The St. Louis Senior Dog Project is a not-for-profit dog rescue organization specializing in older dogs but taking in and finding homes for dogs of all ages...even puppies. Meet your new best friend 11 to 3 Saturday, October 25, and noon to 3 Sunday, October 26, in the Kirkwood Petco. To see which dogs will be there plus other available dogs, go Here.
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Yes, sometimes dogs drive me crazy. Right now I feel like Buster and Bear are pawing away at my last shred of sanity (yes, I do have some left). And they're both such nice dogs!
Let's first consider Buster, who was one about a dozen dogs removed from a hoarder. Buster is shy, so shy that it's nearly impossible to get close to him. I can't pet him. I can't even touch him. I can't put a collar on him. I can't attach a leash to him. If I reach towards him with a treat dangling from my fingertips, he will stretch his head in my direction but not quite make it. Yep, he's shy. Afraid of people.
But as long as other dogs are around, he seems content. He plays with the other dogs. He's excited about dinner. He even wags his tail. But let something scare him, and everything changes. Yesterday, the thing that scared him was the lady who comes to clean my floors. Naturally, he was still running loose in the house because I couldn't catch him to crate him or put him in another room. His response was to dart out the dog door and scale a six foot fence. Gone. I wondered if he'd ever return. I knew no one would ever catch him.
He didn't return that first night. The next night with help from one of the wonderful Missouri Shelter Buddies, I set out cheeseburger and other yummies by the gate. I also set out sheets and unlaundered socks from his former foster home. We figured he might be hiding nearby. I crated all the other dogs and left the gate to the backyard open a crack. About 2 a.m. he returned. Now, how to get him inside. The minute he saw me, he ran in the other direction. Then he turned back and came to the front door. I opened it wide. He stepped in, looked to his right, spotted me, and backed away. This went on for about 30 minutes until he finally came into the backyard through the gate and entered through the dog door. I had him! Almost. He dashed happily inside and beat me to the still open front door. Gone again. Another 30 minutes and I finally made myself as invisible as possible, and Buster crept inside to stay the rest of the night.
All went well until this morning when I saw him scale the 6 foot fence again. I tried coaxing. I tried begging. I even tried crying. He would come to the front door and run away as soon as I got too close. By now I knew he'd stick close by, so I left for my morning class. When I returned, he was indeed waiting, and I once again opened the gate wide and hid in the living room, then scrambled outside to close the gate again. I was learning. Buster was content to play with the other dogs and stay in the yard or house. All went well until the lawn mower arrived.
All I will say is Buster is back again, and by some miracle he just walked into a crate and is now snoring there with the door closed. I may get a collar on him yet. Maybe even a harness.
And then there's Bear, the big dog who wants to be a small dog. I know this because Bear keeps pushing under the fence that divides the big dog area from the small dog area. I'm thinking Bear just wants to be a small dog. He's happy with the little ones. He even likes the cat. Unfortunately for him, the little ones don't appreciate him or his longings. So I've collected him back to his rightful place...oh, who's even counting how many times? And I've worked on the bottom of that fence to block his access. Let's just say my knee really hurts today.
Bear is one handsome, sweet-tempered Golden Retriever size boy who was rescued from the home of a crack addict who was being evicted. The addict, I'm told, left Bear alone in the house for days at a time. I worried we might have some housebreaking problems, but Bear learned housebreaking during the first hour here. Now if he'd just learn he's not a little dog.
But how can I resist that face. Wait. Where is Bear, anyway? Guess I need to go collect him again.
Then maybe I'll get a collar on Buster. And maybe I'll take a nap.
And maybe I'll remain sane. Unlikely, but still a noble goal.
St. Louis Senior Dog Projet