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How to Help Your "Perfectly Imperfect" Dog


The Perfect Dog


Simply put, there is no such thing. Perfection is not attainable for any dog or any human for that matter. My children, my husband and I are not perfect, but we love each other unconditionally. We adjust our life to each other’s needs and we do the same for our three rescue dogs. Adopting a dog is a lifetime commitment. Below are some of our dogs’ issues and the solutions we came up with as a family.






Wren (Female, Mutt, 4 years old)


Issues Solutions

Resource Guarding No people food; introduce toys slowly; All dogs

crated for eating; no eating allowed by family

unless at kitchen table; crated when young

children are visiting


Does not like to snuggle Give snuggles only when asked for


Callie (Female, Pit/Hound Mix, 3 years old)


Issues Solutions

High-pitched, incessant barking at Check in with neighbors, Installing privacy

neighbors fence

No recall Always leash walked

Scared of loud noises and masks Put her in a safe space

Gets car sick Anti-nausea meds; only goes in car to vet


Marty (Male, Great Pyrenees/Pit Mix, 1 year old)


Issues Solutions

Eats dog poop Pick up yard multiple times a day

Destroys clothing, food, and furniture Happily, crated while we are gone; pick up

items

Jumps the fence Install higher fence

Resource guarding No people food; introduce toys slowly; All dogs

crated for eating; no eating allowed by family

unless at kitchen table; crated when young

children are visiting

Jumps on people Training



*Click on the photo above view the Lexington Human Society Pet Food Pantry


There are Resources out There!


Nearly 10% of adopted animals are returned to the shelter. This article from Dogtime.com provides great resources for families facing some issues with their dog(s). They cover issues like behavior, medical, aggression, affordability, and housing. The animal welfare field has refocused its energy to keep pets at home with their people. Seek out your local private and municipal shelters. They will likely have programs that help with cost reduction, pet food pantries and discounted training services.


The Movement


Best Friends Animal Society has pioneered the way for homeless animals in our country. Their No-Kill 2025 goal has made a huge impact on reducing the number of dogs and cat being euthanized annually. It was recognized that for this to be hugely successful, animal welfare had to change the idea behind shelters and rescues. No longer should they be a place to surrender pets due to cost, medical issues, behavioral issues, or temporary issues. They should be a place where pet owners can access resources and support to be able to keep those beloved pets in their homes. Realizing that to keep the shelters at low capacity and the live release rate at 90% or higher, organizations had to provide support such as:

· Free or low-cost vaccine and microchip clinics

· Free or low-cost spay-neuter clinics

· Free or low-cost medical care

· Pet food and supplies

· Temporary housing/fosters for pets of owners with sudden issues (active military leave, medical emergency, homelessness, domestic violence)

· Education and Training


The Best Friends Animal Society website has great resources available to pet owners about pet health, training, advocacy, shelter work and general information about pet ownership. I encourage you to take the time to look for the resources available in your community. You may be surprised by what you find!


What is a community-based dog shelter?


When I talk about Better Together Dog Rescue, I call it a community-based dog shelter. This means that not only will we be rescuing and adopting out dogs, but we will also be a support within the community. Community goals for Better Together Dog Rescue include:

· Pet food and supply pantry

· Collaboration with local survival centers and homeless shelters

· Low-cost vaccine and microchip clinics

· Low-cost grooming

· Temporary housing for dogs of owners who are:

- On active military leave

- Homeless

- Suffering from a medical emergency

- Victims of domestic violence

· Workshops, training, and education

· A large community room for to be used by the shelter but also available for groups in the community to reserve for events and group meetings


Do not give up!


We cannot have throw pillows Not an ideal nap spot Lots of car sickness


Do not give up on your dog just yet! Research and access the large amount of support available for pet owners. Contact your local private and municipal shelters and ask for help. Embrace your dogs’ perfect imperfections and make some adjustments in your life to keep them safe. Remember that no dog is perfect and no human is perfect but there is a way to work on and accept behaviors so that families can stay together.



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