MUR Adoptables – Fia

Hello Friends!

Today I wanted to share my first training experience with Manitoba Underdogs Rescue where I got to work with a beautiful Lab mix named Fia. Miss Fia came into rescue in May 2013 through a spay/neuter initiative which Manitoba Underdogs organized with DREAM called Beat the Heat. Manitoba Underdogs visited three First Nations Communities in Manitoba to vaccinate and deworm dogs and bring back stray dogs for vetting and adoption. As the Spay/Neuter Program Manager for DREAM, I am a huge supporter of working to fix the dog/animal overpopulation issue. So far Beat the Heat has vaccinated and dewormed over 100 dogs and fixed 15. For more information about Beat the Heat, and ways to get involved, click here.

Fia

Fia came into care with general anxiety towards people; not uncommon for stray dogs coming from remote communities. Fia’s foster mom called me up, we discussed the problems they were having and off I went to help! One of Fia’s issues was with her foster dad. He works out of town for part of the week, not on a set schedule, and when he was in town she was very uneasy around him. Whenever he walked past her she would growl and cower away, she wouldn’t let him get anywhere near her.

When a dog has any fear issues whether it be around people, food, other dogs, or whatever, NEVER force your dog towards it. Look for the signs that your dog is uncomfortable – ears back, panting, yawning, and the whites of eyes showing are just a few of what to watch for. You never want your dog to get to his or her breaking point, which can be avoided if you know what to watch for.

Fia loves her foster mom and treats, so we used those to start making her feel more comfortable around foster dad. We started with Fia a safe distance away from FD, (where she was comfortable), and had him make very small movements, without moving towards her or making eye contact. Movements as small as just standing up, or taking a small step to the side. Every time he moved, FM gave a treat and a big “YES!” Once Fia was comfortable with these movements, FD started moving closer and doing the same sideways movement (still no eye contact), FM treating AS SOON AS he moved and using the voice marker. Remember that this process cannot be rushed and can take weeks or longer depending on the severity of the anxiety or fear. It has been about a month now and Fia is snuggling with FD any chance she gets! She is also greeting new people at the door and LOVES playing with children, she has two human foster siblings.

fia1_sm

Fia is available for adoption through Manitoba Underdogs Rescue. Visit their website to learn more about Fia and the other Underdogs available!

Have you experienced working with an anxious dog? Do you have any questions about your dog’s anxiety? Let me know in the comments here!

Kali and Nanu!

I think it is a good time to introduce you to my fur family!

Our first was Kali, a 1.5 year old Husky Lab mix from Manitoba Mutts Dog Rescue. I knew I wanted to get a dog as soon as we bought our house, however, my significant other was a bit hesitant (he never had any dogs before). My suggestion was to start with fostering, a GREAT way to decide if you are ready for a dog at no cost to you, so he agreed. The first Friday in September I picked up Kal. Needless to say, she was only our foster for 2 days before we adopted. She fit in with our lifestyles so perfectly, she is calm (most of the time), LOVES kids and other dogs, and loves to run and be outside.

DSC_0100

After adopting Kali we decided to take a break from fostering. WELL that turned out to be harder for me than expected so when Kevin went on a guys trip to Mexico I got another foster, Sam (I know, I am sneaky like that). Sam is a 6 year old Shepherd mix who loves people, but not so much other dogs. She tolerated Kali and her playful ways but didn’t necessarily enjoy it. She stayed with us for 3 months before getting adopted. After Sam left us we decided to take ANOTHER break…Harder than it sounds, a week later we got our third foster Nanu, a 2 year old Shepherd Husky mix, also from Manitoba Mutts. Between Kali and Nanu it was love at first sight, they instantly bonded. They play together, snuggle, and share a love for rabbits and squirrels. After fostering Nanu for about 6 weeks we knew we just couldn’t break them up. Nanu is very calm, loves to snuggle with her humans, and have a good play when the time is right!

DSC_0045

We have had Kali for almost a year now, and Nanu for about 6 months. They love going with us to the lake, riding in the boat, and watching us play softball. They are obsessed with the window and could sit there looking out for hours. Their favorite past time for the last 2 months was our mama duck and her eggs. She set up camp right outside our front window and the dogs would scare away anything that came near her nest.

Kevin has officially met his quota for dogs (mine is a bit different) and after adopting 2 out of 3 fosters, I am not allowed to foster for longer than a few days….I am working on these “rules” and will keep you posted on any further developments!