Gunnar Black Labrador Retriever Mix Male 4 Years Old ID #2724

black labrador retriever mix

This  five year old lab mix is lucky to be alive! Gunnar was part of a litter of fourteen puppies.  At week 5, their dog mom was unable to keep up with feeding them all.  Both Gunnar and his sister Gracie were taken away from their mom and bottle fed for weeks by a family until they were strong enough to survive on their own.  Unfortunately, Gunnar needs someones help once again.  Gunner had to be surrendered by the loving owner due to unforeseen circumstances.  They were no longer able to take care of Gunner. After a short stint at Greenlin Pet Resorts, Gunnar is now in a foster home and is looking his FOREVER family.  Please read his blog from the bottom up.

February 23, 2020

It’s been a little over a month that Gunnar has been with us. His transformation has been one of my most rewarding experiences. He started off terrified, and unsure of himself. Gunnar has blossomed into just about the sweetest, and smartest dog that I have encountered. He is a gentle soul, and he reminds me of my very first lab in so many ways. He seems to almost understand English, just like my first lab, Jake. Gunnar is my constant companion. He has become so used to my routine that he will often nudge me if I am off schedule. He has bonded with our resident dog Ellie, and has been such a terrific mentor to Brooklyn who also started off very unsure. (Check out Brooklyn’s blog on our website to learn more.) Brooklyn follows Gunnar everywhere.  Gunnar is patient and tolerant with Brooklyn. Gunnar will offer correction in the form of his powerful bark when Brooklyn becomes too exuberant. That bark always stops Ellie in her tracks too. Gunnar is definitely the leader of our small pack here, and he takes this role seriously. I am so proud of him : )

The medication has been very effective in treating Gunnar’s mild separation anxiety. While he was never destructive, he would try to follow me out the door, and would look so concerned when I was grabbing my keys, and coat. You can’t get anything past him. He’s just so smart. Nowadays, he understands when I’m leaving but he lies close by, and will sleep on the family room couch when I’m away. In his forever home, I think the medicine will help him make the initial adjustment, but something tells me he may be able to wean off in time.

Gunnar still continues to bark his powerful bark during our walks when he sees other dogs, and scares some people. They are quick to realize after the initial bark that he doesn’t have an aggressive bone in his body, and that he is just a sweetheart. Every person, and dog that meets Gunnar falls in love with this sweet boy!

I know Gunnar will do best in a home environment where the owners are home more often than not, and have another dog. He loves and needs human, and canine company to thrive.

February 16, 2020

black labrador retriever mix

It is hard to believe that it’s only been around four weeks that Gunnar has been with us. It feels like he has been with us forever. Gunnar is such a joy to foster, and is going to make any future adopter very happy. He is super smart, gentle, and just about the sweetest dog in the universe. Gunnar is a homebody and a couch potato, but he also loves his walks.  He does continue bark at those passing so he will need continued training. Gunnar likes to let everyone know we’re walking. He plays daily with Ellie, our resident dog,  in our yard. Gunnar loves every person and dog he has met.

black labrador retriever mix

We decided to put him on medication for his separation anxiety.  His separation anxiety is fairly manageable, but he would bark, and leave a scratch or two on the door.  I really wanted him to be his best self for his future family, and the medication is helping him relax.  Since starting the medication, we have been able to give him the run of the house, and I am happy to report that there has been no barking or scratching.  I don’t think the medicine will be needed long term but it helps him relax while he adjusts to a new environment.

black labrador retriever mix

Gunnar likes to take care of his people and furry friends, and makes sure the household is running smoothly, and on time. He waits at the door for Ellie to come in from the yard. He will tell me when it’s time to eat or go for a walk or go out for a bathroom break by staring directly at me, and standing in front of me with some barking. He will also alert me if something is out of sorts. The other night Ellie somehow managed to get herself caught between two boxes in our basement, and it was Gunnar who alerted me. He is an amazing dog and a testament to this breed.

black labrador retriever mix

Did I mention he loves his Kong and loves peanut butter? Gunnar will sit with his Kong for several hours and carry it everywhere. He is never territorial over it, but loves taking it all around the house.

It has been incredible to watch his transformation. Gunnar is definitely an example of not judging a book by it’s cover. Dogs are the best teachers.

February 5, 2020

black labrador retriever mixGunnar has been with our family for a little over 2 weeks and is doing beautifully! He fits right in with the family and is settling in so nicely to our routine. We are all head over heels in love with this sweet, sweet boy! He is going to make the right family very happy.

Gunnar is a gentle giant who is basically a home body.  He has stolen our hearts with his sweet disposition. He loves a good play session in the yard with Ellie but is happy to snore on the couch or close by me during the day. While he doesn’t seem to have separation anxiety, he follows me everywhere which I find endearing.  He doesn’t destroy anything when I leave but he tries to sneak out with me. I will hear him bark a few times but when I get home he’s always sleeping on the couch in our den. He has created a couple of scratches on the front door so I ordered a cover from Amazon to protect the labrador retriever mixGunnar has found his voice and isn’t afraid to use it. He lets me know when it’s time to eat, when he wants to go out or it’s time for our walk. Speaking of walks he has also gotten really vocal during our walks. He is not aggressive but will bark at dogs and people. His bark is loud and powerful. Coupled with his size most people walk to the other side of the road when he starts. A prong seems to be a necessary option for control during the walks for now. The good news he is such a foodie that he is easily redirected with bacon!


January 25, 2020

black labrador retriever mixWhat a transformation! It’s hard to believe it has been less than a week that Gunnar has been with us. It is as if he has lived with us for years. It’s remarkable! The whining and terrified dog who arrived at my house last Sunday has vanished and been replaced by the dog snoring on the couch next to me. He is an absolute love.

black labrador retriever mixI’m learning more and more about Gunnar. He loves food as do most labs. In fact, I think he has eased into our house so well in part due to food. The way to a lab’s heart is through his stomach. He wasn’t eating when he arrived and even the next few days, he would pick at it unless I mixed something in. I made him a batch of chicken, rice and green beans and starting transitioning him over to Ellie’s food in hopes he might like hers instead. Well he LOVES it, and gobbles it right up. I ask him in the morning or evening if he wants to eat, and you will get this sweetie’s attention and he starts licking his chops! Ellie eats Stella & Chewy’s Raw Coated Kibble Duck – while pricey I really love this brand and apparently so does Gunnar : )

He is a dream to walk with on his training collar and we take an nice stroll in the morning for about 30 minutes and then a shorter one in the evening. He loves, loves his walks! He doesn’t pull and is not reactive in the slightest. There is certainly a curiosity in squirrels and other dogs, but he is easily redirected. He is also enjoying daily play time in the yard with Ellie. As I mentioned he is so tolerant of her. She follows him everywhere and even lays on top him. I’m still keeping toys away and feeding them separately but as of now they get along beautifully. I believe he is much happier with another dog around because we saw a drop in his anxiety once they were able to be in the house together. They play a little rough but nothing atypical.

black labrador retriever mixDespite his large size, Gunnar is quite graceful in the house. His energy level is very relaxed overall. The verdict is not in yet but it appears that he does not have separation anxiety. While he is certainly a Velcro dog during the day by around 9:00 pm he finds his spot on the couch and stays there until around 7:00 am despite a flurry of activity. He likes to sleep in – my kind of dog! I have been home all week but have had to run out here and there. There were two times this week that I had to leave him for about an hour each time and I left him in the laundry room with a Kong and the radio on. One time, I had to stay out longer than an hour, and when I got home he was sleeping on the bed, Kong finished and no scratches on the door and no destruction. My teenage daughter was home one time, and I had her monitor what he did. She said he whined for about ten minutes but then got quiet. I have his crate set up but we haven’t left him in there yet. I know he doesn’t like having a door shut. He likes knowing he can get around the house. Perhaps due to being kept in the kitchen in his previous life. I’m keeping an eye on this and hoping to get more answers the longer he is here but for now we’re not seeing it although he loves having company.

black labrador retriever mixWell that’s it for now. I’m including some pictures of Gunnar with Ellie snuck in since she follows him everywhere. One is of him on his bed that we received from Brookline in the Welcome Package. Despite having at least two dog beds on every floor of our house these two seem to wind up on the couch in the den!

black labrador retriever mix

January 22, 2020

black labrador retriever mix

Well what a difference 48 hours has made for Gunnar. He started off here so anxious and my son was scared of him due to his size and constant pacing/whining. We weren’t sure if he was a good fit for us to foster. Well I am so happy we hung in there because Gunnar continues to improve and amaze us. I know he is a Lab mix but he is such a Lab! Smart, sweet and a gentle soul. His house manners are impeccable – not destructive and no counter surfing. He is so tolerant of our one year old pit mix and seems comforted by her presence despite the fact she is always nibbling on his paws, ears and tail when they are not playing. It’s as if they have lived together their whole lives – we couldn’t ask for them to get along any better.

He wasn’t eating at first but I made him a batch of chicken, green beans, sweet potatoes and rice in my Instant Pot (love my Instant Pot) and he is devouring his food. We got a prong collar for him and bought him a spiffy new collar! The prong is definitely the way to go with him because of his strength. He doesn’t pull – they did a great job training him at the kennel – but he is definitely interested in squirrels and other dogs. He loves his walks so much and playing in the yard with Ellie. For now I’m walking him separately from Ellie but I think they will walk well together. I will try in another week or so.

I had to leave him yesterday for about 45 minutes and we are waiting on a giant crate so I left him in our laundry room with a Kong, an older bed (in case he chewed it) and a prayer! He’s so big I was half expecting him to get through the door but I came home and the Kong was finished and he was sleeping. I was thrilled. The door had no scratches either. My older daughter was home sick yesterday so I wanted her to let my know how he did and she said he whined for a bit but eventually quieted down. I get the large crate today so I am planning to introduce him slowly with lots of positive reinforcement.

He has slept through the night every night he has been here and I am back in my bed! He loves the couch in our den and even though he has access to our bedroom with a bed on the floor he prefers the couch and was snoring when I came down this morning with my coffee. I put a cover on it just to make it extra cozy for this big lug!

That’s it for now. We are so enjoying spoiling Gunnar and look forward to even more progress. Thank you to Valerie for taking such good care of this sweet boy!

I got this funny picture of Gunnar squeezing himself into Ellie’s bed even though we have two large ones. Hahaha!

January 20,2020

We met Valerie and transported Gunnar home. He was very anxious in the car but didn’t throw up so I considered it a success as he is known to get car sick.  When we got home, Gunnar was still anxious and did some pacing and whining. We felt so bad for the poor guy nothing would settle him. We tried a walk but our harness isn’t strong enough for this big lug! We introduced him to our dog Ellie.  They hit it off with right away. Both dogs like rough and tumble play so they had fun. Gunnar actually tired out a bit.

Gunnar wasn’t interested in eating at first but the salmon was able to persuade him. Currently, Gunnar is hanging out in our den to give him some distance from our resident dogs and kids until he is acclimated to his new surroundings. Either Gary or I kept him company as he doesn’t particularly enjoy being alone.

black labrador retriever mix

I was really worried about how Gunnar would do through the night and figured we wouldn’t get much sleep. We tried his bed in our bedroom but he was uncomfortable, so I decided to stay on the couch.  Gunnar surprised me by sleeping on his bed right next to me while I was on the couch.

While he certainly has been anxious, he is a gentle giant and so, so sweet! Gunnar has let us know when he is ready to go out.  He hasn’t had any accidents!   Though Gunnar weighs in at 100lbs, he has good energy and is surprisingly graceful. Gunnar is coming out of his shell slowly but surely. Throughout the day, he has tried out new napping spots to find his favorite one.   In fact, as I type this update he is right next to me on the couch!



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