Tuesday, May 4
Dakota came to us a very highstrung, reactive dog who was accustomed to being the boss of his household. His foster parents have been working with him for over six months to bring his level of trust up and his sensitivity to a manageable level. He is able to go out in the world and meet people and be a normal boy. He was still having some issues about being touched and bathed. Here is their update for April. This is truly remarkable progress.
"So Mr. Dakota just continues to progress and works so hard at being a good boy. Even when his buttons are triggered, he now gives normal warnings (ears, head down or away, and if really pushed a snark) but no teeth or digits in harm, he's not even grazed skin since last September. We've had him meet several new people in the house quite successfully, he is excellent outside the house on walks, in the car, at the park, etc. This weekend we asked 2 very savvy dog friends if they could stop in and check on the gang. We were not gone longer than a normal day, but Wookie is our Sr. citizen and I like him to be checked in on, and thought it would be another good exercise for Dakota. They have met him before, know his history and how to be around him. He was a perfectly behaved boy.
Now for the BIG NEWS: I just finished giving him a bath SOLO, no elizabethan collar, and no foster dad to hold him in place. I kept a lead looped on him if I needed it, and foster dad was within arm's length if things didn't go well. I felt, as I have with him all along, we get to a certain stage of trust and respect and it's time for another leap of faith (with precautions). He was stellar! I started R-E-A-L slow, just putting water on my hands then on his fur where he could see me. He let me shampoo, rinse, and condition. He got edgy and snarked for 1 second but calmed right down with talking to him and even sat in the water on command. This is so huge for him!
Then I wrapped him in a towel as you will see by the photos, he HATES cloths, towels, etc. I didn't keep it on him long, just enough - and noooo rubbing, that would be overload. You can see he stayed relaxed, and as a reward he got a whole organic cheese stick to himself, a 10 minute wrassle and play session with his foster dad to blow off any tension and a heated bed to sleep it all off.
We are so proud of him, he has come so far. And for a dog that was a 10 on the allergy scale (especially outdoor) he is doing phenomenal, minimal of itchies, sometimes 1 foot and under his chin. We keep this under control with 1) diet 2) spray and lotion for skin from the vet 3) bath when it kicks up a notch He has not needed any other meds or shots whatsoever since coming to stay with us, and we are allergy haven here in the northwest."
This is a remarkable foster home and thanks to their efforts and dedication, Dakota is no longer facing euthanasia. We have fabulous volunteers in FBRN. Our volunteers save lives. If you'd like to become an FBRN volunteer, get in touch with Kathy Luljak, our volunteer coordinator. Maybe you can turn a dog's life around, too.
The Frog Princess
PS The two photos of Dakota giving his paw and in the store were taken when Dakota participated in a St. Patrick's Day pet parade. He won Best in Show, and a gift certificate to the local shop that sponsors the event. What a good boy!