I've been Adopted!
Sponsored by: Rosita O.
Hello everyone! Here's Hawk! He was thought to be about a year old, but after taking a closer look at his teeth, the vet thought he was probably more like 2 years old.
He was found as a stray in Northern Minnesota. He was running with a pack of 6 dogs. No one knows how long they were running alone. It must have been a while, as Hawk was very skinny and is quite skittish around humans. When he came in to the shelter near where he was found, he weighed in at a measly 41 pounds! But, after a month at the shelter he's now at 58 pounds and could stand to gain 5-10 more pounds. He is currently UTD and microchipped. He got a bath and I think the condition of his coat will continue to improve, as it seemed dry yesterday.
He is scheduled to be neutered next Thursday, September 4th. He will be available for adoption after that. However, if you're interested in coming to visit Hawk, you sure can, he just will not be able to go home until the 5th or 6th.
I think Hawk would probably benefit from having another dog to learn from. He needs to learn how to be a dog, trust people and expect the best out of life!
First I have to thank everyone who came out and to visit me last weekend at PetsMart! I had a blast! FM said I did a great job not being so skittish with everyone petting me and sneaking up behind me.
I am continuing to learn that things are ok, even when they move fast or sound loud! I really like these bones they have here! They're almost as good as cardboard boxes to chew on! :) FM said I can't eat the boxes anymore...that's what the bones are for, apparently...How was I supposed to know?
I really like playing with the dog here...She shows me how to play with her, AND with toys! What a gal!
Otherwise, not much is new...I've been gaining a little weight, so I'll be the perfect size very soon!
Hello everyone! Sorry it's been so long since my last update, but FM and I have been super busy! FM has been busy with school and I've been busy learning all kinds of new things! FM has even been taking me to new places with people and dogs! Although, my fur sister has been teaching me the most!
I've come leap and bounds (literally and figuratively!) in my growth as a "normal", adjusted dog! I've been running around this place and even chasing after my foster sister when she takes my toy! I finally caught on to this whole "toy" concept! I love this squeaky teddy bear and sometimes when I try to take it away from my foster sister...I forget about it and we just end up playing with each other!
I'm really learning a lot here and starting to adjust well!
Just wanted to drop a quick note and tell everyone that I will be at the Coon Rapids event this weekend from about 12 noon till the end! So if you want to come and see me, please do!
Also, he reliably comes when I call his name. Lately, he has even been coming when I call, without even seeing me. Today, to my surprise, I was cutting some bread in the kitchen with all the other hoarders around me. However, when I turned around to "accidentally" drop a piece of bread, there was Hawk, with the rest of the crew! This has now happened on multiple occasions since then!
He is also getting used to being brushed! I can now let go of his collar while brushing him in the kitchen and he doesn't go darting off to the couch! He stays with me in the kitchen and just turns one way and then the next.
Hawk came with us during our holiday travels to my brother's house. He was quite skittish in his new surroundings and stayed glued to the couch most of the time. However, he did come multiple times when I called him. Also, he was confident about taking treats from strangers and even looked excited when he knew it was coming! This is a huge improvement from when we got him 3 months ago! He didn't know what toys, people or treats were. Now, he has toys and treats pretty much mastered.
However, people are still quite a mystery to him. He's learning and it will just take time. He has quite a strong bond with me (Foster Mom) and will need one individual in his forever home to have that strong bond with. I do not think he needs to be in a one person house. On the contrary, I think he'd make a great family pet. He was gentle with my nieces this weekend and did well with their dog and cat. He would definitely need another well adjusted dog to learn from.
Overall, he's learning so much, but it's been a slow process. He is such a good boy and it will just take time and patience from his forever family to help him adjust.
Last Tuesday night Hawk came to stay with us in St. Louis Park. Hawk had a small problem with his first foster mom's guinea pig. He had figured out how to get out of his kennel and one day managed to escape and unfortunately his high prey drive took over with the poor guinea pig. For this reason we are asking that he not go to a place with small furry animals (guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, gerbils etc.) He is fine with cats and rabbits. When Hawk landed with us on Tuesday night I will admit that I spent the night worrying that we made the wrong choice in fostering him. The poor guy spent the day and night huddling behind the couch and wouldn't let anyone touch him. He would whimper until our resident lab came to see him. He was scared out of his poor little mind. Each day since then he has improved. He now has four "safe" spots in the house, behind the couch, on the couch, on the bed, and his kennel. When he is in those places he becomes a totally different dog. He is playful and will cuddle and ask for belly rubs. Anywhere else though and it becomes a different story.
Hawk here to say hi to all of you crazy two-legged creatures. My foster brother says you're called humans. Whatever you are, I have to say I am not all that comfortable with you guys yet. I'm working on it though. When I first landed in this little house I was so scared I would only hide behind the couch. Now I've figured out that the couch and armchair are pretty cool places to hang out. That big bed in the room at the end of the hall is pretty cool too. My foster brother and I wrestle there all the time. Sometimes the head lady in charge tells us to quit it though, especially when she's trying to sleep in.
I'm still not entirely sure about the whole going potty in the backyard. At my first place I went potty outside on a leash all the time and I'm pretty good at that. It's really different though to have all of this open space to potty. I'm not used to it quite yet, although the head lady (I think she's called my foster mom...) says I'm getting a lot better at it. Instead of freezing in one spot I run around, but only around the perimeter of the yard, not through it. Hopefully with practice we'll get there. Cody (my foster brother) really seems to like it, so there has to be something cool about it.
During the day when FM is at work I go into my kennel like a good boy. But it's ok, because she gives me these great frozen toys (Kongs) filled with this yummy sticky stuff (peanut butter). Since I never got a chance to be a puppy when I was younger, sometimes I get a little chewy with stuff around the house. I also like to horde things from around the house. I never really destroy them, but FM has been known to find socks, shirts, pillows, and blankets in my crate. We can't all be angels right? I do get to sleep in the big bed with Cody and my foster parents at night. Mom says that for being a big lab I don't take up that much room. I can still be skittish when my foster mom and dad make sudden movements, but I am feeling more and more comfortable every day. Yesterday I surprised FM by going into the kitchen to get my allergy pill and cheese all by myself. Usually FM has to find me and give it to me. She was so happy she gave me a big hug!
Even though I am feeling a lot better about where I am and the people here, there are some things I still need to learn:
- Walking comfortably on a leash
- Getting more comfortable in the big backyard
- Staying comfortable when new people come to visit (right now it makes me freeze)
- Learning the basic commands (I'd love to go to some obedience classes!)
- Another dog who will play with me (FM's note: this is mandatory, Hawk needs another dog to model himself after)
- A fenced in yard
- Someone with both patience and willingness to show me that the world is not a scary place
- Lots and lots of toys (I love to chew!)
- Someone who is committed to taking me to obedience classes to give me good doggy skills
Our Hawky-boy (as he is affectionately known) is coming along in spades. While he will always have issues when new things are introduced into his environment, he is showing that he is getting more and more comfortable in our home. Last night he actually greeted me at the door when I got home from work and when we were having our nightly cuddle time he actually gave me a kiss on the nose. I about fainted dead away when that happened.
Last weekend Hawk had his first big test on acclimating to new stressors. My husband and I had to go out of town rather unexpectedly and a close friend and fellow dog rescuer came to stay with the dogs for a few days. At first it went as expected, Hawk plastered himself to the couch and wouldn't move to do anything but go outside to potty. But by the 3rd day he was letting Sarah pet him and sit next to him, that's way better than he was with us so it proves there is hope for our boy! We are still having issues with his fear of being on a leash, and unbeknownst to him we're going to start working on that in earnest in the next week.
About 3am on Friday morning the vomiting started. He kept vomiting until about 9am coupled with diarrhea. That's not normal, so we were off to the vet. He spent the day there and got some IV's for dehydration. We were deciding on next steps when he decided to vomit up all the fluff. We thought we were in the clear and things were going pretty well.
Saturday he was doing ok (as those who saw him at PetSmart can attest) though he still wouldn't eat. Sunday he took a turn for the worse and started throwing up again all through the night. He was also refusing to lay down, he paced the hallways all night long Sunday night and Monday night.
We went to the vet on Monday, did some x-rays and sure enough there were some suspicious blockages in the intestines. I made the decision to do some more x-rays throughout the day. That night we decided to do one more x-ray in the morning before we made any decision. The x-rays done today showed that the blockage was worse and we decided on surgery. It turns out that he had a one foot section of rope that managed to tie itself around his intestines. I got a chance to visit him tonight and he's a bit loopy on drugs but he'll make it. I get to bring him home tomorrow and we're all so excited. We've been missing his goofy personality and cuddles.
I want to say a HUGE thank you to the folks at Shady Oak Vet Clinic. Without their help I don't know where Hawky-boy would be.
Hawk's medical bills have topped out at about $1200 with all the tests and surgery. If you've been thinking about sponsoring a dog, please think about sponsoring Hawk. If you had a chance to meet this sweet boy and see how far he's come in the last few months please think about donating towards his medical expenses. He and I would be so greatful.
I'm attaching some pics of my visit to the hospital tonight. I'll update more tomorrow when I get him home.
Thursday we started our 1 tablespoon of food every two hours feeding schedule and poor Hawk is so disappointed every time we put just one measly little tablespoon in his bowl. The poor guy is STARVING having not had a full meal since last Thursday but because of the surgery he can only have a little bit of wet food at a time. Needless to say he has become quite the food hunter and attempted thief which he never really did before. Luckily we're used to having a food hunter in the house so Hawk has never gotten lucky enough to get anything much to his disappointment.
Hawk's least favorite part of recover however is his naked tummy. He keeps trying to itch it and he shakes out in the cold. So he's been sporting quite the array of ever trendy t-shirts to keep his tummy and staples covered. Our boy has skin allergies anyway and with a naked tummy his allergies are making him itchy and getting little red hives.
I thought I would send in some pictures of our Hawky-boy both before and after his surgery. We're hoping to get his stitches out this weekend. We'll see if we get the all clear when we have his check-up on Saturday.
We're finally up to a regular meal schedule which is soooo exciting for him. Now we can concentrate on getting those 8.5 pounds back on his skinny little frame. Hawk is doing leaps and bounds better than he was, behaviorally speaking. Yesterday when I got home from work he actually jumped up on me he was so excited to see me. Normally jumping is not something we encourage at this house, but in this case I was so excited I even cried a little. He is certainly improving and it makes me so happy.
This week was a big week for our Hawky-boy. We have started going to a Wallflower training class for shy and fearful dogs. He did pretty good for his first day and even took a treat out of the hand of a strange man! I about fell over I was so surprised. Of course the man was laying down on his back, so he was less of a threat but still. I was proud of our little man. My husband and I are also working on renovating a new house and we've started taking Cody and Hawk with us whenever we go over there. Within a day Hawk had found his safe spot there and even started accompanying Cody when he went to greet new people. Slowly but surely this boy is starting to understand that there is more to life than fear. Our next skill to conquer is sit and lay down. He's skittish so it is hard to teach the traditional way, but we're working on it. We've been going on plenty of walks and now he is familiar with the Gentle Leader and is overall fine with it. I've never met a dog who actually enjoyed the Gentle Leader, but at least he is not like resident dog and tries to rip it off.
Hawk is starting to show his puppy side the more comfortable he is in this environment. Hence, chewing has become a problem. But as long as you keep things you don't want eaten up off the floor, it's all good. He is a curious little boy when he wants to be. He has also finally convinced Cody that it is a fun game to play tug. The wrestling matches in the living room and on the bed have also started full force again post-surgery.
The vet and I have mutually come to the conclusion that Hawk's allergies are mainly food related and he is now on a strict grain-free diet to see if that will solve his itchiness. He also takes 1 Bendadryl in the morning and 1 at night.
I won't sugar coat it, this boy will need A LOT of work to bring him to where a "normal" dog should be. Even then I am not convinced that he will ever be normal. But he will return your love tenfold and will be devoted to you forever.
Hawk needs the following in a forever home:
- Kids over the age of 6 (for his own anxiety level)
- No small furry animals (cats are fine)
- A second dog
- A stable home (any variations in routine are very traumatic for him)
- A patient hand and open loving heart
- A BIG wire crate (it is his safe space and he is lost without it)
- Someone willing to spring for his special food. It's about 40-50 dollars a 25lb bag. He gets super itchy and uncomfortable without it.
Our boy has been proving himself to be quite the outgoing class clown lately. He has figured out where I keep the dog food in the closet and he waits until he knows I have my back to him and then he crawls down the hallway and opens the door. He grabs the scoop and then likes to dance around my feet and show it to me. I think he thinks he's super smart! :) He's also discovered that sometimes there are treats in my purse and I have caught him a few times trying to get my purse off the hook in the kitchen. Goober. The past few days he has also been jumping around and dancing for me when I get home from work. My husband is jealous because he doesn't get the dance....just me. Hawk has also figured out the best way to get Cody to play with him. He will walk right up to Cody when he is sleeping and sit down right in front of him and proceed to chew on Cody's leg. Cody has no choice but to fight back and then it is on! My brother jokes it's like watching WWF in the living room. They bounce from chair to couch to floor and back again. For a 55 lb lumbering lab, Hawk has the grace of a ballerina. Yesterday I caught him literally leaping from one end of the living room to the other, clearing two end tables and a 1.5 foot tall floral arrangement with ease. Never mind that his foster mom almost had a heart attack.
Hawk is just a joy to have around. You have to have the patience to wait for his personality to emerge, but boy is it rewarding when you see this goofy boy comfortable.
Hawk has developed a new routine. Every morning when the alarm goes off at 6am, Hawk will flip onto his back and streeeeeetch until his mouth reaches the bottom of my t-shirt. Then he ever so gently tugs on my t-shirt until I wake up. Then he jumps in my arms for a quick snuggle before potty time. He's so cute!
Hawk also finally showed us that he can tell us when he has to go potty. It has taken him a long time and a few accidents, but now he is finally developing a signal which both me and my carpet thank him for. Another milestone for the Hawky-boy!
Now that he is getting more and more comfortable here, he has developed a little bit of a protective side when new people come to the house. He will bark and his fur stands on end. We're working with him on that to make sure it doesn't get worse. I think he'll be fine. For all I know it's just a ploy to get some more cheese out of me....
For some reason learning the command sit is hard for Hawk, but he has had no trouble with other commands. He knows leave it, stay, NO, hot (I teach every dog that stays with me this one, it guarantees safety around the oven), kennel, and heel. We're still persevering in his obedience class, so one of these days we'll be sitting like a champ!
I can officially say that Hawk has absolutely no problem with resource guarding from humans. He accidentally got ahold of a rib bone and I caught him and gently took it right out of his mouth. No growls, posturing or anything. He also let my neighbor's pig of a dog eat right out of his bowl while he was eating out of it, so no problems there either.
If you are interested in a goofy, lovable dog and you have the patience to wait out the appearance of this personality, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have had the privilege of being on one of the volunteer teams that is one of the first to see dogs that come in to RAGOM. When I first saw Hawk's story and picture come through, I was determined to foster this sweet boy. Unfortunately at the time I had Cowgirl 08-401, so he went to his first foster mom. I met Hawk a few times and my heart just broke watching him cower and shake in fear of everything. His first FM said he was such a joy when he was home. When the opportunity came up for him to move to another foster home I jumped at the chance to get my hands on this sweet baby. He was so afraid of everything in our house the first month and a half, but then once he warmed up, LOOK OUT!