Foster Dog Update

Sorry it has been a few days, but hopefully most of you have been able to stay updated on Kingston’s progress via our facebook pages. He is doing so well, and it is in large part thanks to all of you and your generous contributions. His surgery was largely successful, although more extensive than originally anticipated. Many thanks to the wonderful team at Butler Veterinary Associates, who took care of Kingston like one of their own, and made every effort to make it as affordable as possible for us. As of tonight, he has officially finished his antibiotics and pain meds, and we are looking forward to his suture removal on Saturday (when he will FINALLY be able to get a bath!)

Not a day goes by that I don't hear Foster Dad reminding Kingston that 'chicks dig scars,' and 'scars are tattoos with better stories'.

Not a day goes by that I don’t hear Foster Dad reminding Kingston that ‘chicks dig scars,’ and ‘scars are tattoos with better stories’.

In approximately 5 weeks, he will again be put under in order to remove the rod that was placed to stabilize the bone as it healed. Only then will we truly get a handle on how he has healed and how his future movement will be affected.

In the meantime, we have enjoyed getting to know this wonderful little guy as he grows more comfortable, physically as well as emotionally. We have learned a lot about him, including:

1) What’s yours is yours and what’s his is yours…

Kingston has no concept of guarding his toys, food, bed, etc. He is more than happy to share with us, our guests, other dogs, and even the cat!

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2) He really does love everyone

Along those lines, Kingston hasn’t met anyone that wasn’t his friend! He is friendly and appropriate with other well-mannered dogs, and if anything is somewhat passive. With that being said, he can be a little nervous around new people, especially at night if he cannot see their faces, or in other new situations. The more friendly and loving people he is introduced to, the more confidence we see in his interactions with them. He warms up very quickly, but his adopters should be prepared to keep his history in mind, and therefore take introductions slowly.

3) He has his driver’s license

Okay, so obviously not really. But he does make an awesome passenger!

4) Basically a teacher’s pet

This boy is SMART. Tell him something once, and he’s got it nailed. He is easily mastering sit, down, stay, come, and a few others.

5) Nobody is perfect

We are working on improving a few things… the first being his masculine tendencies (let’s just say he REALLY loves the dog beds, and loves to display his affection whenever the opportunity presents itself) the second being how to greet people appropriately (now that he has 4 working legs, he seems to want to test their strength!) and the third being house training (although we are almost positive this has been compounded by the many medications he’s been on). Finally, he has some separation anxiety. Any unique or creative tips on how to approach these issues would be appreciated!

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All in all, this dog is absolutely going to make someone a fantastic family member. Even with limited opportunities for exercise, he seems to have the ideal activity level, as he is happy to run and play in the yard, but easily entertains himself when you would prefer to relax. Kingston is incredibly appropriate with other dogs, although it is important to note that his tendency toward timidness may not make him an ideal candidate as a dog park dog. He absolutely revels in human attention and affection, and would do best in a home that is prepared to lavish him with both.

A few of you have reached out to ask what you can do to help our little guy, even though the donations have met the estimates for his medical care (THANK YOU!). You may know that we weren’t planning to foster at this time, but we just couldn’t say no to his handsome face! If you would like to donate a dog bed (even a lightly-used one!) or a bag of dog food (Acana Grasslands) it would be very much appreciated. I should also mention that he has two awesome adoption applications in the works. Pretty exciting stuff! As always, thanks for following along in our journey, and for all of the love and support you’ve sent his way. You are as much a part of his success story as his foster family!

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6 thoughts on “Foster Dog Update

  1. YAY! Keep up the good work! Thanks so much for saying “yes” when the need arised!

    As for his issues, I think an approach like Juliana at Peace, Love, & Foster took with the jumping dog at the shelter would be a good approach for both “affection” issues – learn what his body language is RIGHT BEFORE the behavior and redirect – link: http://peacelovefoster.wordpress.com/2013/07/09/helping-lebron-with-his-ups/

    As for the separation anxiety, crate training, if he isn’t already. This was the game changer with Tess — plus, she was peeing in the house when I was gone because she was anxious…I thought she wasn’t housetrained! Maybe that is the case with Kingston? We took training SUPER slow with Tess, then once she would go in and settle in while we were home, I started leaving the house while she had a super tasty treat, for a short period of time to start and slowly building up to a half day. Then a full day. Now she’s great in her crate…as long as it’s at home.

    Hope this helps some…good luck!! We’re rooting for you all…especially Kingston!

  2. We all have stuff we can work on!!! Both of mine have SA. What works for us: leaving cannot be made a big deal. I say the same words each time “i have to go byebye, i’ll be back later”. I know they don’t understand me but those words signal two things, I’m leaving and treats are coming. I do not raise my voice or say anything but those words. Jake goes into the mudroom (I would def try to contain him in one place at first, esp so you can video tape his behavior while you are gone), both boys get kongs, then I leave. My return home is even more boring, no words or tone of excitement. No affection until I’ve been home for about ten min. To train them to not freak out, i did the full weekend of desensitization – leave for one minute, come back. Repeat at the one minute level several times. Then make it 3 min, repeat a few times. Then 5 min, repeat, etc. Eventually you get up to 30 min by end of weekend. I recorded them each time to see what they did when i left and to gauge at what point they calm down (or if they don’t). Once I saw them lay down on the video, I knew we had success. I also leave music and sound machine on and we use comfort zone plug in. Good luck!!!!!

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