Duke’s first hip surgery was a success, and he is doing very well with his rehabilitation. We are now at the point of doing stairs. It was interesting to learn he was either not familiar or very uncomfortable with the idea of going up and down steps. It took some prompting with his food bowl, but he is now going up and down stairs like a champion.
I’ll be a very happy foster mom when we are able to go for an actual walk so that Duke can release some of his pent-up energy; however, for now, we must be content doing stairs five times a day. Although I’ve tried walking Duke around the yard for his potty breaks, he does not know how to walk on a leash, and if he does not want to do something, he will just lay down.
It has become obvious to us this boy did not have any training in the early stages of his life. Thankfully, Duke is food-motivated and willing to learn. Duke and I spend time every day in training mode, and he is very quick to learn a new command.
Duke is now a pro at “sit,” “down,” and “shake,” and is getting really good at “stay.” We are still working on “leave it,” and “quiet,” and the necessary command “no.” Duke does not like to be told “no” and will usually lift his paw for you to hold or cover his face. It’s hard not to laugh at him, but he’s having to learn that “no” means “no” and he can’t do whatever he wants all the time.
Duke is really a puppy in a big boy's body. His mouthy behavior has dramatically improved, but he will still occasionally turn his head toward your hand and try to nip at you. With a quick and firm “no” as a reminder, he will stop in mid-turn.
Because Duke came from a home with children, I’m guessing they played a game of clothes tug-of-war while getting dressed. Needless to say, I have several shirts that are torn because Duke thought he should be able to grab my clothes and pull. This is where the “leave it” command has been helpful. We just need to get the idea to stick even if there is no food involved, but that will come with time.
Duke will be having his other hip operated on in the very near future, so we will be starting his rehabilitation all over again. I was certainly hoping for better news from his check-up, but he only has a small window of opportunity to get the surgery done.
On a happier note, once Duke is healed from his hip surgeries, he will be better than ever and able to live a true Golden Life, free of pain.
We are extremely fortunate to have the ability to help dogs like Duke, and this can only be done through generous donations. If you were thinking about donating to a dog in need, please consider our boy Duke.
Duke will not be available for adoption until he has recovered from his hip surgeries.