Skip, Yellow Labrador Retriever Male, 1 Year Old
February 25, 2019
Skip is still available and looking for his forever home, but I thought I’d provide a few more updates. Skip is making some real improvement of late and seems more relaxed overall. In fact we were out playing ball in the driveway the other day (because the yard is an icy hazard) and when he saw some people/dogs walking into the Gamelands at an access point one house over, he didn’t even react. He just looked at them, and then looked back at me for me to throw the ball. Good boy Skip. He is also getting more affectionate in the house, and he really loves his body rubs. He loves our chocolate lab the best (maybe it’s those great big dog jowls that he can grab) and they often snooze together.
We still think Skip will do best with another dog, and if you have a dog that wants to play, Skip will be happy to oblige. And ours is a pretty quiet home (we’re recent empty nesters) and that will suit Skip the best. Is he going to need continued training and a patient, committed owner? Absolutely, but the end result will be a dog that will love you forever and be your loyal buddy,
January 19, 2019
Time sure flies when you’re learning to be a dog. Skip continues to make improvement but only time will tell whether Skip ever will learn that strangers aren’t scary. On walks he can get closer to strangers before he gets upset, and in fact if you walk him in new places, he simply whimpers a bit when he sees people (and less so if they have dogs) but on our regular walking paths that he knows well, he still isn’t happy when he sees strangers, but if they are going the other way, he only notices them and hesitates a bit. He doesn’t otherwise react It’s when they come towards him (and we can’t change our course) that he will growl and bark and carry on. We know he’s saying “go away- I’m afraid of you” but we his foster parents acknowledge that this it not ideal behavior, and not necessarily what you’d expect from a lab in particular. On the good side, he’s easy enough to control since he isn’t that big, and he calms down almost immediately after the offender goes by (we just move off the path and speak calmly to him). Before, he’d be stressed and pulling away from the encounter the rest of the walk. We think Skip will continue to improve, but there’s no crystal ball to look into.
What do we love about Skip (and yes after more than four months with him, we do love him)?
- When he’s happy, he’s really happy. He is very affectionate to foster mom and dad (he loves being pet and hugged and he loves to sleep or nap with his person, and he loves his fur siblings. And he is TOTALLY respectful of the senior cat who isn’t fond of all these foster dogs. She has never had to hide from Skip. He was good from day one.
- He loves to go play outside and he is easy to exercise that way. Throw the ball, lay chase, a wrestling or tug session with one of the other dogs- he loves it all. He has a funny habit of stockpiling the balls after he retrieves them, but that’s OK, we just move the game over to the pile and start throwing again.
- Skip is athletic. He’s speedy and graceful and he’d make a great running partner. Foster mom doesn’t run much anymore but we she tried, he went a nice pace- not like many a dog that when you speed up then they speed up even more! And he loves his woods walks.
- He hasn’t met a dog that he doesn’t like. And Skip tolerates rude behavior from other dogs quite well. We know this because he goes to doggie daycare twice a week and they have all sorts of dogs, and they are able to put Skip out in any group and he does well. Rumor has it that he has a new best bud named Gus- a young bull dog – and they love to play together. Skip may need to get Gus’ number -lol.
- Skip has no food aggression and no resource guarding. We can say that with certainty with three food and toy motivated labs. Skip can share anything with other dogs and you can take anything from him (unless of course it’s the tennis ball and he thinks you’re placing chase!)
- Skip is excellent free roam (he does not chew or have accidents) and does not need a crate EXCEPT when we have company, and then he’s happier in his crate where he will stay quiet, whereas he’d be stressed if loose. His crate is his safe place.
- Except for the bed where we have allowed him, Skip does not even attempt to get on any other furniture. And we have a doggie cam, so we know he hasn’t been naughty like two of the resident dogs!
- Skip does not counter surf or steal food or get into garbages.
- Skip is excellent in the car and will hop right in now. He still may need some encouragement to get out if he doesn’t know where he is – unless he’s with the other dogs in which case he will follow them out readily
There are some days when we almost don’t realize he isn’t quite like most other labs, and thinking about what those day looked like allows us to picture where we think he will do best. Skip will do best in a rural or quieter neighborhood where houses aren’t too close together. If you have a big back yard and no visible neighbors no fence is necessary; Skip isn’t going anywhere, If you can see and hear neighbors easily, Skip would do better with a fence because he will go over and bark at them. I don’t recommend placing Skip with kids because kids have their friends over and kids simply shouldn’t have to deal with Skip’s antics when he’s scared. Similarly a home where there aren’t a lot of people coming and going on a frequent basis would be best. Again he can learn to trust many people at one time (as he does with the ~6 staff members at doggie day care) but in a home those people would all need to be regulars. Luckily he’s fine to go in the crate for dinner parties and the like, so you can still have a social life. But if you have lot of people who come and visit and stay (maybe you live at the beach or next to a ski slope), Skip’s not the dog for you. We think Skip would enjoy and benefit from having another dog to play with and to continue to show him that people are OK. But if you have friends with dogs that would regular pals or doggie daycare is something you’d consider, these scenarios might be OK too.
Please contact his foster family (email@example.com) with any questions about this special boy. He was dealt a bad hand- being kept isolated until he was 13 months old -and he’s trying his best to be a good boy, worthy of your love. Might he be the dog for you? And you for him?
November 29, 2018
An update on Skip who is doing well as we continue to work on de-sensitizing him to the things he finds scary. When it was necessary to board him for Thanksgiving, we discovered that having him meet all the various staff there was very helpful towards this. They really liked “Skip Skip” as they call him! He did great with all the playgroups they put him in too. He is fantastic in the home- no chewing, no accidents, etc… and he LOVES his foster Mom and Dad (particularly Dad). and his fur siblings, and is good with the older cat that wants to be left alone. He’s an agile dog who really loves playing fetch, chase and going for walks, and Skip walks well on a leash. He’s also a great snuggler. He’s not allowed on the furniture and respects that but he did wiggle his way into his parents’ bed and he is very happy there (and at 52 pounds, it’s a plus that he’s fairly compact). Skip is now happy to be in the car and will hop right in – good boy Skip.
While we’re making progress, it’s clear Skip is going to do best in a home environment that doesn’t have a lot of chaos or visitors. He still carries on (barking and growling) until he get to know the unknown person. Luckily he will go right in his crate when expressing himself this way and then he’s settled and quiet as a mouse. He’s going to be a great addition to the right home that is committed to loving and working with him. For more information on Skip Skip, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 9, 2018
Just a quick update on Skip who continues to get more comfortable in the home. He is less reactive to sounds within the home, but he’s still afraid of strangers. Foster mom has a good friend who has been going on walks with them, and it’s helping Skip learn that this stranger isn’t so scary anyway.
Skip is also enjoying running around with the other dogs in the home. And he
loves to play tug (he’s the lab on the left). The poor tug toys don’t stand a chance though.
As the photos shows Skip enjoys napping with his foster dad.
September 26, 2018
Skip is continuing to make progress. He gets along very well with the four other dogs in the house and he even respects the cat. He’s not a chewer and he is completely house trained (super easy for him) and crate trained (as long as it’s not over-used). He is also up to date with all his shots and was neutered and has completely healed. He walks well on the leash, especially considering that he is mostly walking in the woods with the resident dogs off leash.
Skip still needs time and training to understand that strangers mean him no
harm. He is VERY fearful of them, and wants nothing more that to get away from them and for them to leave him be. That’s even the case when he is with the other dogs and he can see them interacting and responding properly. This poor boy must have endured an awful start to feel that way. Thank goodness he takes so much comfort when he is with the other dogs. He is so much happier.
We met with one trainer but it is too soon for her to work with him, so she set us up with a lot of things we can do to help him along since he trusts us (except if we’re carrying something foreign or vacuuming or the like, then he is scared of us too 🙁
Skip learned the stairs in a matter of days and he gallops up and down them with ease. He also discovered that he loves sleeping with his people and with his compact (52 pound) frame, he doesn’t take up much room. We usually don’t let foster dogs gets accustomed to getting on furniture or beds, but in this case the trainer thought that more bonding with people was a good thing.
September 3, 2018
Skip wants to wish everyone a Happy Labor Day. It’s day 3 here for Skip who is slowly but surely settling into his foster home. Poor Skip was so afraid the day his foster mom went to pick him up that refused to walk and the kennel staff had to carry him all the way to his foster mom’s car. Likewise he had to be carried out of the car to the doggie wash station (he was bringing a little too much of the farm back with him) and back. Skip figured that my tucking his tail and curling up into a ball, maybe he would be left alone. Indeed, his foster parents were a little worried about how this was going to go, but when they brought him home to meet the resident dogs, Skip had a complete transformation. Tail was up and he was sniffing and saying hello, and couldn’t get enough of the dogs. The resident dogs, in turn, are being very patient as he learns some doggie manners- no humping Skip! Getting him neutered will help with that.
Skip is learning to potty outside but it’s a little hard to catch him in the act as he hasn’t learned to lift his leg yet, nor does he hardly squat, so you have to be paying close attention. He tolerates, but does not love, the crate. He’s drinking well, but not eating much at all yet, even though he is getting home cooked chicken and other yummies in his bowl. Since he’s already taking a few walks a day, he won’t be able to hold out much longer in the eating department though. Overall he is much more relaxed outside than in.
What a change as now Skip is in constant motion It’s hard to keep him still
enough to even get a leash on him. When he first saw the resident cat, he did pretty well, so that was good news for the poor old cat who just turned 16. He seems to already get that she is off limits.
Stay tuned for updates on Skip as he decompresses and learns that he is safe. With time and love and patience , he’s going to be just fine.
September 1, 2018
RESCUE RIDE today for 1 year old Skip, who is very scared but so sweet. Skip’s luck has changed❤️ as his foster home will make him comfortable and help him to feel secure, confident and loved! Welcome to the Brookline family, Skip. We’re looking forward to learning more about you as you settle into foster care.
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PLEASE NOTE: While this Lab may not be available for adoption by the time you complete the adoption process, other great Labs are always finding their way into our Rescue.
If you are interested in adopting this Lab or any other Lab from our Rescue, please visit our Web site, www.brooklinelabrescue.org, for more information on our adoption process. If you need additional information about the adoption process or whether you are in our coverage area, please send an e-mail to our Rescue at email@example.com
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