Whole Dog Journal's Blog April 14, 2015

A Little Shout-Out To Some Terrific Dog Owners

Posted at 08:19AM - Comments: (14)

My friends and family members, close and extended, often ask me questions about dogs. What sort of food should we feed our dog? Where is the best place to adopt a dog? What’s the best breed? How do we train her to stop barking? Should I get the rattlesnake vaccine? Oh, and what’s the best food to feed our dog? (I get that last one a lot!)

RARELY do my family members and friends listen all the way, or take all of my advice. And I know I’m not alone; I’m sure it’s the same with doctors and lawyers and therapists and car mechanics; people hear what they want to hear and do what they want to do.

But when someone I know – a civilian, not a “dog person” – does listen, and take some of my advice, I can’t tell you how happy it makes me.

My husband’s brother and his wife (my in-laws) started asking me last year about dogs. They both love dogs, though neither has owned one for decades. They bought a house in the San Francisco Bay Area a year or two ago, and have been slowly working toward readying themselves and their home for a dog.

The cool thing is, before they just went out and adopted the first cute face they saw at their local shelter, they asked me about breeds and sources. I asked them for a list of attributes they both wanted and did not want in a dog – and they sat down, discussed it, and came back to me with such a list. There were certain traits they liked and certain breeds they were considering. Of the breeds on their list, I felt that one of their first stops should be some Boxer rescue groups, and that they should look for an easy adult dog for their first adoption.

Within a couple of weeks, they brought home Rosie, an adult Boxer who had been fostered by a Boxer rescue group volunteer. Rosie had been hit by a car while running loose on the streets; the Boxer group had paid for surgery for her broken leg, as well as spay surgery. Thought she is a sweet and mellow girl at home, she’s got spunk to spare on the trail, and loves hiking with her new people.

These people, my in-laws, feed her a great food, take her to a fantastic daycare for exercise and socialization (and for dog-sitting when they go out for a long evening, like dinner and a movie), hike with her several times a week, and have just generally done everything right with this adorable dog. I’ve taken a few “tech support” calls – regarding a reaction to a dewormer (that the rescue insisted they give to the dog), Kong toy-stuffing, crate-training, gassiness, heartworm prevention, flea prevention, and food, and they have listened closely, done further research, and have basically done everything I would do for my own dogs.

They recently had a scare; Rosie’s appetite, never great, abruptly ceased to exist. Then she stopped drinking. They took her to the vet, and things snowballed. Long story short, whether it was being hit by a car while a stray the year before, or a sub-par spay surgery after her rescue from the streets (likely both), her spleen was badly damaged, she had developed some adhesions, and her intestines were a mess. My in-laws approved a rather open-ended surgery estimate, and Rosie had one heck of a surgery to repair everything that was awry inside. She recovered from the surgery beautifully – and her owners report that all her fussing over food and gas, and even her occasional discomfort during exercise, has all gone away. I know many people who would have had to think twice about such a big vet bill for a dog they hadn’t owned that long, and maybe it hurt my in-laws, but if it did, I didn’t hear them whining about it. All I’ve heard and seen is how much they love and enjoy their Rosie.

Anyone who is involved with rescue or sheltering can tell you how rare it is to meet committed owners like this, which is why I wanted to write this bit of appreciation. If you are involved with rescue, tell us about some great owners you’ve met!

 

 

 

 

 

Comments (14)

What a wonderful story. Please congratulate your in-laws for doing the right thing!

Posted by: Diannep | December 31, 2015 2:12 PM    Report this comment

My thoughts also. Most of the stories we read or see on TV news is about the abuse of a dog. It's so good to read something positive. These folks obviously had a good "teacher" in you and they knew where to come with their questions. Many people would have just returned the dog to the rescue group when Rosie needed this expensive surgery.

Posted by: SColey | April 19, 2015 6:50 PM    Report this comment

M

Posted by: SColey | April 19, 2015 6:46 PM    Report this comment

I've been working with Sheltie rescue for longer than I care to think about, and for us, many of the best adopters are those who have never had a dog, have truly thought about getting a dog, have total agreement in their families, and are ready with scores of questions. (There are no dumb questions.) They take our advice and instructions seriously and almost always have an excellent experience with their adoption. The adopters who are the most trouble are the ones who give a variation of, "I've had two dogs and I know all about them. You can't tell me anything I don't already know." I'll take a brand-new dog owner over them any day.

Posted by: MHeisel | April 16, 2015 8:13 PM    Report this comment

I recently had a foster dog...an English Cocker Spaniel who was left tied to a tree and the "owners" moved away. It was winter and there was no food or water but neighbors called animal control and the dog was taken to the kill shelter. The rescue group that we belong to gave him to me to foster. He was full of knots, fleas, worms and had a "cherry eye". We had Oliver neutered and made a video for the group's website. He was a striking beautiful dog with a loving personality and I got a lot of applications for him. A sweet couple in their 50's submitted an application. I told them Oliver needed to go to a dog opthomologist and had to have a fenced in yard. They had their yard fenced and took Olivier to a dog eye doctor. It is a great match....wonderful dog and loving people.

Posted by: Olivia | April 16, 2015 7:34 PM    Report this comment

I just adopted a Belgian Shepherd, Tervuren variety; 10 years old with ACL injuries in both knees. The previous owners wanted to put him into a shelter from where he might not have been easily adopted but eventually put down. He and my lame old Hovawart have become best friends, each one enriching the life of the other one. It is an absolute joy to observe their mutual affection. With lots of alternative treatment and gentle exercise as well as healthy nutrition I hope we can avoid surgery.

Posted by: Hovifriend | April 15, 2015 2:31 PM    Report this comment

I just adopted a Belgian Shepherd, Tervuren variety; 10 years old with ACL injuries in both knees. The previous owners wanted to put him into a shelter from where he might not have been easily adopted but eventually put down. He and my lame old Hovawart have become best friends, each one enriching the life of the other one. It is an absolute joy to observe their mutual affection. With lots of alternative treatment and gentle exercise as well as healthy nutrition I hope we can avoid surgery.

Posted by: Hovifriend | April 15, 2015 2:31 PM    Report this comment

I just adopted a Belgian Shepherd, Tervuren variety; 10 years old with ACL injuries in both knees. The previous owners wanted to put him into a shelter from where he might not have been easily adopted but eventually put down. He and my lame old Hovawart have become best friends, each one enriching the life of the other one. It is an absolute joy to observe their mutual affection. With lots of alternative treatment and gentle exercise as well as healthy nutrition I hope we can avoid surgery.

Posted by: Hovifriend | April 15, 2015 2:29 PM    Report this comment

I completely understand this issue! I teach a basic obedience class, for a local community dog education group. Time after time, I see people return, week after week, not doing what I suggest; I think most trainers can tell within a few short minutes if clients have done the homework and taken the advice asked for. I recently had a client that complained of a number of issues, including being "stubborn" and just sitting down and refusing to move on walks. After spending the first class with her and her dog, I told her I felt his excessive weight and terribly overgrown toenails were the majority of his problems, she had adopted him from a local animal shelter a few weeks before, already in this poor condition. I was thrilled when she reported back that her vet agreed to anesthetize the dog and cut his toenails, she changed his diet and her feeding habits and he is losing weight; skin issues and flatulent have near ly disappeared; and he has been walking almost 2 miles without stopping. I love this owner; she has expressed her gratitude for my advice and helping to improve her and her dog's quality of life, and she intends to return to class again, now that her dog can participate in the exercises without being in pain. Even though these kinds of owners are few and far between, they are out there and they make being a trainer worth all the effort and wasted breath in between.

Posted by: Vikki | April 14, 2015 1:02 PM    Report this comment

please give me your opinion on IAMS FISH BASED FOOD FOR SENSITIVE STOMACHS...Coco loves it but I will change again slowly and go back to feeding A
Acana from Canada
I did call IAMS AND WAS TOLD THAT THIS FOOD HAS FISH (WILD CAUGHT) ,FRUIT
AND VEGETABLES, NO WHEAT OR CORN AND NO OTHER ADDITIVES
THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME YOUR OPINION!
CHRISTA OWENS, POODLE LOVER AND OWNER

Posted by: poodlegirl | April 14, 2015 11:57 AM    Report this comment

What a wonderful story. Please congratulate your in-laws for doing the right thing!

Posted by: Diannep | April 14, 2015 10:15 AM    Report this comment

Rescue depends on GREAT foster homes, too. Check out Chloe's story through Midwest Border Collie Rescue. Talk about dedication. She now has her very own family dedicated to helping her live the life she deserves.

Posted by: clcrex | April 14, 2015 10:06 AM    Report this comment

Nancy this is so touching, thank you! We respect you and your invaluable advice so much, we are very lucky to have you in our lives!

Posted by: Laurenmaddock | April 14, 2015 9:58 AM    Report this comment

It's so great to hear a good story about loving, responsible, human companion/owners! Thanks.

Posted by: jd-s | April 14, 2015 9:50 AM    Report this comment

New to Whole Dog Journal? Register for Free!

Already Registered?
Log In