I spent most of Saturday hanging out with my buddy Yoda from the shelter. Here’s a rundown of our fun day together.
I had planned to take Yoda over to the vets office and give him a good scrub down. Due to a late start on my part, combined with an early closure of the vets office, and the beginning of a snow storm his bath time was delayed. But we really did hit up every other thing on my agenda. Yoda had a big day!
First we practiced our very best riding in the car manners. Yoda has had very little experience in riding in the car, and this is one of the things we can do to help him prepare for his future home. Yoda is a ‘long-timer’ at the shelter, about to clock his first year in our care. He doesn’t get along with any other pets, and is quite reactive to other dogs which makes him hard to place. But he’s a lovebug with people, and will make someone a wonderful pet. We’re just searching for that someone still….
At first, Yoda wanted to jump all over the car EVERYWHERE! He thought this was very exciting!! I tethered him in the back seat, on the protective seat cover, by attaching his short leash to the headrest. Then I got in the drivers seat and sat there for several minutes while he calmed down. When I started the engine, and he was back up bouncing around again. So we waited again for calm behavior before driving off.
By the end of our ride he was either sitting like this ^ or laying down quite happily. I was impressed. Next time he’s in the car, I’m sure he’ll try the whole ‘lets be crazy’ routine again, but will probably calm down much more quickly than he did today. It’s all about making progress, baby steps….
We went to the park, and had the whole place to ourselves. No one else was crazy enough to be out walking in the mini hailstorm we had going on at the time…Yoda loved it, soaking up the new sights and smells and just thoroughly enjoying himself, regardless of the weather.
Next, we stopped and got gas in my car. Yoda practiced his waiting patiently skills, and LOVED watching all the people filling up, and coming in and out of the store. He gave excited little whines to those close by, so happy to be making new friends.
Then we made a quick pit stop at McDonalds. Again with the practicing patience skills. Again with the loving watching the people. Lots of flirting with the cashier through the window (on Yoda’s part not mine!)
Yoda double checking to be sure we didn’t miss any fries in the bottom of the box…
After his little snack, Yoda was ready to lay down and practice relaxing around people. It can be hard for him to control his excitement when he gets to spend one on one time with someone, so us just ‘hanging out’ is crucial to his socialization. I brought my computer and a book, and tried to be as boring as possible, completely ignoring him and his pleas for attention.
Yoda quickly left me alone and found a few toys and a bone to entertain himself. Exactly what I wanted.
Occasionally he came and asked for lovin’ like this:
After an hour or so, when he finally settled down on the dog bed I’d brought, I knew we’d made some progress! He’s got a happy, relaxed smile. Feeling nice and calm.
Then I tempted him with a french fry…and he wants you to know that he didn’t even steal it!
All smiles after he got his french fry for waiting patiently
All in all, Yoda had a huge day, and I’m sure hoping he slept well that night. I can’t wait until the next time I can get out there and practice his ‘good dog skills’ with him all over again. I LOVE this dog, and can’t wait for him to find his furever home! Someone is going to be blessed with an incredible best friend, comedian, and protector when they adopt this handsome little fella! He is SUCH a cool dude.