I woke up this morning to what looked like it might be Facebook drama, but…
The woman who found the little dog, Teddy for now, was upset to find that someone had already adopted him. She said she wanted him. She did everything right. She took him into her home when she found him tied up at 7-11. She advertised that she had him in case his owners were looking. She took him to the shelter when no one claimed him so he’d have a better chance of being found. Most of all, she loved him. The one thing she should have done was tell the shelter she would adopt him if no one came to get him.
So I woke up this morning to find my friends (real life not only FB) fighting gently for my right to keep him. The woman backed down, but I see it as a good thing. Right now he’s doing everything he can to fit in. He bugs Bear a little — she’s jealous, he’s small and she’s disgusted. Dusty is pretty OK with him — I think even likes him — (Dusty just sat on Teddy who didn’t care), but both big dogs are clearly waiting to see what’s going on, as am I. Only Teddy is not waiting. He lives here.
So the way this situation looks to me is that if it doesn’t work by Tuesday, Teddy will still have a loving home.
I think Teddy is a lucky dog.
This is my first (only?) foster dog. I think people like Cara Achterberg who foster dogs, give over their homes to dogs having puppies, and love and train them, over and over are heroes. I don’t know if I could do it. But I can see doing it for dogs like Teddy who should not be at a shelter, even a really nice and loving one like we have in Monte Vista. It’s packed.
Teddy is so smart. I haven’t had a dog like this in a while, but it’s fun to see him pay attention and then, next time, respond as I want him to. Dogs like Bear or Siberian huskies are not really “trainable.” They have strong instincts that inform their identity, and they are exceedingly independent because they have “work” to do. Training dogs like that means one has to consider that. Aussies’ strong instinct is to take instructions from people. Last night I took them all outside to pee. I’ve taught all my dogs that peeing is a trick and they will pee on command. At times that’s been fun to watch, like when I had six dogs. On a rainy night, I’d take them out, tell them to pee, they’d get in a circle, all facing outward (guarding for predators while they were in that vulnerable position) and pee in unison. It was hilarious and also very cool to watch.
Last night I took these three out. I haven’t done that “trick” much with Dusty and Bear because they know the drill, but Teddy doesn’t. So out we went and just like he’d lived here forever, Teddy joined in. It’s instinctive behavior for dogs in a pack and I was happy to see how Teddy perceives himself.
I think part of this is working because Teddy is small and non-threatening AND he’s an intact male (at this point). I suspect Dusty and Bear are both acknowledging his superior maleness. Wednesday or Thursday he’ll be neutered.