Friday, January 4, 2008

Introducing Coal

We went from a two-dog, two-cat household last week to only one cat and one dog this week. The house is much quieter. It’s time to liven things up and get another foster dog! I took Remi and my step-daughter Rachael out to meet the rest of the Heartland dogs that are waiting to be adopted. It was fun to get to meet several Heartland dogs that I had not met before, and interesting to see how they interacted with Remi. We were hoping to find Remi another playmate, since he had so much fun playing with Dolly. However, when I met Coal, I just couldn’t leave without him. Coal had no interest whatsoever in playing with Remi. I decided I would compromise by spending more time playing with Remi myself, and took Coal home with us. Coal is the most terrified dog I have ever met. He is very sweet and very cute, and reminds me of a big shaggy teddy bear. He is scared of anything he hasn’t met before, scared of loud noises, and very scared of the outdoors. The poor dog doesn’t appear to have been socialized at all. For those of you who aren’t familiar with that phrase, socializing an animal means taking it new places and around new people and other animals, so it can learn to get along with everyone. Commercial breeders often don’t socialize the dogs they breed – they leave them in small crates, with no interaction - sometimes for their entire lives. We think Coal is a golden-doodle, and its possible that he came from a breeder. But as with most rescue dogs, we don’t really know his exact breed or his exact age or what he’s encountered in his past that makes him so afraid.

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