| addition to LOVE this dog has the following requirements:
||Must be the only dog
||Can live with cats
||Physical fence required
|Rufus is a nine-year-old gentleman who is moderately active and thrives on the quiet companionship of a human. He loves to walk, run in the yard, and help you garden. An ideal adopter is one who can be home more often than not and understands his unique needs described below.
|This is the most recent information available; however, it may change as we learn more about the dog.
Let me introduce you to Rufus, a nine-year-old Golden Retriever who came to RAGOM in November of 2015. His official name is Brutus, but I call him Rufus because this sweet boy is not a Brutus, and he took to his new name right away. Rufus spent the majority of his life in a kennel run, having minimal interaction with humans or other animals. Unlike some dogs who have grown up in isolation, he seems relatively well-adjusted and doesn't demonstrate concerning fear issues.
Sweet, handsome Rufus
However, we learned that Rufus was dropped on his head as a puppy, and the brain damage he sustained has resulted in a condition where he runs in circles when he gets excited or nervous. He was evaluated by a neurologist in early 2016, who concluded that with the lack of progression of his symptoms over the previous months, it's very possible they will remain static (neither worsen nor improve). This has been true in the time he's been in foster care. While his circling continues, the intensity of it has diminished.
Another symptom of his neurological damage I have observed is his excessive water consumption, which has led to frequent urination . Having ruled out medical issues, I think this is just a part of Rufus and something his future family will need to learn to manage. Fortunately, he is very good at signaling when he needs to go outside by circling in smaller loops. Sometimes, when I am sitting, he will come up and stare at me, which he doesn't do at other times.
To better understand his unique behaviors, we consulted with a behavioral vet. Dr. D's observation was that Rufus runs in circles as a way to calm himself; she did not see it as a symptom of OCD or any serious behavioral issues. She also felt that he was drinking more water due to his nerves. Fluoxetine was prescribed to help with his mild anxiety, and by the time we had our second visit with Dr. D, she was impressed by how much more relaxed Rufus appeared. She suggested that we work on crate training, because he did surprisingly well in boarding, whereas having a sitter was evidently stressful to him.
On the topic of crate training, Dr. D advised that we take it slowly, focusing on Rufus's comfort level. I have a crate set up in the living room and let him use it as he pleases. So far, I have been feeding him in there, and he has willingly gone in, eating at his normal pace. Our goal is for him to feel sufficiently comfortable with the idea of spending time in his crate so that I can shut the door and leave him alone without causing him anxiety. We are hopeful that this would eliminate his accidents while I am away.
Ideally, I would like Rufus's forever family to be more of the homebody type. He would thrive in a home where someone is around most of the time and can watch his signals so that he can be let outside frequently.
His accidents aside, Rufus is the easiest dog you could have. Sweet and loyal, he likes to follow you around the house, but he isn't demanding of your attention. While he enjoys pets and ear scratches, he doesn't feel the need to be Velcroed to you as long as you remain in his line of sight. When you sit down to relax at the end of the day, he will happily lie down on the floor, serving as your quiet companion.
Though Rufus needs to be in the same area as his person, he is respectful of your space.
Speaking of being quiet, Rufus does not bark! I have yet to hear a peep out of him other than an occasional squeal when he is exceedingly excited. No matter how rowdy other dogs get, this gentleman never joins their choir, which is quite a breath of fresh air. He simply has impeccable manners. In the house, he has a favorite destuffed toy that he loves to play with ; in the yard, he enjoys running and (sometimes) retrieving, showing no interest to dig--r est assured that your garden is safe, and he might even assist you by bringing you a flower pot! Because of his need to run freely, I would like him to have a physically fenced yard in his forever home. Trust me, you couldn't help but smile when you see how much good that does him.
Rufus's favorite toy outside is a plastic flower container. He will pounce on it when he first sees it, run in circles, shake it around, and toss it in the air.
Rufus has a good level of energy for a nine-year-old. He enjoys his daily walks, and he walks with such a spring in his step that people we meet are often surprised to hear of his age. He is also very healthy. The only medication he is on is the anti-anxiety mentioned above, which he takes obligingly with some peanut butter at mealtime. Have I said what an easy dog he is?
Rufus loves being outside and relaxes while I garden.
As easy-going as he is, Rufus would do best in a home with no young children and where he is the only dog. While he is eager to meet everyone on our walks, he prefers his home environment to be as low-key as possible. My quiet, child-free, dog-free household has suited him extremely well and helped him stay calm, thus reducing the chances of his accidents. Cats would be a welcome addition, as he gets along with mine beautifully and even lets one of them eat out of his bowl without batting an eyelid!
If you think Rufus would be a good fit in your home, please submit an "Inquiry for Application" form. If you have already filled out an "Inquiry for Application" form, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with Rufus's name, his RAGOM number, the name you submitted the Inquiry for Application form under, and a sentence or two why you feel you'd be a good match.