Patches came to Fox Valley through the bark bus. He was so timid that he was placed in the Rebound Program. The rebound program is the best. They taught Patches to sit, come, heel, and lie down. They had a nightly grooming routine. I continued with their routine including taking a treat off my hand. I’ve added shake.
Patches was still extremely afraid of everything, but was (and still is) an affectionate dog. Not only did my husband & I become attached from day one, but also, my dog Bella and Patches bonded immediately. Still Patches had a ways to go before he came out of his shell. Thankfully, the caretakers at the shelter had warned me a few times. I had our shy baby home for three days before he barked and that was at the vacuum. Affectionately, I called him our little couch potatoe because all he wanted to do was lay around.
We began tackling one fear at a time. Since he loved dogs the dog park became his fun place. People was a problem for Patches. When someone came over he made a mad dash to his safe place, which is the small space between the couch and recliner. So I invited friends over one or two at a time. They were instructed to remain calm and not look the dog in the eye. They sat on the couch and talked with me. I slipped the guest a treat. It worked, Patches would get curious and go to new person. Next came any kind of noise from the microwave to lawn mowers and cars. The biggest thing is in the house noises were ignored and he got use to them. Outside noises were more difficult. At first Patches wouldn’t go outside except at night. I had to get up early to let Patches out before our neighbor started his loud truck for work. I tried to make it fun for him outdoors, but really I have to give credit to Bella who showed him the ropes. Now he goes out with Bella and barks at any dog who walk by–just like Bella.
Our walks were another problem. Patches refused to go and when I made him he would walk with Bella until something spooked him. He would turn around and pull me home. I bought him a doggy back pack. At first, I thought it wasn’t going to work. Then I remembered a dogs sense of smell. This sounds gross to us, but to a dog it’s a piece of a delicious apple pie. Patches carries the days poop and drops it off at the garbage corral when our walk is finished. Each dog has a job to do, Bella leads us and Patches hauls out stuff in his back pack. He now walks two miles a day.
In took two months for Patches to become our happy little guy and he’s improving every day. Thank you for allowing us to adopt Patches. We are grateful and couldn’t be happier.