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What a difference a year makes! (long)

Discussion in 'Stories' started by natrhymer, Jan 29, 2004.

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  1. natrhymer

    natrhymer Boxer Booster

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    It has almost been a year (just a week and a half to go) since we adopted Dieter. We first met him on a cold January weekend. He was skinny, gooey-eyed and snotty, but sooo wiggly and excited to meet us. He had been dumped at a shelter, but we didn't know why. We decided almost instantly that he was the dog we wanted.

    He had an eye infection when we got him and he soon developed a nasty staph infection on one foot, between his toes that took two months to get rid of. On top of that, even though for the first month or so he was fine, he had begun peeing in the house. Crating was not (and still is not) an option. We tried, but he was so traumatized by being enclosed in a crate or even a room that he clawed and chewed at everything in sight. He destroyed a door and its trim. He bent the bars of his metal crate with his jaws; we would come home to a drenched-in-drool, trembling, wild-eyed pup, even if we were only gone for a short time. After about 6 weeks of crate training with no improvement, we packed it up and let him have the run of the house. Aside from a few chewed magazines, he did OK. But the peeing continued.

    After about four months hubby and I had the "talk": we were either going to give him back to the rescue group or stick with him. We had both fallen helplessly in love with him, and decided that we signed that adoption contract to give him a better life. Giving up on him would mean we weren't holding up our end of the bargain. We decided to love him for the dog he is, not for the dog we hoped he would become.

    We went through obedience training which helped immensly, and after about six months, we finally got the peeing under control through advice from our vet tech and our trainer (was related to separation anxiety).

    It's been a long road, but he has been so worth it. Dieter makes us laugh, is our constant companion and wiggles with excitement every time we come home like he hasn't seen us for years. He's happiest when he's playing with his daddy or snuggling on the couch with me. He's learned to ignore the barking dogs next door, and is a champion at obedience in the house. He's even getting pretty reliable with recall, and can now stay calm for five minutes in an enclosed room (it's slow, but it's progress!).

    He has some leash agression issues (toward other dogs) that we'll be working on full-time when the snow melts, and sometimes he pees in the house when his schedule changes unexpectedly (it's all mommy's and daddy's fault!). But if that's all we have to deal with for the rest of his life, we're happy to do it.

    Thanks to Mid-Michigan Boxer Rescue for doing what they do, and for bringing Dieter into our lives. I also highly recommend your local spca/humane society training programs; the Michigan Humane Society has wonderful trainers and you know the money you pay for classes goes to help animals in need.

    Our first year with Dieter was challenging, but fulfilling. I can't imagine our life without him now. It's funny, Dieter's a rescue boy who was a mess when MMBR took him in. Now I get people asking me who bred him because he's such a good looking boy. Of course, I encourage everyone who approaches us to adopt a pet -- until there are none, adopt one!
     
  2. VTbxrFan

    VTbxrFan Boxer Insane

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    This is my favorite line of your whole post, and I wish that all pet owners would think that way. When you think about other relationships in life - friends, family members, spouses - isn't that what we all look for - someone who accept and love us for what we are? Our pets deserve the same thing!

    Thanks so much for sharing your story. I hope it will serve as encouragement to others dealing with difficult issues like separation anxiety to stick with it and not give up on their dogs. I'm glad your rescue story has a happy ending!

    Susan
     
  3. KJZMOM

    KJZMOM Boxer Booster

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    Great story!! Dieter is so grateful to have you and you him.
     
  4. natrhymer

    natrhymer Boxer Booster

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    Thanks! It's true, we are eternally grateful for him! And, Susan, thanks for your comments, too. I've found this forum so encouraging in so many ways, I hope my post "gives back" a little, too.
     
  5. Dempsey J's mom

    Dempsey J's mom Boxer Pal

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    Hooray for your family!

    Your messge circulated the lists at Mid Michigan Boxer Rescue, and we were all so excited to hear how committed you are to your little boy and how happy your family is. I was Dieter's foster mom, and he was a gooey, skinny mess! We are so proud that you folks have taken Dieter and his health and behavioral issues in stride. Anxiety can be a real bear to work with, but a committed trainer and loving family can do wonders. Thank you for giving Dieter the love and support he needs, and for your help in promoting the needy kids in rescue. They are really excellent animals, and it lifts our hearts when we find excellent homes for them.
     
  6. natrhymer

    natrhymer Boxer Booster

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    Thanks, Dempsey J's mom! His sweet disposition, clumsy antics and wiggle butt just make him too precious to worry over his "issues." All dogs have 'em, and we've learned not to sweat it so much. He's happy, we're happy!
     
  7. Claudia807

    Claudia807 Completely Boxer Crazy

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    What a wonderful story! It's all about commitment, really. Dieter tested you and you passed. Someone had given up on him before and he really had no way of knowing that you wouldn't do the same. Most dogs are so resilient and adapt so well, but some, like Dieter, do have some residual anxieties and need a lot of help getting through that. Good for you!

    Claudia
    Green Acres Boxer Rescue of WI
     
  8. tanya22

    tanya22 Super Boxer

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    Your Boy is gorgeous!
    How old is he?
    Hard to believe someone could ever turn their backs on that face.
    I hope you have many more happy years together.
     
  9. basak

    basak Boxer Insane

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    great story!!!! you and your husbands are angels for keeping him :)

    basak
     
  10. layla'smommy

    layla'smommy Super Boxer

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    Oh the way the touch our hearts...lovicon A big congratulations to you and your family for understanding that dogs are not disposable, require tons of work and patience, and are MOST DEFINATELY worth it all in the end! I adopted my girl as well and understand the feelings of frustration that can sometimes come up when you have to work so hard to undo the damage that some other human did to these beautiful animals. But they give back so much, don't they?

    I too, always take the opportunity to promote adoption/rescue when people comment on how pretty my girl is :) Just the other day I spent just over a half an hour explaining the process of rescue, the benefits (and possible difficulties), giving info about the boxer rescues in my area to a pair of complete strangers in the pet store! They commented on Layla and when I explained that I adopted her through boxer rescue they looked confused...they explained that they were thinking about getting a boxer, but had never even heard of breed rescue before! If I could help just one...

    Your boy is absolutely gorgeous! It's no wonder you get asked about his breeding! Congrats again, you are both very lucky!

    Jenni & Layla
     
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