dog training and behavior books lol

And this:

H_Wright wrote:
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".

I look at his head and the marks on him and think, how could anyone do this to another living thing? And he is still so sweet, even after what he's been through, which I can only imagine ... he winces sometimes when I reach to pet him, it makes me sad. I'm going to do the best I can with him. He is already warming up. They said at the shelter he doesn't like playing with toys, he is more interested in his 'people'. Honestly, I think he had separation anxiety and was just terrified at the shelter. He loved the ball I got him, he plays so well with it that I went and got him more toys today and it was the cutest thing. I have pictures I will put at the end of this ... he is already acting more like a big puppy.

Thank you for that also, two weeks, yeah I can get him into a routine which I think he needs and seems to like so far. I have seen so much improvement from him in just a few days. I know he is older, he is 6 so breaking some of the habits or getting him to stop and listen (he seems a bit stubborn as well LOL) I am just going to do the best I can with him.

Satan's Hellcat wrote:
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!

Aww thank you SH, she is amazing with animals and he is like a little demon! LOL He reminds me of one of my mutilation demons and we were calling him my mutilaiton Demon's name as a nickname :lol: I was reading about the confidence, pack leader thing. I studied it and I'm doing things to show I am the pack leader and he seems to be responding really well to it. I will be putting in as much as I can with him. He is part of the family now so he is going to be spoiled like the cats and all the demons are haha

H_Wright wrote:
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

ROFL omg that is so cute, I didn't notice that either. My house is still in a weird state, putting things away and getting new furniture haha I don't know about him being an angel but he is awfully cute :lol:

Pictures of him with his new toys lol I think he likes them. He took one out of the bag while I was trying to carry it in and couldn't wait to play.

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Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.


Sun May 14, 2017 5:16 pm

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The shelter can be a hard place to adopt from, especially an older dog, which is why they are so often looked over, or looked right through and not given a thought. You are a special person for adopting an older dog. It is not always easy, which is why I often suggest for people to adopt from rescue, to free up a foster for another shelter dog. There have been a few easy ones, but most that I have fostered require a lot of confidence building. When I help new foster parents I always tell them to set their pup up to succeed always! Take no out of your vocabulary, honestly forever because it means nothing to dogs. Just like a toddler, redirect, redirect, redirect. Instead of this do this. If you haven't heard of clicker training, it is so easy and fun for them to learn. Especially if you have a food or toy motivated dog. I use the word "yes" as my marker because it is easy to say the say the same way every single time, instead of fumbling with a clicker. I'm kind of clumsy so reaching for a treat, marking the behavior and treating all within 3 seconds can be a little much for me, so I just "yes" and treat. It takes them no time at all to click in their brains, this behavior gets me praise and treats. I'm a good boy when I do this. You're going to have so much fun and bonding with just a little bit of training every day and he'll be a confident, well adjusted dog in the end.

Mon May 15, 2017 4:58 am

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It wouldn't let me edit my last post. I love his wiggly pics! Isn't it funny some dogs just don't know how to play? I had to teach my Andy using treat balls. Some just automatically know, this looks like a fun thing to do, I think I'll thrash this rope around and throw it in the air.

Mon May 15, 2017 5:01 am
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Aww what a cutie!

I like to play Loki's advocate.

Mon May 15, 2017 6:13 am
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What a beautiful story, I have brought shelter dogs home more than once and it is very similar situations. They don't know how to act really, or what is normal in life so it will take time for him to fully trust that this is his new home. One of the best dog people (INMHO) is Cesar Millan, he has a ton of youtube videos on anxiety with dogs etc, and since he works with dogs that tend to have high drives it might help a little. Things will be just fine.
you did a good thing by rescuing him and providing him with a new lease on life...

Tue May 16, 2017 6:10 am
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