So often my brain reminds me of the dogs I wasn’t able to help, so I’m trying to celebrate the wins more prominently going forward. Have you seen this cutie decorating the pages of our social media? This is Champ. When Champ got here he had already been through too much. He and his sibling had been pulled from Gallup, NM and adopted out to a truck driver. They were approximately 5/6 mo old at the time, so had already had their puppy hood imprinted by life on the streets. We don’t know exactly what happened, only that a couple found tied Champ tied to a sign post at a highway rest area and brought him to the San Francisco Animal Shelter.
Once there, he was scanned and his microchip came back registered to Rezdawg, a sister organization of ours. They had Champ flown back to Colorado and driven to pranaDOGS. When we met him, he was a mess. Anytime we’d touch him he’d go over threshold and bark ridiculously or bite our hands. It was weeks before we could actually handle him and being his rehab.
Since he’s a lab mix we used the ball to redirect his energy and anxiety. It It took a lot of repetition and patience to get him to engage with the ball instead of us but eventually he would grab the ball and wait for petting.
The barking took a bit longer but again we used the ball. Anytime he barked, we stopped what we were doing and told him to get the ball. As soon as he did, we went back to playing. And now the barking is just a memory
His progress wasn’t perfect, he would progress then something would change in his environment and he’d regress. But the months went by and as he settled into the pranaDOGS routine and fell in love with ball-play Champs reactions got less and less. And his desire to get loved on grew.
After more than a year at pranaDOGS, Champ is now a ‘normal’ dog who likes being petting and has learned to control his bark. He also has strong coping mechanisms that he employees anytime life gets hinky. Champ is a serious win and exactly what can happen when we give these kiddos a little extra time and structure to help them find their footing!