Legend, Yellow Labrador Retriever Male, 2 Years Old
September 8. 2018
We have made Legend available for adoption. This was a tough decision for our family because in his close to four months in our home we have grown so attached to this super sweet boy. That said, I know that there is a great home out there who can give Legend the time and space he needs. His reactivity is a work in progress and there is the real possibility that this may be with him for the rest of his life. We work every single day on this reactivity during our walks. Any potential adopter needs to be willing to accept this and one with experience in reactivity would be an added bonus. His wonderful qualities make it worth the effort and in the house you could not ask for a more perfect dog (other than stealing the sofa haha).
August 25, 2018
Well I typed up an update and then somehow closed down the page before I hit send. Grrrrr. Here goes my second try!
So wow as I was drafting Legend’s most recent update I realized that Legend the Lovebug has been with the Mincieli family for three months! Time has really flown by and Legend has brought us nothing but pure joy – and lots of laughs too! I really believe it’s been important for Legend to stay with our family where he could get a lot of extra attention, exercise and love. Little bits of his personality continue to develop and it’s wonderful to watch. His latest command he just picked up is “bones”. Basically “bones” means his toy basket. If we are sitting in our family room and he is with us all you have to say is “bones” and he goes to his toy basket to fetch his toys – his favorite being deer antlers and stuffed squeaky animals! We have had a very busy summer with lots of visitors. He has remained a perfect gentleman 100% of the time! He loves all people and is an absolute charmer. Another behavior we have noticed is he loves to wake people up. He will wait outside the kids bedroom doors and once he gets the thumbs up from me I will send him into the bedroom and Legend will jump on the bed of the intended victim and will lick their face until they wake up. He is just terrific in the house.
Outside of the house is where Legend still needs some work. I continue to walk him for an hour every morning and several shorter walks throughout the day. He loves them so much and will grab at my sneakers and nudges his leash when it’s time to go. I have my food pouch filled with roasted turkey and use the “look at me” command to get Legend to focus on me if he encounters a trigger. At this time I am having about a 50% success rate. If I can get his attention early enough and get him out of the path of the trigger we are usually successful. Sometimes the trigger is too close or too much and he will react in his usual manner with lots of barking/pulling/jumping. I have noticed that Legend is okay with other dogs that don’t move a lot. For instance our neighbor’s dog across the street is a senior bull dog named Tank. Tank lays on the porch all day and will bark at Legend when we walk by and Legend pretty much ignores him. If we encounter a dog who is overly excited or moving a lot Legend will usually have a strong reaction. He’s definitely a work in progress. I am stubborn optimist and really believe he can get his reactivity under control. Stay tuned….
August 12, 2018
A funny thing about Legend is he eats lying down. He’s so mellow in the house that he just kind of relaxes and eats in the most leisurely manner
Legend has us all laughing every day!
July 12, 2018
Well, it’s been a couple of weeks since Legend was returned. I am continuing his walks and continuing to use positive reinforcement as well as some desensitization techniques I picked up from a trainer. During our walks Legend will typically react to other dogs, bicycles, occasionally runners. He knows the look at me command and this has about a 50% success rate at this point. If I see a trigger approaching we stop and I use the command and he will wait patiently for his roasted turkey (his favorite I discovered and yes I roast it especially for him haha!). Sometimes the trigger is just too much and he reacts. His reaction is barking and jumping for the intended target. I have no idea what he would do if he ever reached the target – the Freedom Harness is a godsend because it gives you complete control. With respect to the desensitization if I spot a target I will try to get us out of the direct path so Legend can observe from a distance. This seems to help a lot and we then practice our look at me command. It sounds like a lot and he has work to do but I just have a good feeling the reactivity can get under control with time and patience. That said, this may be with him for life so any potential adopter will need to be knowledgeable about positive reinforcement.
Now for some good news! Our house is typically busy, but in the summer even more so. We recently had a big 4th of July party with guest ranging from 2 years old to 80 followed up by a sleepover with five 12 year old girls. Legend was the absolute hit of both! Everyone just fell in love. He was a perfect gentleman and was so relaxed during both staying close to the action but pretty much napping the entire time. At one point during the sleepover all the girls were surrounding him while he laid on his back enjoying belly rubs!
He continues to adore his walks and nudges my sneakers off the shoe mat before going to the closet for his leash. He’s a comedian and we are constantly laughing at this character. Even my oldest daughter who is a self-declared “goldfish person” and normally doesn’t get very involved with the dogs can’t help but laugh at him. I’ve even caught her secretly petting him : )
Some pictures of Legend. My favorite is of him on the chair. We had just covered the good couch so he would lay on his bed but he showed us and went for the chair instead hahaha!!
June 29, 2018
Legend keeping a close eye on all the happenings in his portion of the yard. The squirrels thought he was gone but he’s ready for them ha!
June 2, 2018
Legend was neutered 10 days ago. The first day was as expected – he was in pain and a bit disoriented. After the first day he was pretty much his usual self and wanted to run and play and go for long walks despite his not being allowed to do so. I could only get him to settle if I sat down and then he would rest on his bed so I caught up on my laundry and reading ha! He is so smart and learned how to get around with the cone on his head beautifully. He wasn’t crazy about the cone but true to his optimistic nature he accepted it and got on with things. The cone is off and he has healed nicely so he will be ready for adoption soon.
We have found in the last week or so that Legend has a voice and is not afraid to use it haha. He is a barker! He loves to sit by the sliding glass doors that lead to our yard and will bark at anything moving. It’s not troubling to us but could be problematic for some potential families. Particularly those with young children who nap. It’s an easy fix and if it is excessive we close the blinds. He will also respond to positive reinforcement but will eventually go back to the door for more squirrel barking!
May 16, 2018
Legend has been with us around a week and a half and continues to do beautifully. He is smart and so sweet. My middle girl who is the true dog lover of all my children returned home on Friday. I’m happy to report Legend is excellent with my daughter. They have formed their own little bond and he goes and wakes her in the morning all on his own. Some other things I’ve learned about Legend are:
1) He is okay by himself at home uncrated or gated off. No accidents or chewing or anything except he chose our couch over his bed haha. I was leaving him gradually here and there to see how he did and he was always fine. He was alone this weekend for an hour and a half and passed with flying colors. If you are not okay with him on a couch or bed you need to close bedroom doors and cover couches because he will find a way on to them.
2) He will absolutely refuse to eat unless there is wet food mixed in. Even then he eats half heartedly which I’ve never experienced in a lab. He’s more eats to live than lives to eat that we’ve observed so far.
3) Bully sticks! Finally a toy he will sit and chew. He is no longer hiding them and will sit and chew. He does not chase after the ball in the yard but we keep trying anyway.
4) He gets very excited when you come return home even if it’s ten minutes. He jumps, wiggles and howls he’s so thrilled. Hard as it is to ignore this enthusiasm I am doing exactly that because he gets so excited he has knocked some things over and if there were small children around he could definitely knock them over. Still (don’t tell Legend) it’s very sweet : )
5) He’s smart and picks up our training very easily. In addition to sit, paw, and lay down. He now knows roll over and bed.
6) Walks! I’ve mentioned it before but want to say it again. Legend loves his walks. We go for an hour walk together every morning and a shorter evening. I believe this is the reason he has fit in so easily. Exercise is crucial for any young lab and Legend is no exception. The freedom harness is highly recommended.
7) Pending approval Legend will be getting neutered next Tuesday. He had his pre-neuter visit and was lovely with the staff and vet. He was terrific on the car ride over too. We did encounter another dog there and Legend was barking like crazy and pulling on his leash. The other dog, a senior Lab, didn’t even react but Legend kept going. My husband thankfully was there and took Legend outside, I had been scheduling at the front desk and didn’t realize another dog was there. I’ve been working with Legend to reduce his anxiety and discomfort around other dogs and had my treats with me but this happened quickly and the other dog was so close. Keeping a close eye on this.
May 9, 2018
Quick update on Legend. He’s been with us for three and a half days and we are getting to know each other. Things I have learned about Legend:
1) He LOVES walks. I mean he really, really loves his walks. He goes to the closet for the leash or if it’s on the floor he moves it with his paw. We went for an hour walk today and he was in heaven. His ears were back and he was sniffing away and he was prancing so happily. He spotted some squirrels and attempted to chase them.
2) He is a glass half full kind of guy! True to the Lab nature he is always wagging his tail and an all around happy guy. He is so loving and sweet with us.
3) He has little to no interest in toys. This may change but as of now the basket of toys I have for him goes largely ignored. He is more content to lay at my feet or follow me or my husband.
4) He may not get along with other dogs. While he was with temporary foster family he showed some
aggression toward their dogs. I have only walked him on a leash and he has barked at several dogs but nothing aggressive and I’ve purposely kept him at a distance until I know him a bit more. Last night my neighbor’s very friendly collie Delta who used to play with my now deceased lab Buck ran over to us when I was coming back for a walk. Her owners, our neighbors, are good dog owners but Delta does get out from time to time for some reason and she ran over to us. Well Legend was growling, showing teeth and barking and jumping. I got him out of there immediately. He is scheduled to be neutered next week so perhaps some of this aggression will diminish. Until the neutering is complete and the hormones has dissipated we have him on a leash even in our fenced in yard and I walk him during quiet times without many dogs around. That said, he may wind up being an only dog in the house kind of dog.
5) He is very smart and so trainable. He has picked up on the routine of our house already!
May 7, 2018
So Legend has been with us for over 24 hours and continues to slowly settle in. He is a very sweet dog and surprisingly gentle for a young male lab. He is still coming out of his shell so this could surely change. We decided to wait on crating him because of what he has been through already being kept in the basement. The plan was to have him sleep in our laundry room on a very comfy bed we set up with the door shut but as soon as we closed the door he was very upset and stared barking like crazy. We then moved to Plan B. We moved the bed to the corner of our bedroom and he slept soundly through the night. He didn’t wander or get off the bed all night.
We woke up and took a long walk together which he loved. As soon as he sees that leash he’s very excited. He has pretty good leash manners. He pulls a bit but with a little time and training he will do very well I suspect. We saw two dogs on our walk and he ignored the little one and barked at the big one. He went to the bathroom and has not had any accidents in the house. We took another early evening long walk with my husband and son. Legend loves my husband and follows him everywhere.
He wouldn’t eat anything yesterday except from my hands. I think he was uncertain and has moved around so
much lately that he was having a hard time relaxing. Today he did eat – not all of it but a good portion. Yesterday he was trying to drink out of the toilet for water but he has quickly learned where his water bowl is and is happy to drink from that instead and so are we lol. He also had no interest in any toys yesterday but I’m happy to report he was lying on his back chewing the squeaky stuffed fox! We also discovered today he loves belly rubs. If he is lying down and you pet him over he goes. He’s so sweet and after all this poor dog has been through just so incredibly loving.
He really needs a bath but his back is shaved so close from the previous owners that I’m afraid the shampoo could be too harsh so we’re going to have to hold off for a bit. A lot more tail wagging today as he settles in which makes me so happy for him. We are planning to neuter him next week. I want to give him at least a week to get comfortable here. Hopefully my next update I can post photos for all to see. He is so handsome!
May 6, 2018
Meet two year old Legend. Legend found himself in Brookline when his family wasn’t allowed to keep him where they are living. He seems like a great dog. Stay tuned for updates.
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