People in the park: Wow, are all 3 dogs are yours?
Me: YES (with a big smile)!
People in the park: They are cute.
Me: Thank you!
Throughout my work at the Dog Rescue (Pacific Coast Dog Rescue) in Burbank, Los Angeles, I met RED. A red brindle American Staffordshire Terrier Mix of the age of 2.
He caught my attention from day 1. His muscular body, his cute face and his wonderful friendly, mellow character made me become a fan and he was one of my favorites right away.
I was thinking for over a year to add a new dog to our current 2 dogs, Lilly (2) and Samson (10) and was always checking pet adoption databases for the perfect fit. I wanted a dog who fits into our lifestyle, is obviously dog- and people-friendly, low in maintenance and a perfect friend. I do not care about the age, the gender, the size or the color. After convincing my husband David to expand the family I kept my eyes open, but was not in a hurry. I always saw RED at the rescue place in his run and I was watching him and how he was responding to his environment. I knew right away, THIS IS A GREAT BIG DOG. My sympathy turned to a friendship when I started to walk him after work around the Blocks. I was surprised that he was well behaved and responding very nicely to my commands.
I asked our Adoption Manager and she welcomed my idea to adopt RED. Due to the fact that we already had 2 dogs we had to consider some facts and go through the process step by step. Samson got old and he is not thrilled about young dogs, especially if they push him or bother him with their playful attitude. He is at the point where he wants his peace and space and I knew it would not be easy to place a young dog with an old dog. As for Lilly, she is always looking to do silly things or for other dogs to play with. She couldn’t animate Samson anymore to play with her. He just turns around and moves to his favorite sleeping place.
After walking RED almost 3 times a week, I started bonding with him. I applied for him and we officially started to integrate him to our family. It was important to introduce the dogs to each other slowly a couple of times, on walks without any body contact, to make sure they felt safe, comfortable and happy around each other. First, we took Samson and Red for walks, then we introduced Lilly later. We were sure Red and Lilly would not have any problems and we were right! The next step was to introduce Red to our environment at home; he visited us 3 times before he officially moved in. With the support of the Adoption Manager, Ingrid Hurel, and the trainer and founder of Pacific Coast Dog Rescue, David Roe, we succeeded in making the dogs feel comfortable around each other. Just to make sure that old grandpa Samson will not clash with the playful teenager Red we put baby gates between Red’s new room where we placed his crate and Samson’s living space at home. We didn’t hurry and we didn’t push the dogs at all. We took 2 months to place Red in our home and now I can say: THIS IS THE PERFECT DOG for our family.
He is adjusting perfectly and he is open to and curious about all new things, every day. We try to don’t overwhelm him with too many new things and we try to be calm, relaxed but assertive. We stick to his training plan and work with him twice every day for 15 minutes. We set boundaries and limitations to make sure he feels safe and happy.
He is doing much better with his anxiety issues (he talks:)), he got used to car rides in a week, he plays with Lilly very gently, and he is doing pretty well next to Samson, being very good on the leash on his walks. His daily routine helps him to stay calm and happy. He smiles and his tail never stops.
Welcome RED at home.
I will keep you updated about his progress.