Tonka the Great: The Journey Begins

img_20161116_175706  Tonka is home. I picked him up yesterday. He was so happy and excited to see me that he was shaking. And when I put him in the car and got him buckled in, he was nearly beside himself with happiness. He knew he was coming home.

The reunion between him and my husband was a bit rough – my husband approached the car and smiled, and Tonka misinterpreted the behavior and became extremely reactive. I immediately corrected him, and then I removed him from the car so that he could be re-introduced to my husband. Once Tonka got my husband’s scent, he remembered him and settled down. This reactivity, however, is something that will need to be worked on.

Bringing Tonka into the house, our cat Violet was the first to greet him. Tonka didn’t expect that. His adoption bio says he’s not good with cats, but he did a fantastic job of remaining calm while Violet gave him a thorough check. I did keep him on lead the entire time, just to be on the safe side.  When he saw Glimmer, he got excited and tried to greet her. She corrected him by growling at him, telling him he was too intense and he needed to calm down.

Tonka was bedded down in the kennel in our bedroom last night. He got anxious about it and started whining, but he calmed down when he realized that my husband and I were there and getting ready for bed ourselves. And when Glimmer came in, he seemed to know that things were okay, and he went to sleep. He slept all night.

Tonka wolfs his food as if he expects it to be taken away from him. He doesn’t relax at all while he’s eating, and he constantly looks around to make sure no one is trying to get in and take it from him. The issue presented when the pack was fed their first supper together last night. His rehabilitation begins today, and this is one of the first issues I’ll be addressing.

We have a long journey ahead of us, but Tonka is showing that he’s trying really hard to learn his place in the pack and follow the rules, boundaries, and limitations that are set out for him. He does have several issues that need to be addressed, but I expect most of those problems to resolve as he starts to feel more secure. Stability, security, and consistent leadership will go a long way towards helping this 15-month-old pup become happy, calm, and balanced.

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