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Success Story Sally

Success Story Sally

Thanks to mom Suzanne for giving Sally, one of the most athletic senior dogs in Muttville’s history, the loving life she longed for. Enjoy this story as told by her forever family:

Before we can describe our excitement with bringing Sally home, we have to thank our 2 year-old terrier mix Roxie, for making it possible. Because of Roxie’s love of life and all adventures, we could expand our family!!

We first saw Sally and thought she was so cute, dynamic, and healthy beyond her 10 years. We found out she had been at Muttville for longer than usual, had been in and out of other shelters, and had been through two cancer surgeries…that was it. A survivor like her needed a forever home with a peaceful retirement! We also learned that between shelters and the humane society Sally was-TWICE-minutes away from being euthanized and someone stepped up to save her. We are especially humbled by those dogs who will not give up and the many volunteers who won’t give up on them

Well, our home is now filled with laughter, a few feisty exchanges over territory, and more joy than we could have imagined. Sally and Roxie love going on long walks together, napping in the sun, and chowing down their peanut butter treats (on opposite sides of the kitchen). But the really terrific thing is that their unique personality traits shine and grow together. It is a powerful thing to watch these vulnerable animals grow from tussles, to toleration, to a relationship. We are inspired by each dog’s willingness to trust again and forgive.

most importantly, Sally, Roxie, and Muttville sustain the larger vision of a society that does not give up on others.

Sincerely,

Suzanne, Victor, Sally & Roxie


Are you the proud parent of a Muttville dog? Send us your story! Include 3 of your favorite photos and send to success_stories@muttville.org with the subject line ‘Success Story’.


You can help create many more new beginnings!
Adopt. Foster. Volunteer. Donate.

mariem3 | 08.28.13 | 5 comments

Adopted Mutts! August 12 - 25

Adopted Mutts! August 12 - 25

Big congrats to these very happy senior mutts who found forever homes! (S4S indicates the dog was adopted through our Seniors For Seniors Program.)

Baxter
Dia
Miles
China
Jelly
Leanna (S4S)
Bubba
Betty Cocker
Bijou
Possum
Otis (S4S)
Spike
Frankie
Elvis
Poncho
Luna (S4S)
Trixie
Dean Martin (S4S)
Joey (S4S)
Max
Pedro
Phoebe (S4S)
Fritzi
Lulu (S4S)
Nico


To see the profiles of these lucky mutts, visit the Recent Adoptions section of our Mutts page.


Every dog adopted means another life we can save.
There’s a perfect senior waiting for you!
Click here to see all of our mutts.

You can help create many more new beginnings!
Adopt. Foster. Volunteer. Donate.

mariem3 | 08.26.13 | 0 comments

This Month's "Muttology" - Leash reactivity: It’s trainable (but not how you might think)

This Month's "Muttology" - Leash reactivity: It’s trainable (but not how you might think)

You look at the clock. It’s time to walk your dog. As you grab the leash, the poop bags and your keys, you feel a familiar anxiety that occurs each time you step outside. You may fear that your neighbors will say, “Uh oh, there she comes with that crazy dog.” You may feel like your neighborhood has become one massive, unpredictable trigger for your dog. Once put on leash, your typically calm and sociable dog begins barking, lunging, growling and whining at typical neighborhood noises and distractions.

Does this sound familiar? If so, take a deep breath and keep reading. Leash reactivity is a common and normal behavior for dogs. While cases vary in severity, and it is always advisable to consult a professional, force-free dog trainer if you have a leash reactive dog, rest assured that there are techniques you can use on your daily walks to manage and improve your dog’s leash manners (and your peace of mind).

What’s going to be surprising about the next few paragraphs is what the training entails. Why? Because it appears counterintuitive. As a society, we tend to have a knee-jerk reaction to “aggressive” behaviors in dogs. Many people wrongly think we need to punish their dogs for growling, lunging and baring their teeth. It’s not difficult to understand how this myth came to be, but in reality, you need to do the exact opposite.

When your dog is doing all those embarrassing, blustery behaviors on leash, it’s because she is upset. She is uncomfortable being constrained by a leash and encountering dogs, men, bicycles, etc. The blustery behaviors are the symptoms of the overarching problem. To solve leash reactivity, we need to change your dog’s emotion. Read on to learn how. mort-gerberg-boy-i-d-love-to-meet-you-sometime-off-leash-new-yorker-cartoon

Goals:

- Keep your dog calm and focused on you throughout the walk

- Create positive associations with your dog’s typical triggers (instead of “uh oh, here it comes,” we want “yippee! here it comes!”)

- As much as possible, avoid situations that are likely to put your dog over his comfort threshold

Step 1: Identify your dog’s triggers

- What makes your dog lunge, bark, growl or whine on leash? Common triggers include: other dogs (sometimes specific dogs, other times all dogs), people, people wearing heavy coats/hats/hoodies, men, skateboards, bicycles, and children.

Step 2: Motivation

- To keep your dog’s attention, you’ll need some highly tasty, highly valuable treats. Test out various options to find which ones your dog loves the most. Reserve the most valuable treats to use only on walks – this will make them more salient. Also try mixing up the types of treats you use during the walk to keep things interesting.

- Some dogs love tug toys just as much or more than treats. If you have a dog that is toy motivated, you can also use this in addition to food.

Step 3: Equipment

- Make sure your dog is fitted with a no-pull harness (and has been trained to wear one).

- If your dog has a history of aggression toward dogs and strangers, be sure to train your dog to wear a basket muzzle for safety purposes. (Mutt About Town recommends Baskerville brand muzzles. For more information about muzzles and muzzle training, go to The Muzzle Up! Project at http://muzzleupproject.com).

- Don’t forget a treat pouch! You’ll need a way to easily access and deliver treats on the walk.

- Use a regular nylon or cotton leash (no flexi-leads). As much as possible, try to keep the leash loose, as a tight leash can cause an increase in reactivity in dogs.

The Plan

- While walking your dog, keep a keen eye on the environment. Scan the sidewalk and surrounding area for potential triggers. Avoid areas where your dog could get “cornered” with an oncoming trigger.

- Once your dog notices a trigger (a dog in a yard, a stranger across the street, etc.), immediately start “happy talking” to your dog and delivering treats. Make sure the treats come after your dog notices the trigger. We want the trigger to predict the treats, so that your dog learns that the things he fears actually lead to good things.

- If your dog is too upset to take treats (i.e., if the trigger is too strong or too close), commence the happy talking and turn to create some distance between you and the trigger. Once your dog has some distance, proceed with the treats.

- If you notice a situation nearby that your dog will not handle well, turn and go the other way. The goal of the walk is to keep your dog as calm as possible. One of the best tools you have in addition to supplying treats is increasing distance between your dog and the things that upset him.

- Reinforce calm behavior! If you see your dog do typical walking behaviors (sniffing, loose and relaxed body language, “shaking it off” after stressful situations, or making eye contact with you), immediately reward him. To maintain calm, periodically ask your dog to do a simple behavior like “sit” or “touch,” and follow up with a treat. This helps your dog stay focused on you, and the reward for the behavior builds positive associations with the walk and surrounding environment.

- Do not punish the reactive behavior (barking, lunging, growling, etc). Your dog is doing these behaviors because he is uncomfortable and upset. If you punish these behaviors, we’re only working on the symptoms of leash reactivity. The root of the problem is the emotion. By supplying happy talk and treats when your dog encounters things that are scary to him, you are gradually changing the emotion. You will not increase the barking, growling and lunging by doing this. Why? Because once your dog no longer fears his triggers, he will no longer do the reactive behaviors. Remember: You cannot reward fear.

Maureen Backman, MS is Muttville’s own behavior specialist. She is also the owner of Mutt About Town
Contact Maureen: muttabouttownsf@gmail.com

mariem3 | 08.22.13 | 1 comment

Success Story Vladamir

Success Story Vladamir

Vladamir’s story is a shining example of what a new lease on life can do for an abandoned senior dog. Thank you to mom Leigh for giving Vladimir a chance to know love and happiness.

Life Of Vladamir

“Vladamir is one of those really fortunate dogs to have come right up to death’s door and return with an olympic tenacity for life. He was unable to move and seemed to have given up as he lay there in the LA Devore Shelter all alone. PetConnect.US saw this beautiful boy so depressed and sick, and made great efforts to get him out so he could live his remaining days in peace and comfort. Who was waiting to help this boy on the other side? Muttville! And, his saint of a mother to be, Leigh Leamons.

Vladamir had severe spinal degenerative disc disease. Did this prevent him from crossing the room for some love, or down the stairs for a spin around the block? Oh no! Leigh faithfully took this boy to acupuncture each

week to tend to his needs and make sure he was as comfortable as he could be. Dr. Kris Kruse of Animal Scan treated him with acupuncture and herbs. It really made a difference. His walking and mobility improved. He knew it and felt it. He knew his appointment days. He would head for the front door in anticipation because he knew that he was going to feel better and he would see Diana Martin who would so lovingly hold him and entertain him during his treatments. However, the cold winter seemed to take its toll. The good periods that Vladamir enjoyed seemed to get shorter. Dr. Kruse consulted with Dr. Carrie Jurney of AIMSS who had seen Vladamir initially. It was decided to repair the worst disc in hope to restore his quality of life that he enjoyed a few months earlier. He did well with the surgery but contracted pneumonia a few days later. He bounced back from that surprisingly quickly. When Vladamir left AIMSS to come home he left with lots of hugs and kisses from staff and Dr. Jurney. Unfortunately, his time was limited. So many people went to great lengths to do what was needed for him. You just couldn’t avoid loving him, his great spirit and beautiful sweet face. Vladamir lived the best possible last year of his life any dog could hope for with Gladys, (another wonderful senior from Muttville) and their incredibly devoted mother Leigh.

May you, Leigh, receive all the love and care you gave to Vlad in return during this time of seeing him over the rainbow bridge.


Are you the proud parent of a Muttville dog? Send us your story! Include 3 of your favorite photos and send to success_stories@muttville.org with the subject line ‘Success Story’.


You can help create many more new beginnings!
Adopt. Foster. Volunteer. Donate.

mariem3 | 08.14.13 | 0 comments

Adopted Mutts! July 29 - August 11

Adopted Mutts! July 29 - August 11

Big congrats to these very happy senior mutts who found forever homes! (S4S indicates the dog was adopted through our Seniors For Seniors Program.)

Bonita
Samantha
Chuy
Peanut
Billy Ray – S4S
Angel
Sage
Pookie – S4S
Hercules
Thelma
Clara – S4S
Buster
Farrah
Penelope – S4S
Stewie
Garcia – S4S
Theodore – S4S
Diva – S4S
Rex
Honey Bunch – S4S
Wembley
Greta
Orlando
Rooty
Coco – S4S
Tess

To see the profiles of these lucky mutts, visit the Recent Adoptions section of our Mutts page.


Every dog adopted means another life we can save.
There’s a perfect senior waiting for you!
Click here to see all of our mutts.

You can help create many more new beginnings!
Adopt. Foster. Volunteer. Donate.

mariem3 | 08.12.13 | 3 comments

Success Story Cramer

Success Story Cramer

Ah, the joys of having a senior dog companion! We love stories like Cramer’s, and we think you will enjoy this heart warmer too. Thank you Sally for sharing your love story.

“I adopted Cramer just before Christmas, so we have now been together half a year. And when I say “together” I mean together, because he would follow me everywhere if he could, like he is tied to my ankle. His personality is the perfect combination of noble and sweet. He loves to eat, to be outside, to go on alert when he sees a squirrel in GG park (daily!). He is a very silent dog except for the occasional yip of pleasure, or mournful howl when I leave (I’m told it doesn’t last) I have only heard him bark once in six months. He is wonderful with other dogs, especially my daughter’s dog, a young (6!) terrier who lives in the same building. Yet Uncle Cramer takes no guff from snarky dogs. A particularly agressive standard poodle who tries to rule our block made the mistake of getting in Cramer’s grill the other day, and the old man would have none of it. I cheered and laughed all the way home.

Cramer eats special food and is on meds for weakened kidneys, but is otherwise perfect. Thank you Muttville for saving this dog!


Are you the proud parent of a Muttville dog? Send us your story! Include 3 of your favorite photos and send to success_stories@muttville.org with the subject line ‘Success Story’.


You can help create many more new beginnings!
Adopt. Foster. Volunteer. Donate.

mariem3 | 08.07.13 | 2 comments