Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Helping the ones I love verses helping the ones who need me

Some new kids, 2 adorable one year oldish German Shepherds who are off getting fixed and will be back next week and available for adoption. They seem very friendly, playful, and nice so far.

The black dog is Mongo, he's been at the shelter for months now, I've been working with him since January. He's at the point now where he's better on the leash and after we walk I put my dog in the car and then Mongo tries to hop in my car and when I tell him no and pull him back he lays down and goes limp next to my car as if to say" don't you get it I want to go home with you and I'm not budging" I'm not one to have conversations with dogs as if they were humans, very often but since he's rather a special case I tell him" you're going to have to learn to behave a little bit better and work with me if you're wanting that scenario" I'm not sure if it quite registers with him. I've tried all my training tricks ,assessments as to what his needs may be, but I fall short in that I don't have the time to train him everyday, and with gas at $3.08 a gallon around here I'm not inclined to go rushing off to town unless I have other reasons to go and can work dog walking in. So after ten years of volunteering I'm level headed enough to know that I'm doing the best I can and hope that it makes a difference.

This brown dog is Sophia a sweet Chesapeake Bay Retreiver, my current favorite, easy to walk a joy to be around, always has that happy camper tail wagging when I talk to her and tell her how cute she is.

Sometimes I am torn between helping the adorable dogs that I have an affinity for, which does not necessarily mean that they are the societal standard of cute but just that they speak to me, or helping the dogs that are more difficult and really need work and help. If I have time I try and do both as the more problematic ones will most likely end up being there the longest until they get socialized, trained, and learn to trust people. At times lately after ten years of volunteering I treat myself to working with an easy, happy dog. I've spent many hours with huge untrained dogs half to two thirds of my size in what amounts to a martial arts battle of wills, testing both my physical skill and mental acumen. I do a lot of work with these dogs, but every now and then I just need the reward of a sweet happy dog who's relatively easy to walk to help keep my spirits up and continue to reinforce my desire to help the more difficult cases


  1. I love what you are doing with the dogs, there is just something about taking an animal, any animal, out of bad situation and giving them a chance at a happy life. Thank you for all the good you are doing.

    We have been working hard at training our little guy. He knows how to come, sit, lay down, is great on a leash, and many other things but only when nothing else too exciting is going on around him. Should we just assume that at 6 months old his attention span is still somewhat limited or maybe we need to work with him a little harder. I'm curious as to what you would expect out of a very smart 6 month old Border Collie type dog? Perhaps we just need to be a little more patient with him as he is still pretty young.

  2. I've seen b.c. puppies that are basically little adult dogs, so smart.I use 3 tones of voice 1)sternish, to the point, command voice2)Happy higher pitched praise voice3) low, growly, No, voice. All family members should be consistent with the commands. Throw your voice to the dog as if you were calling a specific person from across a crowded room -that is, direct your talk/command, to the dog. Border collies are so smart- check out my blog post on Healing people training dogs, and the older post- Barbara Woodhouse video on my blog that should help. I love your blog and the self sufficiency you're working at, I recommend it to all my friends down here in the Palouse. Thanks for visiting