Peanut the Puppy

IMG_20160822_203240  This is Peanut.  Peanut is a 9-month-old female terrier mix. Kathy at DINO Rescue contacted me last night to ask if I could take her for the night and all day today.

Peanut came to me with acute separation anxiety and insecurity, a fear of larger dogs, and a barking issue. She was also very nervous and anxious in her kennel.  Kathy also informed me that she was uncertain about whether or not the puppy is fully house-trained. Aside from that, the only other information Kathy could provide was that the pup is up to date on all vaccinations.

Peanut panted heavily and shook violently in the kennel during the ride to my home.  However, when I opened the kennel door to put the leash on her harness, she did try to calm herself and wait for me to give her permission to get out of the car. Once out of the car, she immediately began sniffing at everything.  She did pull at the leash, first rearing up on her hind legs and then dropping to the ground on her belly in an effort to get away.  She is not correctly leash or harness trained and she does not like the restrictions of either.

I took her to my back yard, where she immediately began sniffing everything. I noticed she tended to stay close to the perimeter of the fence; she saw a small space in the back gate that she tried to push her head through, and I immediately understood that she was looking for possible escape routes. She proved this by looking at the top of the fence to gauge whether or not she could jump it. This showed me that she must be leashed even when taking her out to potty, and that under no circumstances can she be left unattended.

When she was ready to be brought into the house to meet the rest of the pack, Peanut surprised me by waiting for permission. I opened the door, and Glimmer and Violet were right there waiting for her.  Peanut was uncertain about whether or not she could go in, so she waited for Glimmer and Violet to give her permission. They sniffed at her for a minute and then moved aside, indicating to her that she was welcome to come in.  At that point, Peanut looked to me for the first time for guidance. I went inside first, and then I invited her in.

Once inside the house, Peanut saw my husband and made a beeline right for him. She was excited but respectful, placing only her front paws on his lap.  After meeting him, she began exploring the house. I kept her on lead the entire time to provide guidance and calm energy.  Within 15 minutes of her arrival inside the house, Peanut was inviting Glimmer to play and learning the house rules from Violet.

Peanut did very well during the night.  She did not have any accidents, nor did she bark.  She did whine a few times because her movements were restricted by the leash, but a few calm, gentle corrections curbed that behavior fairly quickly.  Because of her acute separation anxiety and her nervousness about the kennel, I decided to keep the harness and leash on her and sleep on the couch.  She was able to move around, but not so much that she could get herself into trouble.  She ended up curling up behind my knees and going to sleep.

Breakfast is a pack event. Just like Glimmer and Violet, Peanut had to wait for permission to eat.  She did very well with that exercise.  At no time did she exhibit any resource-guarding behavior – not even when Violet came over to her bowl to try and help herself to Peanut’s food.  Instead, Peanut turned away and was preparing to walk away from the dish when I stepped in and redirected Violet back to her own bowl. I immediately rewarded Peanut with verbal and physical praise for her calm response.

In spite of her issues, Peanut is a sweet, loving, submissive girl who is very smart and very eager to please.  All she needs is foundation and basic obedience training, along with trust-building and confidence-building exercise, and she will become a balanced, happy forever companion to a deserving family.  And even though it’s only for a night and a day, I’m thankful to Kathy and DINO Rescue for calling on me to take care of this little angel. She truly is a precious girl who deserves a forever family that will love her all her life and keep her happy and fulfilled.

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