My Mutt Stories: Dooney
Featured My Mutt... "Dooney"
Dooney came into mine and my fiancé's lives about 6 months ago as a foster dog. He was at the Martinez shelter and had a very slim chance of making it out. Luckily K9 Paw Print Rescue likes to pull for the underdogs.
To say that Dooney was a mess when we got him is an understatement. He was infested with worms and fleas, had major hair loss on his back from demodectic mange, was underweight, and was incredibly scared and timid. He was so scared and timid, in fact, that he would just freeze. He had poorly cropped ears, and the insides were just coated in dirt and infected. The first few days were tough. He had several medical treatments and was on a number of medicines that made him sick and lethargic. He had to have fluids injected and we had to force him to eat a high protein paste.
After we got his medical issues under control we moved on to his behavior. Dooney was scared of everything! Any loud noises or quick movements had him darting for the nearest corner. It was heart-breaking, but with the help of our rescue's behavioral specialist, we came up with a behavior plan for Dooney which included lots of walks, excursions to parks and other outdoor spaces, hand-feeding him so he would become comfortable with people, doggy play dates, and much more.
All of this hard work began to pay off at home and our shy little Dooney started to show off his personality: we celebrated the first time he crawled up onto the couch to cuddle with us, the first time he tried to play with our rescued senior basset hound, and the first time he really began to play with us. Within two months Dooney had become a complete different dog. However, the new Dooney still wasn't as comfortable outside the house as he was inside. Because he was so scared at adoption events potential adopters were turned off. It was so frustrating. He was such an AMAZING dog, but he was just scared.
As months passed, though, the thought of him being adopted went from being a hope to a worry. We loved our Doon-bug. We made the decision in January that Winston was getting a fur-ever brother, and our family would be adding one more member.
Being around Dooney every day makes his progress less noticeable, but when fellow foster parents see Dooney they are always saying how he's a completely different dog. He is starting to greet new people on his own, he loves playing with his friend Cooper (also a K9PPR Alumni), he's healthy (although he still has a blade spot), and he's happy. We are so grateful to have Dooney as the newest member of our family.
- Alexandria S.