The Hicks Family
“For Leo the world's most Potentially Amazing Agility Dog. Go, go, go buddy! We love and miss you.”
From Cooper, Bauer, and Betty
May 16, 2012
Welcome Back to RAGOM Little Man!
Leo, formally known as "Littlin," is a 5 yr. old little love bug that weighs about 55 lbs soaking wet. He is a beautiful Golden Mix---thought to have some Spaniel in him! In fact…there is a mixed breed called “Spangold Retriever” (Golden Retriever/Spaniel) and I’m willing to bet that is a very good guess on this boy!!! His body, ears, forehead, tracking ability, speckled paws, long ears, and LOVE of WATER are good indicators if you ask me…but we’ll see what you all think.
“Enough with the landscaping! Let's play some ball!”
Leo was adopted last year by a very loving family. They did everything in their power to make Leo feel comfortable and safe in his own skin as a first time "only" dog. But after a year or so of trying, they realized that perhaps this was not the “environment” Leo needed and so they lovingly asked RAGOM to find Leo a place where he could be the dog he was truly meant to be. You see, over the last year at his home, Leo started to exhibit random "reactive" behaviors for the first time with stranglers and always seemed "on edge" during their walks through the busy neighborhood. There were some incidents noted of Leo lunging at random strangers during these walks and nipping at delivery people and neighbor kids when they entered the family home. This was NOT the Leo the family knew and not the Leo previous foster families had experienced. So in came a trainer to help. Unfortunately, the training helped the family "manage" Leo but did not help Leo the way they had hoped ---thus not providing him with the Golden life they wanted for him.
The busy living environment might have added to Leo feeling somewhat overwhelmed and anxious at times. Leo's adoptive home was set directly across the street from a school with buses that came and went most of the day and the backyard hosted a public walkway through which school kids used daily . The neighbor next door also had a business in which delivery trucks stopped often and so Leo was constantly on guard in his own home. Of course, in hind sight, it's easy to see the differeneces between the environments from Leo's foster home to his adoptive home clearly: city vs. country, resident dog in the home vs. only dog, land to burn off energy vs. tethered walk and ball time---but who knew such a change would have such an impact on Leo? No one really....he was a happy boy and loved people so being an only dog in a loving family sounds pretty ideal for a dog!
Leo truly loved his family ….and it was so obvious how much they loved him! He is just a loving soul and I just commend his family for wanting a better situation for Leo after trying everything under the sun. Sometimes it’s just a change of venue or the return to a pack makes the difference, so let’s hope this is the case with Leo. So far, after two weeks at his new foster home which is set out in the country with a friendly pack of dogs, we've experienced only a very happy, playful boy.
“Looks like Leo's Game!"
Here is a recap of Leo’s life as we know it…
2 yr. old Leo is surrendered to RAGOM by his 1st owner because she could no longer afford to care for Leo and wanted a better life for this wonderful boy! We thank her for loving Leo so much!
Leo luckily gets a temp foster and then a permanent foster soon after arriving in RAGOMland. He stays with his foster family for almost 2 years and they finally decide to adopt him. Everyone is happy! Leo learns how to be a family dog, how to potty outside and learns some manners.
Leo, now 4 yrs. old, finds out his adoptive family is relocating and cannot take Leo along and so he is returned to RAGOM. “Once a RAGOM dog…always a RAGOM dog.” Back in a foster home, Leo finds he is in heaven in the quiet setting and settles right in! Quiet country living, trips to the nursing home to visit friends (lots of attention), and a great resident dog to love…..ahhhh…life it very good for Leo! So good in fact, he found a wonderful family to call his very own and was adopted right away! This will be Leo's 1st time out in the world as an "only dog."
Leo arrives back into RAGOM in hopes that a change in "environment" is exactly what this boy needs to be the dog he was always meant to be.
We welcome our new foster boy onto the ranch where he met the pack of fur friends like long lost relatives….full body wiggles and lots of licks....I was relieved to see such happiness and excitment! Everyone got along right off the bat----though with one other "ball lover" like Leo in the house---we had a few minor scuffles with the "new girl" who also loves tennis balls -----but once they understood each other, they kissed and made up. No problems since the addition of a new rule: "No tennis balls in the house."
Foster Sister Sugar 11-437 & Leo
Leo has been a wonderful guest and has settled in almost seamlessly with our family and our routine. He has free roam with the pack for 6 hours while we are away at work and when we return, Leo enjoys his time hunting for lost balls out back, chasing the tennis ball wherever we throw it, chewing his tennis ball, weaseling his way into our bed at night, laying by his fur brothers and sister, and cuddling with FM and FD!
We've had company stop over randomly these past two weeks and not so much as a concerned look from Leo. Leo does wait for the other dogs to meet the “newcomers” first and then he walks/runs right up with his wiggle butt and offers licks that are ready for the taking---much like he greets us when we arrive home which is always a treat!
We are just really learning about Leo and what he needs to be successful in his 4th---and FINAL forever home! So far…we are convinced he needs:
· 1-2 resident dog(s)
· a large area to run, play and explore
· a country-type quiet setting
· An active family member(s)----runner, avid walker, hiker, outdoors person, etc.
· Commitment to exercise, direction, and purpose. This is a VERY smart boy….easy to train….agility training would be outstanding or some kind of search/rescue…he loves to track!
· A lake or place to swim. Oh my….WATER + LEO = TRUE LOVE! Leo found a puddle after the last rain and laid right down in it like a dog bed!
That's it for now....please stay tuned...Leo's NEW Adventure has just begun....
We will be out at the RAGOM Meet & Greet this Saturday….come out and give this little guy a BIG RAGOM Welcome Back!