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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Lessons From Echo

I was a volunteer for a German Shepherd Rescue and one day I got a call from a local shelter who advised that Echo had been in their care for too long and was going to another shelter that was not a no kill shelter. Would our Rescue take him. We agreed and I picked him up and transported him to the Rescue which was 3 1/2 hours away. When I picked him up he had feces and matts on him and was an our of control anti social boy.

When I picked him up I learned he had been a stray who had been hanging around a farm where he was fed until he chased the farmers chickens and then he was dropped at the shelter. He had been there for quite a while and no one was interested in adopting him. He was very wary of people and appeared to have been abused earlier in his life.  About one hour into the transport he worked his way into the front seat and laid across the console and laid his head in my lap. He had made up his mind that I was going to be his new owner. I took him to the rescue but he had already bonded with me en route.

Since I investigated the background  and recommended  potential adopters I found a few that would be a good match for him. They would go to meet him but he would not have anything to do with them and remained aloof hence no one adopted him. After being at the rescue for about two months I had a call that he may go to a less than ideal adopter because they needed room wherein I said I would be up there within the week to adopt him.

We went up and introduced him to our pack and he went out of his way to be 'approved' by Carol and our pack. We brought him home and his life has taken a drastic upward turn from there. What a gem he is and how gentle, attentive and loyal. I can't make a move unless he is right by my side. He minds extremely well and goes out of his way to continually please our pack and us. He had rejected potential adopters and was waiting for me to return and take him home.

I learn something every day from Echo. He exemplifies loyalty, responsiveness, patience, compassion and gentleness. There are two ways to train dogs: One is by dominance where you command and dominate to get the behavior you want. Two, by gentleness and love and that is what we do. Our dogs obey us because they love us back and want to do what we want them to do so they can please us.

Our fur family is integral to our family and they are shown every all day every day that they are loved and cherished. In return they are well behaved members of our family. As a family they learn from us and we learn from them.  German Shepherds are highly intelligent and about equal to an eight year old child. While he was out of control when I picked him up and smelled from being covered in feces he would not be attractive to an adopter - once cleaned up, shown some care and concern and given a family he turned out to be an outstanding boy.

I would recommend adoption from a shelter and give the potential family member time and a chance. First  impressions are not always accurate when looking at shelter dogs. It took about one hour travel with Echo when his demeanor did a 180 degree turn around. He was a hidden gem disguised as a feces  matted boy that had problems and was fearful from prior abuse and rejection. He is now a perfect boy and that is possible with any rescue dog.  He is totally content, confident and comfortable who has overcome his past and has become an obedient, loyal, faithful family member. I recommend adopting from a shelter or rescue.  Spend as much time as possible with the dog and don't force the bond but let them bring the trust to you.  

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