Friday, July 9

Chico Checks In

Chico has been fostering over in Hawai'i for a month or two.  His original family didn't realize he was deaf, so as you can imagine, there was a lot of frustration on both parts.  When his foster mom took him as far as she could in terms of training, she kindly and generously flew him to the mainland to be fostered with a trainer, who will work with him on hand signals and socializing.  First, Chico will be spending just a few nights in a layover with Dakota's foster family.  Here is the first report on the adorable but rascally Chico:

"Chico the adorable little Deaf jetsetter arrived late last night from Hawaii.  His very caring foster mom  brought him over so he could have a better chance on the mainland to get adopted.  R. has arranged a great foster home in WA with a trainer already in the making.  We are doing a mini evaluation while he is here until the weekend.  

He was really wound up after being on his best behavior flying over.  He had a big thirsty drink, settled in on the drive after about 20 mins, got home, had a nice walk out in the yard, a light bite and with just a few minutes of quiet whines, settled in for a deep sleep.

Until he is transported this weekend I want to allow him decompression time.  J. and I had a nice long chat and her information was incredibly helpful.  He was very reactive at her place (she has 2 intact males and Chico would go crazy at just the sight of them), but he was fine with her females.  He would spin and bite at the crate door when she tried to shut it, once knocking it off as he charged it.  Goes NUTS behind a gate or x-pen if he sees other dogs.  There is a clear trigger to each of these isolated reactive behaviors and that means a great chance of working it out!   Being deaf he is highly sensitive, and only recently has anyone even realized that, so poor guy just needs some structure, calm and steady guidance, and he will blossom in no time.  Big thanks to J. for getting this guy into FBRN.

He is in my office with an open crate and his foster dad set up a baby gate on the door; there is a second barrier with an x pen blanketed so no one can be set off.  This way everyone in the house can smell each others' presence, but there is no fence fighting to get things off on the wrong foot.  We can keep our guys in the other room or even out back, then we take Chico out for exercise, potty and sniffin' around.  IF we introduce him to anyone at all while he is here, it will be Dakota on a nice long walk.  We'll see how it goes.  As I said,  I think Chico just needs some down time for a bit to ease the stress and tension of all the changes.

I'm staying home today and tomorrow, spending some time just being present in the room with him, then rotate him outside for a bit.  He's doing great and you can see he is starting to unwind...."
It is so exciting to watch these dogs with a past grow into dogs with a future.  The introduction time our foster mom is talking about is SO important when bringing a new dog into a home.  There are some families that will allow a dog to just walk in and all the dogs, old and new, can get along immediately.  But it's stressful on the new dogs to be introduced to a new environment so quickly.  It's much better to give the new dogs a separate space--maybe a guest room or a guest bath or laundry room--where they can start to get the smell of other dogs, and get used to the sounds and vibrations of the house and the rhythms of daily life.  
Think about how you feel after a long plane ride to a strange place and strange people.  It's nice to get a chance to meet just a couple of friendly people first, maybe take a nap, have some wind-down time.  The difference is, the worst that can happen if you get thrown into most new families is someone might be rude to you.  For dogs, it's about survival--teeth can be involved.  It's frightening.  Be kind to your new dog and give him a couple of days to get his bearings, urges

The Frog Princess


crystal said...

I love him!!! What a cutie and he sounds like such a sweetheart :)

Unknown said...

Hello...I would like to help this foster family with anything they might need. I heard they are local to Tacoma WA. If someone could forward our info to them that would be great! My name is Eden Nava ( Thanks and good luck...he is sooooo cute.