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Rusty Bear is doing ok!

DSC00393I’m not too great at keeping track of time, so truthfully, I can’t think of how long I’ve had little Rusty. I’m thinking about a year and a half now.

Rusty Bear came to our home all of 6 lbs. He’s 10 inches and has gained about 2 lbs, a tremendous feat for him. He had constant seizures which were of the mild variety most times, sitting and waving his head looking at the ceiling or losing his balance and falling over. We put him on Science Diet Kidney food which had been rumored to have a positive effect on these types of seizures. It has in Rusty’s case, been very effective (gleefully). We have not witnessed a seizure in Rusty for months and months…and months! Rusty needed some dental work which undoubtedly had his mouth is some significant discomfort. They removed a wart on his ear.

Then there was the aggression. Rusty was fairly unpredictable at first as to when he’d decide to nail you. Usually it involved moments when you decided he was going to get off of the couch, bed, chair, etc. Just out of pure habit, we’d say “Rusty, move” or “off” or just motion him to get out of the way. Then you’d get it, and he meant it! We had to learn in short order to watch his eye’s, the stiffness in his body, the lift of a lip. He didn’t really growl first, not always anyway, he’d just come back from you with a piece of you in his mouth. I decided that I’d try the dominant downs, and so, anytime he would act out aggressively, I’d go fetch the “red zone leash” which was just a simple slip lead. He’d allow me to noose him following an aggression, lay him carefully on his side and he’d be made to lay there until he relaxed, relented, and waited to be allowed up without being held in place. That was quite effective with him, he was used to being in charge and running the show. He had some rude awakenings. Trust me, discussions were held as to the option of sending him to rainbow bridge. That kind of aggression is rarely tolerated by me. I have rather strong feelings about aggression as those who work with me in rescue know. Why I continued to work with him, I don’t know except I felt like he was just looking for some stability in his life and was waiting for someone to tell him that the moving was over, and that he was in his forever home.

The Humane Society was holding a little “festival” or some such thing last summer. I really ran him over to try to get him on the lure coursing run. He’d have nothing to do with it much to my surprise as he was very light and motion chase motivated. They had a Pet Psychic there. We paid a bit and she visited with me a moment or two. I wanted to relate to Rusty a few things. These are the things I asked to to communicate to Rusty bear.

1. It is not your job to wake us up in the morning by jumping in our face and barking wildly when you decide its time. And, it’s NOT funny.

2. The chairs and beds belong to the humans, they will share when they choose.

3. This is your forever home. You will never again be asked to live with people you’ve never met, nor be asked to go on long trips to unknown destinations. You’re in your forever home.

4. Going for a ride in the car can be a good thing and you will come back home.

Following our little visit with the communicator, we did, admittedly follow it up with some already in place behavior modification programs. We “red leashed” him for any slight aggressions. We placed him in his “room” without any discussion with him (the bathroom with the door shut) if he started his morning antics. We practiced non-aggressive dominance at home. We gave him food, we took it away, we won at tug o war, we taught him the word “off” so that hands weren’t involved with his displacement from furniture. Things of that nature. But we noticed that after our little communication, things became much better! He was far more affectionate toward us. He was more playful, his spirit was calmer, he was directed with less effort. He had truly turned a corner.

I love this little dog. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to foster and rescue him. I doubt that many people would have been able to connect with this disfunctional little dog as I was able to. I honestly believe he came to me for a reason. Oh he still barks too much, still is threatened DSC00389

with going to “his room” in the morning, but usually the threat is enough. He still shows some aggression toward the other males in the house. Usually it’s in the form of grabbing at someone when they are going to bed for the night. He’s ectstatic to see us come home, he kisses us and loves us and sleeps with us until we wiggle too much, then he finds his own bed next to us quite willingly. He is affectionate, biddable, we are able to direct him. He’s a lovely pet. He’ll stay.

Now if I can only keep him from chasing Spider in the morning…(sigh)

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11 comments to Rusty Bear is doing ok!

  • Awww, you’re gonna make me CRY! :) So glad he’s settled in. Every dog needs a forever home, glad he got his!

  • I am curious how the Science Diet helped his seizures… Do you know what caused these seizures?

  • Harleysmom

    One of the Vets who work with me, Dr. Liz MCGrath, told me about a study which had been done involving seizure affected dogs and the use of Science Diet Kidney diet in particular as being effective in the control of seizures. She had used it on another dog who was affected by a seizure disorder. I decided to try it with Rusty based on her information and the other dogs positive response using this diet. I am happy to report that I have not seen a seizure on Rusty for some time. His seizures were of a more mild variety, but was occuring at times of stress. If he were corrected for aggression, he would seizure. His seizures would most often look like he had no balance, he would attempt to sit, look at the ceiling, wave his head back and forth, fall over, spin circles, things which would lead me to believe he was very dizzy. Since he has been on the Science Diet Kidney kibble, he has put on weight, and no seizures! That feels like a success to me. I did not read the study myself, but was told about it by Dr MCGrath.

  • Harleysmom

    I guess it’s important to note that Rusty’s kidney values were fine prior to being put on the diet.

  • I am glad to hear Rusty is doing okay, I hope he doesn’t give up, and stays strong :)

    He chases spiders? Boy… he sure is braver than me, I am afraid of em :(

  • Thanks for the update on Rusty! I’m glad that he’s made so much progress since he’s been with you. He’s a fortunate little guy to have found you.

    Speaking of Spider…will we get to see Spider at the Utah Sheltie Specialty again?

  • Harleysmom

    We certainly wanted to include our little Spider man! The “powers that be” over the cluster gave us an unequivical “no”. So, no Spidey. I think he’ll be missed.

  • Bummer! Sometimes the “powers that be” are such a drag! :-(

  • Harleysmom

    To Boris Said, I’m sorry I failed to answer you specifically but in answer to your query about Spider, “Spider” is our miniature horse. He gets along great with all of the dogs, but first thing in the morning, Rusty races out the door lickety split and runs out to Spider and tries to herd him. Spiders response is usually some light hearted running around and kicking up in the air far above Rusty’s head, but I worry that one day it won’t be high enough and Rusty will get his brains kicked in! I’ll post a photo of Spider ok?

  • Sorry about that! :( But thank you so much for the update =D

  • Faxless Payday Loans

    Oh I am so sorry to hear about Rust bear my baby cocoa had the same problems but phenyl barbadol helped you may want to consider if you have not already.

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