Lucy was sweet, loving and smart as could be. I fell in love this precious dog and decided to adopt her. I renamed her Sake. I couldn’t understand how her previous owners could have surrendered her. There is a period called the “Honeymoon Stage” when adopting a dog. There seems to be a sixth sense that dogs have -- they are perfect long enough for their humans to fall in love with them... then the naughty behaviors start to surface.
One of the reasons PPR is so rigid in their adoption process is because of dogs like Sake. A really nice family adopted Sake when she was a puppy. It is believed that the family was too busy to properly train and socialize Sake and she ended up spending a lot of time alone in the backyard. This is a formula for disaster. A backyard dog grows up and is suddenly unwanted because they have no doggie manners, no training, and are not good with other dogs or people due to lack of socialization. And unfortunately, a backyard dog usually does a lot of backyard barking.
Sake has a few (to put it mildly) bad behaviors. She raids the garbage when left alone, runs along the backyard fence barking while chasing squirrels, chases cars and bikes (training has cured that behavior), barks at men with hats, surfs the kitchen countertops when no one is looking, chews up toothpaste tubes and important paperwork, and pulls the end of the toilet paper through out the house. Sometimes it is a challenge not to haul her off to the nearest shelter but dogs are NOT disposable items and shelter dumping is not an option.
Sake does have redeeming qualities. She is a devoted love bug, can say “ma-ma” in English, and I love her dearly. There is nothing better than having her curl up on the couch next to me after a hard day. The truth is no dog is any more perfect than a human. We all have our good and bad qualities. I suppose if it were legal, many children and spouses would end up in shelters. ☺
Sake can be challenging but I have either trained or learned to manage all her bad behaviors. What a different world this would be for animals if every owner took responsibility for their dog. Training, socialization and exercise are imperative when owning a dog. If you don’t have time to train, there are excellent dog trainers for hire. If you don’t have time to do what is right by a dog the simple solution is to not have a dog.
But if you do have the time, energy and patience for a dog you will be rewarded with a devoted companion who gives unconditional love. I wouldn’t trade my volunteer work with PPR or Sake for all the money in the world because I get back so much more than I give!