Many of you have now met Bella “live-in-dog” and experienced just what an amazing dog she is. I’d like to tell you a little more about how she got to this point and became a Stiggy’s Dog.
Bella has never met a stranger. She wants nothing more than love and companionship. She’ll give you a big “pittie smile”, endless kisses and her belly for rubbing just because you gave her a moment of your time. Bella’s extremely loyal, trusting and smart. She learned all of her obedience commands in a few days and her minor behavior problems have almost completely disappeared in just 2 months. Her biggest problem: separation anxiety. She finally has a loving home and leaders she can trust and understandably doesn’t want us out of her sight. And once she’s had a good daily run, she’ll do anything you ask of her — if you can keep her from napping on the job. The more you ask of her, the more she performs and impresses you. Bella is an ideal canine companion. Read the rest here…
We took Bella to the farm……yup, that’s right, to a good old fashion farm! Oh what a day we had.
Jen, Audrey, Joe , Bella and I met there early Saturday to expose Bella to farm animals. (There is a possibility she will be exposed to this at her new home). Better to prepare, than not. Jen walked Bella through, they have a strong bond and Bella trusts her. Putting a dog who was not born on a farm, that comes from the streets of Detroit, and into a yard with the scents and noises…… was really not fair. But pushing Bella is part of what our training/socializing is about. We need to know how she will react in new situations, not only how she will react, but if she will approach and then work through that new situation with you.
Joe, Jen, Bella and I met at the park to work with Bella. Joe and I needed some one on one time to learn Bella’s commands- down to every detail- to help make this transition as smooth as possible. As with training any pet, consistency is very important. Bella is very attached to Jen, so we have agreed to focus the training more on having Bella with many handlers, changing from Joe to I at first, to help build trust in Bella. The more she is exposed to different people, all giving the same commands and rewards (Good Bella) will help her build confidence. This will not only help her pass the Canine Good Citizen test but build an all around well balanced perfect Bella! (She is almost there!)
I was very excited (and honored) to be invited to this class, taught by Jen Guthrie, Bella’s Foster mom. Jen has not taken Bella to this class yet because her time is spent with the owners and their dogs. I jumped at the chance, to see Jen teach and observe Bella in this environment.
It was a beautiful late summer night and the class turnout was great! I am impressed that so many dog owners were taking the time to teach, train and properly bond with their dogs. This is SO important! There wasn’t much time before class for Bella, Jen and I to work together, so when Jen handed Bella over to me and walked away, Bella was a little nervous.
I believe peoples paths cross, sometimes, for a reason, and this is a perfect example.
I have been working hard to establish relationships with different rescue groups, us researching them, and visa-verse. I was very lucky here, when my mother stopped by a PetSmart during one of their adoption events. Jen Guthrie was very sweet and took the time to talk to my mom about her foster dog, Bella. My mother knows my love for the bully breeds and immediately called me after to brag about Bella. Ironically, Jen Guthrie had heard about Stiggys Dog, and was very open to Bella becoming a Emotional Therapy Dog.
I received an email the next day from Jen, explaining that she was also a dog trainer with PRO-K9 In Home Dog Training and Behavior Modification. (I couldn’t believe it, how perfect!) I explained that we were leaving in a few days to place our first dog and that I couldn’t get back to meet Bella, or talk to Jen for 2 weeks. This only inspired Jen, she took it upon herself to research Canine Good Citizen, and started immediately working with Bella on socialization and taking the same steps I would be doing to prepare Bella. (Jen, you are a blessing!)
"The experiences and lessons I learned from working at a Humane
Society, motivated my future. I have spent the past 4 years trying to
make a difference. Dogs listen, love us unconditionally, are loyal and
can be life saving. I am passionate about my goal of helping one dog at
a time, and now one soldier and family at a time. I am proud to honor
Ben and determined to carry on his legacy of helping others through
Stiggys Dogs." Jennifer PetreFounder - Stiggy's Dogs
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