According to our admittedly sketchy math, this is Rack’s Birthday.
Not an Earth-shattering event, but something for me and mine to keep in mind.
Lettie, my old McNab dog passed in April, and I found Rack at the Dog Liberator‘s about a week later.
Losing Lettie, I was basically “ordered” to “go get another dog” by Kevin. It helped me get through my own feelings of loss. She was the Canine Ambassador to Snowbirds in Wilton Manors, even if she really didn’t care for the attention toward the end.
|We finally see Rack at The Dog Liberator, April 21, 2013|
We picked up Rack a week after we contacted Giselle. The timing was for the best since she was able to help him come out of his shell enough for us to continue the work on the recuperation of this dog’s shattered psyche.
Smart dogs don’t take well to shelters. They cower and hide in the back of the cage and end up being put to sleep in much higher proportion than a less smart dog. McNabs are the smartest around, and other similar breeds like Border Collies, Poodles, German Shepard Dogs, and the like will suffer the same fate.
Since we got him, he’s grown much more assertive. He doesn’t hide in the crate when the train passes by a half mile away, but he still hides from the trash trucks all the same. He still doesn’t like Wilton Drive and all that noisy traffic, but he’s no longer shivering in abject terror when we get there. It’s fear but it’s more manageable and with time he’ll do well.
Whatever he went through before he ended up in the right hands with Gisele and finally us, did leave him with a fear of strangers. We can manage that, it isn’t necessary that some snowbird gets to meet my dog. Most back off when I tell them “He Won’t Let You” and leave the vague comment hang in the air.
Giselle said that he was “About 7 Months Old” when we first spoke in April. So I’m “doing the math”. That means that today would be close enough to a year old today. We’ll never know for sure, and this is a good a day as any.
There were a few stumbles when we got him. It took a solid three months for us to get him fully dewormed and on food that he could tolerate. Puppies don’t always digest their food well so we were giving him probiotics and switching the foods around until we found one he could tolerate. Wellness Puppy food made him have loose stools, and apparently that is common even if it is a high quality food. We switched to Merrick and Orijen and both are excellent foods that he tolerates exceedingly well.
We won’t be giving him “extra treats” today for his birthday, I don’t want to clean up extra mess outside on our walks. His regular food is fine in a Kong or a tennis ball with a slit in it. Those two toys keep him busy for a half hour at a time!
So, if you’re looking for a dog at the shelter, look extra long at that dog hiding at the back of the cage. They may need a little extra care because of the shock they’ve been put through, but they’re definitely worth it.
Happy Birthday and many more to come, Rack!