Welcome to Southwest Florida German Shepherd Inc. Thursday, December 14 2017 @ 05:08 pm UTC

LIVING IN THE MOMENT

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DOGS, ESPECIALLY GERMAN SHEPHERDS LIVE IN THE MOMENT AND ACCEPT CHANGE WILLINGLY People often ask me how dogs do when being re-homed. This process is one that has to take into account the situation the dog came from, who he is going to, their physical and emotional environment and the dogs stability and temperament.

This week we had two dogs leave us and go to great homes. Nigel and Mya will be missed by Diane and myself as well as by our pack. Not only did their re-homing break our hearts to see them leave, as we were emotionally connected to them, but it was also stressful to both dogs. Mya and Nigel both went to great families. Both dogs were absolutely tremendous, a perfect 10 each one in our book. Both were really close to me for rescuing them and both (especially me) found their going to be hard to deal with. I don't get teary eyed with them all but these two were exceptions.

When a dog leaves its original owner because they dumped them, surrendered them or they were lost; the animal immediately realizes the change and accepts it. Dogs live in the moment. They remember the past, they remember kindness and distressful situations. They cope with change in a pragmatic manner that allows them to accept the change with a minimum of stress and move ahead. They do have emotions and they do feel certain of these emotions more than others. Dogs feel abandonment, jealousy, rejection, love, kindness, alpha situations where they have no control or all control, praise and at times hopelessness. When a dog we have had here for a time changes homes, he may pine for us, he may not eat that next day, he may feel rejected and he may mope for a day or so. The new family, having been schooled by us, tries their best to make the transition seamless. They will do this by showing love to the dog, petting and handling him as much as possible, showing him or her kindness, become their leader in an alpha role and be their overall lifeline. The dog will look to them for affection, food, praise, shelter and at least for the first 3 weeks be velcro to the one they like the best. I always say in the first weeks, if you want to find your dog, look down!

As the environment changes the dog quickly understands that a new phase of his life has begun. If the structure and love is there, the dog recognizes it and adapts. We have never seen a dog not adapt when the family loves the dog. Although it is far more heartbreaking for us to give up certain dogs, we do so for their own well being. We feel a sense of loss as does the dog. We feel a sense of accomplishment and success in doing re-homing that I am not sure is felt by the pup, but we do know that after almost 400 of these situations, when we see the dog again after some time, their bond with their new family rivals our bond and yet the dogs never forgets Diane or me and I never forget them.

Rescue is a labor of love and rescued dogs come out fine! Don't worry.


Erik Hoffer