GO!

Do rescued dogs know they're rescued?

This is a special section for dogs needing new homes and for inspiring stories of dogs that have found their furever home through Dogster or through the love and energy of rescuers. This is also the place to discuss shelters, rescue organizations, rescue strategies, issues, solutions, etc. and how we can all help in this critical endeavor. Remember that we are all here for the love of dog! If you are posting about a dog that needs a new home, please put your location in the topic of your thread so those close by can find you! Make sure to check out Dogster's dog adoption center!

  
(Page 1 of 2: Viewing entries 1 to 10)  
Page Links: 1  2  
Ali

The Cuddly- Hellhound
 
 
Barked: Sun Jul 22, '12 6:30pm PST 
I'm pretty sure this has been touched on many times before, but everyone likes to tell their success stories.

I recently adopted two adult dogs from a shelter. One was planned, and I had actually specifically gone to see her, the other was... well. A surprise.

The short version is this: Ali had been in the shelter for over 6 months. She had been brought in as a stray, pregnant. After she had her pups and they were adopted out, they treated her for her heartworms (currently negative). After that... No one wanted her. They hinted that she was smart but unruly, a jumper, hard to discipline, etc and even went so far as to say that if they weren't a No-Kill shelter... Well, you can fill in the blanks.

Of course I fell madly in love with her and am glad I did. But the Surprise dog was her kennel-mate. May was a rescue from a Hoarder, I wasn't able to get many details, but I know that she was the last of the adult dogs that were taken, and she was probably kept in a crate all her life. She was terrified of people and other dogs and would only socialize with Ali.

The shelter said they were worried she would backslide with her training without Ali as her security blanket and she was barely adoptable as is. I agreed to take her as well and they waived the fee, gave me a big crate and food and good leashes and a big bed for her (I wasn't expecting any of that).

I'm working on getting them properly socialized, May is very skiddish and unsure around humans, but doesn't care about animals. Ali is a lot better, but with strangers she'll come sit behind my legs if they try to approach her.

So my question is this: For those of you who have rescued dogs (or cats), especially adult ones, do you think they know they're rescued? Do you think they get the vibe that they're safe now and they can just learn to be themselves?

I have two rescued cats too, but my first one Kanin was a tiny, sickly kitten when I got him, so I'm not sure he was old enough to remember. Spot was 3 when I got him and I was his 5th (and last) placement. He's come around in the past two years, but I still can't take him anywhere (like the vet for routine shots, thank god he's indoor only) because he panics when he sees a carrier. But I think he's finally decided that I'm not going to decide he's 'not perfect' or whatever the other reasons were for him being dumped so many times.

So what are your experiences with rescue animals? Did you ever see it 'click' with them that they were officially Home?
[notify]
Natasha - 美花- ~Beautiful- Flower~

Let's play tag!- You're it!
 
 
Barked: Sun Jul 22, '12 6:57pm PST 
With the dogs that I've rescued previously, Budro and Bernie, neither of them actually seemed to notice they were "rescued", Budro was quite the opposite since he had been used to running free and was suddenly confined to a yard. So, I didn't notice any thankfulness from either of them! laugh out loud Bernie is a natural lovebug, though, and gave me happy sloppy kisses and goofy grins from the time I brought him home to the time he left with his new family. I think he is a naturally happy dog, and just rolls with the changes in his life.

With Natasha, I did notice a change. Of course I don't know her complete life history or what brought her to the point where we got her from, but I do know she was in a shared cage for a long time and was the picture of unhappiness and misery. When we brought her home we let her out of the car and unhooked the leash and simply allowed her to do what she wanted(we have a completely fenced in yard and weren't worried she could get out). I honestly thought she would find a place to hide from us, but that wasn't the case at all. Once she realized she could run and do whatever she wanted, her entire demeanor changed and we could literally see her eyes light up and change from downtrodden to full of life. It was an amazing change. And even though she still has some trust issues(she's afraid of men, it took a few weeks before she would take a treat out of my hand, etc.), she seems to understand completely that we rescued her. blue dog
[notify]
Angel

Tuff Enuff!
 
 
Barked: Sun Jul 22, '12 9:39pm PST 
I think they know...or at least sense it.
[notify]

Sarah,- CW-SR,- CW-G1, CGC

Million Dollar- Mutt
 
 
Barked: Sun Jul 22, '12 9:56pm PST 
I think they do- especially the ones who have had it "rough" in the past- times where they had no food (or very little), if they were very sick, or if they spent time locked in a shelter, etc.

I rescued a little longhaired chihuahua literally on the side of the road. She was sick and starving and basically on death's door. With the financial help of the rescue I foster for, I was able to bring her back to health. She was adopted almost a year ago, and she still goes NUTS when she sees me. I think she knows I saved her life. Lizzie on the other hand came straight from her old owner's house to mine. I don't think she understands being "saved" (they were going to put her down), but I do think she understands that she had owners and lost them, and doesn't want to lose me.
[notify]
Jackson Tan

Lad about town
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 23, '12 2:33am PST 
I think mine definitely knows. He had never shown any sort of separation anxiety until the day we were on a road trip and stopped to use a road stop restroom. I took him out of the car and tethered him to a pole just outside the toilet. Well, the moment he saw both me and my husband walk away (back toward the car) he went absolutely hysterical, I actually had to go and get him and take him into the stall with me. He must have thought we were going to leave him there and it horrified him. I think it really registers with him how good his life is now and how he doesn't want to lose it. From day one he has tried to be the perfect dog following me around and trying to make sure he is useful. There have been times when we have driven close to the area where we got him from and he shows definite anxiety, like he thinks we are taking him back to the farm. I get the feeling he is very appreciative for being rescued from that awful place.
[notify]
Cookie Pela

Leaping Is My- Specialty!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 23, '12 6:16am PST 
I think our Cookie knows. She is a gentle hearted little sweetie with a high energy need for play. I don't think she was getting what she needed and knows she has it good now. Plus, someone took the time to train her, but it must have been enforced with slaps.

I never slap a dog, and when she follows a command with strict obedience AND a cringe, I make sure she gets a lot of love and praise. She is growing in confidence all the time. I feel good and she feels good. It is a great reward.
[notify]
Boots

1224037
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 23, '12 6:57am PST 
I have recently brought home my first rescue dogs, Lily and Rocky. I went in the shelter for Lily and when I saw her brother Rocky I couldn't leave him there to be put down. Our intention is to foster Rocky for a little while until we can get him fixed and utd on his shots and then find him a good home. Rocky has been go go go since we brought him home. With Lily I was warned that she was shy and could snap at people until she was comfortable, so they told me to be careful with my kids. They couldn't have been more wrong! Lily has been nothing but sweet. She is very calm and has not snapped at anyone even when all my kids first saw her and crowded around her. When she is loose in the house and is excited she runs straight for me and if I am sitting jumps straight in my lap and sits down. I think she was just scared in that shelter and that is why she was snapping, and even though she is only 3 months old I think she knows she was rescued.
[notify]
Boots

1224037
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 23, '12 6:59am PST 
I have recently brought home my first rescue dogs, Lily and Rocky. I went in the shelter for Lily and when I saw her brother Rocky I couldn't leave him there to be put down. Our intention is to foster Rocky for a little while until we can get him fixed and utd on his shots and then find him a good home. Rocky has been go go go since we brought him home. With Lily I was warned that she was shy and could snap at people until she was comfortable, so they told me to be careful with my kids. They couldn't have been more wrong! Lily has been nothing but sweet. She is very calm and has not snapped at anyone even when all my kids first saw her and crowded around her. When she is loose in the house and is excited she runs straight for me and if I am sitting jumps straight in my lap and sits down. I think she was just scared in that shelter and that is why she was snapping, and even though she is only 3 months old I think she knows she was rescued.
[notify]
Lucille

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 23, '12 8:49am PST 
Yes, many dogs definitely 'know' when they're in a better place. They instinctively know when they are safe with certain people, too. I can see and feel them relax after a certain point, once they settle in. The funny thing is, that can be when a rescue or foster starts acting up a bit...they feel safe enough in their environment to act more like themselves. That can mean that they aren't as inhibited and you can see some of the 'bad habits' that they have from lack of training, a bit of jumping or counter surfing, maybe some nuisance barking. I tell people that it's often a good sign, they're starting to trust you and now you can see what behaviors you need to start working on...

I worked with a dog that was incredibly hand shy. The first time I was able to reach out and pat her in a normal fashion I was overjoyed. That was years ago, but I remember it took a few months at least. It was so worth it and very rewarding in the end, for both of us. I firmly believe that no effort or time spent with a dog is ever wasted. big grin
[notify]
Yoshi

XD
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 23, '12 10:16am PST 
I believe they do know. For some it just takes a while to come around. My friend's red and white husky puppy Rayne was rescued from one of the trainers at pet's mart who simply didn't want her anymore after several weeks of purchasing her. My friend saw her when she went into pet's mart one day, and fell in love with her, and the guy was like, you want her? she's too much work. I can't handle 3 dogs. Of course my friend said yes and took her home once she returned from her easter vacation. Poor little Rainy was extremely fearful of everything including the sound of running water and the toilet flushing. It took her 2 weeks to get over her fear and she has come a long way and is now more confident than ever. smile
[notify]
  (Page 1 of 2: Viewing entries 1 to 10)  
Page Links: 1  2