MUR Adoptable – Josie

Hi friends!

I wanted to share about another beautiful adoptable from Manitoba Underdogs Rescue who has a soft spot in my heart, Josie. If it were up to me, I’d be adding Josie to my pack. Unfortunately my partner is at his dog limit (for now) so I have to settle for co-fostering Josie and helping with her training.

Josie before - note her body is very stiff, her head is down, and her ears are back

Josie before – note her body is very stiff, her head is down, and her ears are back

Before coming into care, Josie was living as a stray in a remote Manitoban community. She was terrified of people and we couldn’t get anywhere near her to catch her, so we had to use a humane trap. Upon arriving to the “big city”, Josie stayed at my house for a few days. I had a “safe place” set up for her including a crate, blanket, food, and water. Crating a dog has a bad rap for being “cruel”, but in reality, dogs need a safe place that is always available for them if they are feeling anxious, nervous, have a special bone to chew, or need to take a nap, most dogs love having a crate.

After an initial behavioral assessment, I determined that there wasn’t a mean bone in Josie’s body, she was just extremely afraid; understandably, as it was her first time in a car, crate and house. You never want to force a fearful dog to do anything, either lure them with treats or wait them out. With Josie, I wanted to take her outside, so I started with offering her food and water, then experimented with some other snacks. During this process I did not give any eye contact, I sat a fair distance away where she didn’t have to walk right to me to leave the room, and I had my side facing her. Body language, both yours and the dog’s, are very important when working with dogs like Josie. Turned out, Josie was a big fan of hot dog buns so I left a little trail of crumbs and eventually she came out of the kennel and off we went into the backyard.

At this point, Josie was a flight risk so even though I have a fully fenced yard, I kept her on leash at all times, even inside the house. Once outside, it was a bit of a challenge to get her back inside. I left a trail of treats going inside the door and turned my back as to not intimidate her, eventually we made it back in, and she bee lined straight for her kennel. That was what we did for the next few days, going out and back in, which got increasingly quicker each time. By the second day, she would even stop to check out the house before heading back to her crate!

It turns out that Josie LOVES other dogs, and her foster sisters have been great influences on her! Dogs can be the best teachers, or the worst, depending on their habits. Josie now walks right inside with my girls because she learned from them that it is safe to walk past me when I open the door. They also taught her to walk on the leash and that it is a fun activity rather than an intimidating, scary one.

Josie fitting right in with my girls at their favorite lookout spot!

Josie fitting right in with my girls at their favorite lookout spot!

Josie has now been in care for just over three months. I continue to work with Josie, getting her used to different items and experiences, like the collar and leash, and checking out new environments. Josie now walks right into my yard with confidence and molds right in with my pack. We even have her coming on our walks and greeting people at the door. Needless to say, when Josie finds that perfect family, she will also come with a couple of humans who will need some visitation rights!

Josie after - note her body language, ears perked, loose body, head and tail up

Josie after – note her body language, ears perked, loose body, head and tail up

Interested in adopting this sweet girl? Check out www.manitobaunderdogs.org/ for more information!

Hope this blog is helpful for those who ever need to work with timid/semi-feral animals. If you’ve had your fair share working with timid/semi-feral animals, I’d love to hear what steps you took to help them transition to life as a pet!

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.

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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!

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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!