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Third week of fostering -Jessie and foster parents learning

Tomorrow, we will have three weeks under our belt with Jessie. This week has seen a couple relapses and some bad behavior, but also positive strides. It’s way too early to look for miracles.

This is Jessie, she is one year old mixed breed dog with some Heller in the mix.
This is Jessie, she is one year old mixed breed dog with some Heller in the mix.Jo Ann Wentzel

Jessie has improved in her general temperament and really feels more at home and less frightened. She is a very loving girl and wants to be with us all the time. An improvement in

Jessie is being a bit less frenzied over food, she gets plenty, but trying to not let her weight get too out of hand. She is eating lots of veggies as a supplement to all her other food. Jessie likes them cooked and fresh for treats. This includes salad, carrots green beans and beets for sure. Fostering Jessie, for the most part has been a joy.

She has become a wonderfully loyal dog and that is one of her most special qualities. She wants to be with you much of the day and even sleeping, usually is by your feet or side. When we are gone for a couple hours and we come home, the greeting is as though she was always with us.

She believes her job is to show you affection, 24/7 and does her best to do it. She loves to lick your face and there never is a shortage of doggy kisses. Her bad habit in this respect is that she will put her legs on you intending to jump up. Maybe I’m just old and fragile, but she is pretty heavy for a small dog. This, I would think is one of the things her new owner needs to address with training.

Although there have been two potty accidents this week, the potty problems are under control but still not completely fixed. She forgets when she is playing hard and comes in before she completed this task, then there is an accident. Most morning problems are gone. New owners need to accept that this sweet dog still needs work.

She likes to play, but Mr. Owen is not always ready to when she is and then she gets pretty aggressive regardless of the fact he makes about six of her. Still trying to play with the cats, but her chasing, lunging at them and trying to give them little bites has not endeared her to them. Maybe a cat-less house would be best. It is mostly curiosity but, she does look like she might hurt them so it is better to be safe.

Since our house is small, there are few places for anyone to get away from each other. I cannot lock her in a room and only do so when we need to go away. Not wanting to crate her now at this age and since she already was locked up for weeks, I just need to be more observant and use the word ‘no’ frequently.

Though sometimes slow to obey, she does stop when told ‘no’ but, it does not always last long. Commands or cues are better obeyed at some times than others and just simply needs more time for those to click for her.

The most important thing new owners should know is that Jessie must not be alone for very long or she, like human kids, gets bored and then in trouble. Even though I work at home, I cannot be with her every second. If you are petting, feeding or playing with her, she is good. When she finds an indestructible toy to chew she is occupied and so fine. It is when she does not get enough attention for a while that she finds something to chew and that is her way to voice her displeasure.

Toys of the wrong kind still get destroyed easy since she seems to need to chew when stressed or bored. We are trying to use ‘gentle’ as a cue to be more kind to the toys. This week she also chewed an old blanket on our bed so now that door remains closed most times.

She also gets the word calm thrown at her when she gets too rambunctious since we already have one of those in the house. We have not had training yet so I am improvising with techniques. Some are successful and some are not. We are both learning.

Sounds like Jessie is bad but, that is not so. She is still young at a year old and still untaught which accounts for her current difficulties. I can see Jessie as a beautiful companion and adoring pet in a house where she is worked with and loved. She will benefit from training and the new owner will need to do that with her. I believe she will be very protective of her owners.

Her ideal home would not have cats or small kids; she does fine with teens, but is really untested with young children. She may do well as the only dog since she doesn’t like to share our time with Mr. Owen and has to get in the middle of any petting of him. Though she has lots of alone time with me during the day, not so much time with grandpa is available most days.

Jessie has really learned to love her grandma and grandpa and hopefully she will start in her new home before the attachment gets any stronger. We are learning to love her, but not totally sure if we are her ideal home. She will be a loving pet to anyone who cares for her and keeps her fed and protected.

Keep Jessie on your list of dogs to investigate when choosing a shelter dog. You can call All Breeds to get more info at 719-264-6460.

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