Friday, August 03, 2012
The Story of Leo
Leo is my newest rescue. He is a 3 year old Border Collie. A sweet, goofy boy who has not had a very good life so far. Leo came from a local city SPCA. Surrendered for biting grandkids. That was his second (or third- they aren't sure) home....
I picked him up on Friday- and he couldn't look at me without melting to the floor, would skulk around if I was moving anywhere in his direction, and was just about the saddest border collie I'd ever seen. He didn't want attention at all, and was curled up in a ball in the farthest corner of my yard...with his back to me no less.
It has been a week since I got him, and Leo is a different dog. One week of just letting him be a dog. Cuddles when he was comfortable enough, lots of yummy treats and time. Leo is Happy, Smiling, Excited, Energetic, and Goofy. One week is all it took to start to erase three years of a tough life. Amazing how quickly dogs adapt! He still has a long way to go- but the worst is over and he knows it!
He's met about a dozen people so far- and has taken cookies and warmed up to most of them. He will require a lot of socialising and positive interactions with people for him to fully learn to trust again. Leo startles easily at sticks, a raised hand, a sudden loud voice. Those will take some time and patience to overcome.
At this point I am pretty confident that he won't be a sport dog. I don't think that even with confidence he could handle the stress and pressure of that. I could be wrong of course! I've only had him a week. But that's what I think so far.
He will be for adoption through Windy City Rescue. He isn't listed yet though. I need to kid test him first to see for myself what the problem is. I suspect that he was nipping their heels as they ran but time will tell! I've got just the kid in mind but I need to arrange that first.
Leo is fantastic with dogs. I mean- completely appropriate with grumpy vito, yet playful with any dog who wants to play with him. I think he would actually do best in a home with another dog as a buddy. He plays with Pixel and Wicca really well. He is a tad bit obsessive with dogs- Brit is his target at my house. Which cracks me up really because it's a taste of her own medicine!!! Brit has been harrassing Pixel for a year. She gets real upset with Leo when he does it to her. I have brought out the water gun to control it in the yard and he is getting much better with "leave it."
As you would guess he is fairly active and even though he is overweight has amazing stamina. He is quick, and will run for as long as my dogs will! He has a great recall and is eager to please. Leo will be an easy dog to train I think. In the house he is totally lazy and just lays around. Out of sight usually. He doesn't bark much at all- the odd woof when he is excited or nervous.
He is incredibly mushy and sweet. And wants to get as close as possible- I guess making up for lost time. lol. His favorite thing to do is to bury his head in your side or under your arm. He just lays like that soaking up the attention. It is very cute. He yet to pick up a toy- but is fond of plastic containers and interested in squeaky things but doesn't know quite what to make of them... We will work on that!
I am so thankful that I was able to help this dog. Not that all dogs aren't worth trying to save- but this one in particular just grabbed me. Something about him. He had been at the shelter for more than a month. He was depressed, shut down, and just plain old sad. A shelter environment is tough on most dogs- let alone a sensitive one! I am very glad that the shelter was willing to let me help. Not all shelters are like that!!! Helping Leo, seeing his smiling face- has helped me to smile a bit more. If he can overcome that I can certainly get over the problems I'm facing! Rescue is good for the soul for sure.