Daisy gets a friend – A look back
Today I am taking another look back to the early years when Daisy came to live with me. This is an old blog post from Daisy’s blog, “Daisy the Wonder Dog (and how she found her inner Lab).” It highlights the progress Daisy had made after I adopted her in 2007.
I think it is a good reminder for those who have a damaged or unsocialized dog. Progress can be made. It takes time and patience and often happens in fits and starts – for every step forward, there are two steps back, but it is so rewarding when you start to take those steps forward. The key is to never give up hope. You need a lot of patience and understanding. You also need learn to learn to celebrate the small successes.
Sometimes another dog can help the unsocialized dog to feel more comfortable. Aspen helped Daisy understand that humans could be kind and trustworthy and Jasper taught Daisy how to have fun.
This post is from May 19, 2009, a year and a half after Daisy first came to live with me.
It’s been ages since I’ve posted an update on Daisy
The reason for the big space in time between blog posts? A combination of things, including: a growing pet sitting/dog walking business, Daisy’s continued progress, and the addition of a new member to our family, Jasper – Daisy’s new friend. I wanted to wait to update all of you until after I had the chance to inform all of my clients’ parents about Jasper, especially since many clients often stay in my home.
I have known for some time that Daisy does better when she is living with another dog. I even had a friend (Thank you Carolyn!) ask me why I hadn’t gotten another dog yet, since I know that Daisy would do better having another dog in the house (she also rehabilitates puppy mill dogs and knows how another dog can help in their rehabilitation).
I have resisted adding another member to our family for a multitude of reasons…it was nice to have Daisy to myself, I was starting a new business and didn’t want to take on another mouth to feed, the right dog hadn’t come along, and I didn’t want to lose clients (especially those who board dogs at my house) because I had adopted another dog. But then, “the Shelties” came along… Yep. The beginning of the end to my arguments against adopting another dog.
So who is Jasper and how did he come to stay with us? Both questions can probably be best answered by linking you to a previous blog post on my other blog, No Dog About It, called “Animals His First Priority? You be the Judge.”
What I can tell you is that Jasper is a precocious, active, playful and smart little 10-month old Sheltie. He and his sister, Jasmine, came to stay with me in March, after a lady bought them from a pet store (to rescue them from some pretty deplorable conditions). They fostered with me for about two weeks to get some socialization and to learn how to live in a home. They were then to be returned to the shelter I volunteer at so they could be adopted into their new homes.
Jasmine passed her assessment with flying colors and was adopted immediately. Unfortunately, Jasper could not be properly assessed because he was too shy to eat in front of anyone (we couldn’t tell if he would be a resource guarder when it came to food).
Rather than leave him at the shelter until they could determine what to do next, I offered to take him back home to foster him again. Well, as you might have guessed, he never left. I just couldn’t stand to part with him. Not to mention that Daisy absolutely adored him. I didn’t have the heart to take him away from her; I did that once before with a Dalmatian that I fostered (Pixel) and she was heartbroken.
So, here we are. A bigger and much more livelier family!
Daisy’s transformation has been amazing. It’s like she has found her inner lab, her confidence and her playful side all at once. Jasper’s positive affect on her has been even more than I ever expected. Daisy no longer stays close behind me, nose touching my pants leg, when we go to the dog park. She now runs through the woods (with Jasper by her side) almost all of the time. She’s also not as nervous when other dogs join the group. She eagerly goes to greet them. This might have something to do with the fact that Jasper is such a social butterfly, but whatever the reason, she is happier and more confident. I kid you not when I say that she has a constant smile on her face!
What’s amazing to me is that she even seems to enjoy the fact that he nips at her ears in excitement when they first go outside in the morning. It’s like she sees Jasper as her puppy and is happy just to have him there with her. She even goes to check on him when a dog barks at him or when he takes a tumble. It’s been an amazing transformation. I’ll have to include some video soon showing how they act at the dog park. It always brings a smile to my face!
I know that most dog experts say that the first 6 months of a dog’s life are the most formative, but I think Daisy and Jasper are proving that you can grow and learn beyond those formative years. Jasper spent the first 7 months of his life living in a pet store window, and yet, here he is, the most well-adjusted, friendly, and playful pup you could ever meet. Perhaps, there is something more to our dogs than meets the eye. Maybe we should take a second look. And, maybe love is the answer.
Welcome Jasper. Daisy and I are glad to have you here!