I published the first part of “Healing Rescue Dogs” and you can find it at www.carolinehealthier.wordpress.com.
After over 12 years of working with beagle rescue, www.brewbeagles.org I have learned a great deal and want to share these tips with you. And this is in memory of all my dogs, Donder, Cupid, Comet, Sandy, Queenie, Maggie, Sherman, Pogo, Pixie, Gryffie and my current furry family – Roxy and Kerry, and all the dogs it will be my pleasure to meet!
Healing Rescue Dogs – Part 2
5. Food. Give your new pet the best diet you can afford! They need it to combat the stress of change. Even if change is for the better, it will still be a big stresser.
6. Explore. Explore the neighborhood with your new dog. First explore the house, then
the yard, then your block. Walk in big circles, always making home the center, walk one block and then reverse and go back to home again. You will enjoy watching your dog getting acclimated and their happiness at knowing where “HOME” is!
7. Home. Ahhh, *Home*. At the end of your walk, add this game for your dog, turn around and say, “GO HOME”, “GO HOME” and then run right to the front door with your dog, and hug your dog, praise them and say, “What a good dog!! You know where your home is.” Kissing is in order here, too. You have a dog that will soak up affection, and that is one of the big rewards of having a rescued dog. Now take the dog out in your car, take them to a friend’s house, drive to the park. Introduce your dog to the big world and make them bold and brave again.
8. Grooming. Grooming is not about matted hair, it’s about bonding. It’s the oldest mammal ritual! Grooming relaxes both owner and dog, it’s another way to say, i love you, you’re here to stay! Grooming is a great way to end a walk, or end the day — even a short-haired beagle enjoys the grooming ritual.
9. Dog as Computer. Your dog is a hairy computer. They like to think about things – they like to look around, and take in the smells in the wind, and analyze them. They like to look at a room and say, “what wasn’t here yesterday”, and analyze that. Take a silent walk with your dog, not talking, but letting them analyze. Go to a quiet park with your dog, no cell phone, no kids, no other dogs, and just sit and watch your new dog. Look at the park and try to see it as your dog sees it. Look – a squirrel walked by here yesterday. Look – I smell another dog that peed on the bush. Enjoy the quiet that is one of your new dog’s most attractive qualities.
YOU HAVE DONE A WONDERFUL THING IN ADOPTING A NEW DOG! DURING THIS HOLIDAY SEASON, IT’S TIME TO THINK ABOUT THESE CREATURES THAT SHARE OUR LIVES AND MAKE THE SEASON SPECIAL FOR THEM, TOO.