Saturday, April 21, 2007
Gomez the hound came to the Oakland shelter more than a month and a half ago. I pulled him from the Stockton Animal Services shelter thinking he'd probably be an easy one to move up and get a home for. What instead happened ...Gomez failed his initial temperment tests for being extremely shy and slightly aggressive (bark, growl, raise hackles) toward a stranger. After assigning him to myself and working for almost a month on meeting strangers, playing with other dogs, going on walks, getting used to indoor flooring (I don't think Gomez had ever been on a hard slick floor! Now he walks on them just fine), and learning how to wear a gentle leader, Gomez passed a re-test and moved up to adoptions!
After spending so much time with him, I've found several things that work with him. 1) Gomez does much better when there is another dog around. He plays VERY nicely with other dogs, even small ones, and would likely make a good 'daily dog park dog'. 2) Gomez has not shown any further aggression toward strangers, but it is important that he be allowed to bond strongly to his new person (right now, me. soon...you?) before being forced to meet strangers. 3) Gomez is crate trained, and likes his crate. This is a very helpful tool for getting him used to new places! 4) Gomez is ok spending time by himself. He has not shown any signs of destructive behavior, and instead likes to lie on couches and on warm things (a sunny kitchen floor?). 5) Gomez housebroke himself. In training here, Gomez has learned watch, touch, stay, and target, as well as how to jump over a jump.
Today I had Gomez out in one of the back runs and we were spending some down time together. I gave him a nice chewie for the first time (possibly in his whole life thus far) and he LOVED it. In fact, he loved it so much that he went into a play bow and devoured the entire thing in that position. Gomez is endearing and subtle. Gomez is still very shy, but he is learning by leaps and bounds. I think Gomez will blossom very quickly in a quiet, loving home. Do you have room in your heart for this sweet misfit?