It's about time to gush a bit!!!!
Been working with my two rescue GSD's and finally got the bigger girl graduated from Service dog training and doing her job reliably for me. Her sister had a more serious issue with transitioning and we were pretty sure she was goint to take at least 2 years to get calmed down and into being a good house pet too. Well we have been handsomely rewarded by little miss Indi lately. She has begun to seek contact with her two humans and comes inside voluntarily to seek affection and attention. She has also started to accept treats from us and begun to eat from a bowl placed on the floor. It took 7 months to the day to get her to eat from a stainless dog bowl on the floor and in the house. Prior to that she would only eat from a pail that we had to hang on the fence 50 or so yards from the house. If you were outside she would not eat and waited till you went into the hose to even approach her pail. So with the extreme cold the last few weeks she has come into the house voluntarily and slept inside all night long on the dog bed next to my wife's bed in our bedroom. Her normal routine is to come in, lick her mommies face, turn around and lay down with her back against the outside wall and go to sleep. During the night she will sprawl out and get all stretched out almost the entire length of the bed. When we got those two they came from a training facility that trains dogs to assist our injured and brain damaged veterans and both had been removed from training due to being unreliable. Indi has issues with smooth transitions and Dixie had issues with thunder and lightning. Both of those issues made them too unreliable to be given to one of our veterans but they could become ultra great pets and house mates if given the chance. The alternative was that they would have to be destroyed if I had not come along and accepted them and took them into my home with my 15 year old Golden retriever rescue. We are absolutely thrilled that Dixie has overcome her issue with thunder and has gone on to graduate from training, and was named the Service dog of the year when she alerted and helped me survive an attack, and has now been assigned to me as a permanent service dog. And Indi making all of her little steps and becoming more social and doing the things I described is truly a minor miracle for her too. It speaks volumes to the fact that even if a dog has issues they can be salvaged and helped to overcome their defects in character and go on to become great dogs in their own right. A little extra love, a lot of patience and reassurance along with consistency and a gentle approach has worked wonders yet again and in a time frame that was much faster than anticipated. We had originally allotted at least two years before we were looking for any concrete changes in either of the girls behavior and to get it in 7 months for Indi and 4 months for Dixie is a gift from heaven. As soon as I figger out how to do it on an Ipad I will post pics of Frick and Frack hanging out in the house with dad and mom in the evenings before bed time. They each have a particular spot on their own private couch next to their chosen people so there is never any conflict about who is where and no crowding to see who gets attention and affection either... So this year has started off with a hugely positive bang for the entire family and our little pack too.
Hally, The Olden Golden 12/5/1999-
Indi, (GSD) 8/4/2011-
Dixie, (GSD) 8/11/2011-
Sassy, (Rottie) Born 10/9/1999-6/12/2006 RIP