Originally Published: September 27, 2016 2:02 a.m.
As this political season so vividly demonstrates, we don’t always get along with people with whom we must associate. And so it is with dogs, and cats too.
As a companion animal rescuer organization, United Animal Friends is faced with the tricky job of re-homing finicky pets who love people but not so much some of their own species.
The reasons for many canine persnickety propensities are as numerous as there are pet colors and range from health issues, leash aggression, breed tendencies, bad experiences with other dogs, lack of social acclimation as youngsters, poor dog communication reading and expression skills, protective natures (often, sadly, from facing deprivation in their past), sudden household changes, poor handler response, past bully training techniques and just plain “don’t like ‘em” opinions.
Unfortunately, our past approaches and lack of understanding did not gain us much ground with these behaviors. Dogs were often treated with punishment; furthering their insecurity, isolation; stifling any social development, or handler nervousness; giving wrong messages to the poor pup.
Thankfully, our toolbox has expanded and our improved approaches, revolving around positive reinforcement, rewards, controlling triggers, paying attention to our dog’s efforts to communicate with us, and presenting a confident compassionate leadership direction to our pet, have better outcomes with astounding successes. And our community has some knowledgeable positive, no-bullying trainers who can help further your skills too.
I see so many really nice friendly dogs who desperately want someone to love but are held back because of their reactivity and it is heartbreaking to watch. As rescuers, UAF can help by trying to dissect the issue but the pivotal point comes by way of the adopter.
By providing that secure, caring base for a confused pup, you get to construct the platform from which to build their confidence and social skills. If you are up for the challenge and thrill of watching a dog go from worrying about his world to offering his best, we have some tempting choices for you.
These nice UAF dogs are waiting for someone to give them a chance:
• Tango is a happy eager hiking companion who loves to go exploring.
• Molly is a mellow charming hugbug who loves a good TV show.
• Jazzy would spend her days playing with kids if asked her choice in the matter.
• Wesley is a hysterically funny goofy comedian who loves to tease and play games.
• Dixie is loyal and wants someone active to devote her heart to.
• Allie is very sweet and loving and has that boxer bounce that says “play with me.”
• Clyde is energetic and loves people but needs someone to teach him his world will be safe for him.
You can check these great dogs out on our web site, unitedanimalfriends.org, and tell us on the matchmaking form how you would like to change their world for the better!
And as for us cat lovers, these furballs can be even more territorial and independent. But don’t let that stop you, United Animal Friends has a whole bunch of tools in our tool box for that too. Contact us, or your cat rescue group of interest, to hear more about these hilarious dynamic critters who can add a fun dimension to your life.
Toby Frost is president of United Animal Friends.