Some are difficult due to behavior issues or background and others are easy with pretty much no issues. I never know what I am going to encounter – and I am NOT available for people to call me to offer me their dogs! I work with select area groups and am particular about what dogs I can take, as they have to fit in with my pack and circumstances.
Back in February you may have read or seen on TV the rescue of hundreds of hoarding/puppy mill dogs in Pickens County, South Carolina. These dogs were eventually placed with different groups not just around the state but elsewhere.
On behalf of Grateful Golden Retrievers of the Lowcountry (GGRL), a not-for-profit organization with which I volunteer, I received and agreed to foster three of these dogs.
The dogs found in outside pens on a large property were fed, but other than that had not had any care or experience with people. Dogs found on the property were not spayed or neutered nor cared for by a vet. They were all mixes used for breeding and included – as far as we know – Golden Retrievers, Labradors, Poodles and Great Pyrenees.
One of the dogs I took in was a Lab-Pyrenees mix who was, contrary to all expectations, very drawn to people. Other than extensive medical expenses, he was highly adoptable. We found a wonderful home with someone who had adopted a dog previously from GGRL.
The other two were a completely different story. Fearful of people, couldn’t be touched, ran and hid, and retreated at approach or any kind of contact. One had to be dumped out of a plastic kennel because he wouldn’t come out. These dogs were not crate or potty trained and never experienced living in a home.
Six months and lots of work later, they are different dogs. They are still skittish with new people but are warming up.
Saylor, the female, about 2½ years old, possibly a Golden-Pyrenees mix about 50 pounds, loves to be rubbed, brushed and will take treats from hand. She is crate trained.
Red, the male, also about 2½ years old, loves touch and treats, is crate trained, and about 55 pounds. He is likely a Golden-Poodle-Pyr mix.
Both dogs can be very affectionate and will lick your hands. They have come a long way and will only get better with the right patient owners. They are learning Sit, Down and leash walking. They need a fenced yard and another dog buddy, as they are very social.
These two are a bonded pair, but can be adopted separately. If you are interested, please visit the rescue group at ggrlc.org for an application and more information.
Abby Bird is owner of Alphadog Training Academy. AlphadogTrainingAcademy@gmail.com