Posie Foster Update 3/17/15
“We were fortunate enough to have Posie in our home for a few days this passed weekend. I think she is a very special girl who, with the right amount of reinforcement, consistency and human attention / affection, will be a perfect addition to any family. For now, though, she would be best served in a home with no other dogs or small children around until she gets some more socialization and consistent attention. In fact, she would benefit greatly from spending time in foster with or being adopted by someone who has some experience socializing previously neglected dogs. Posie was kept outdoors and isolated in a backyard for the first 3 years of her life. From what we know, she had minimal to no interaction with people and could only watch other dogs come near her with no ability to interact with them. She was also never allowed indoors, so she ate all of her meals alone outside and never knew what it was like to relax with her human family in the comfort of a house.
Knowing her history, I am truly amazed at how well Posie did in our home and at the potential she shows. I could see her unfamiliarity with being indoors on the first day. She would frequently check the windows and could not lay down and relax for more than a few minutes at a time. Whenever one of us would move around, which happens a lot with kids, she would be right there curious as to what we were doing and wanting to take part in it. She quickly formed a bond with me and decided she liked to stay close to me….mostly laying at my feet and wanting me to rub her belly. The more attention I showed her, the more she wanted to be close to me and please me. That night, I was very surprised that she got in her crate on her own and slept until 8am without making a peep!! Her great bedtime manners stayed consistent the rest of her time with us.
She had only one accident in the house over the entire 3 days, and that was within 1 hour of coming inside. Unbelievable for a dog who has only lived outdoors! By the end of day #2, she was going outside to potty on her leash and then immediately going back to the front door to come back in the house. She would sit before coming in, and around the same time, she started consistently sitting upon command to receive her treat for pottying outside. I was amazed that she picked this up so quickly, but she makes great eye contact with you so “sit” is an easy one. Still, great signs of both intelligence and desire to please her humans.
She could certainly work on her leash manners just like many dogs, but we were able to take her for two long walks without any major issues. She is just very curious about all the sights and smells in a neighborhood and wants to pull ahead to everything she finds interesting. Oh….and she definitely notices squirrels : – ) When it came to food, she wanted to know what was on our counter as she had probably never seen a counter or smelled people dinner before. But when I would tell her to get down, she would do so immediately and the sit at or lay on my feet. She did get upset once when my wife tried to pull her back from some cat food she found in our pantry, so she needs more time and trust before she can be approached from behind while eating. If she can see you….I saw no worries at all. She took every treat gently from my hands and was even more gentle if one of my kids tried to give her something.
I tried not to let my 3 year old daughter or any of the other neighborhood kids get in her face given her lack of socialization, but they often were faster than me and hugged her before I could stop them. Posie was NOTHING short of spectacular in everything I observed with the children. She would gently lick my daughter’s face and wag her tail. While I do believe she still needs more socialization given her past and just to be 100% confident, she showed some amazing signs at being able to be a great family dog. For a dog with her previous life, to immediately be that gentle and loving with little kids was nothing short of awesome!
The one area where Posie definitely needs some loving instruction is socializing with other dogs. This is no surprise given her lonely previous life!! She may need some formal training to learn that other dogs can be her friends, or, she may just need more time and experience and someone who has experience with doggy “matchmaking.”
In closing, I would say that Posie is an extremely loving dog who quickly bonds with her master and wants to be their shadow. She likes to lay with you and always wants to be reassured with a belly rub or head scratch. Her quick recognition of “sit” and “down” as well as her rush to the front door show that she is intelligent and wants to please. She also liked to fetch her toy more and more as time went on and was even bringing it back 50% of the time!! Basically stated, she was quickly learning how to become a real family dog and not just a prisoner trapped outside. If someone can help her get over her final hurdles and put her previous life completely behind her, they will certainly be rewarded with an beautiful, affectionate and appreciative companion!”