Welcome home Jack
After re-doing the site and blog- I’m moving all my dog blogging over here from my general/art blog, although some things will still be crossposted- I thought it was appropriate to make the first new post to be about Jack.
Texas Husky Rescue was kind enough to allow me to pull, foster, and adopt a really wonderful malamute mix named Jack through them. He’s my new service dog prospect, and while I really wasn’t LOOKING for a malamute mix (I’ve been keeping an eye on local shelters for suitable prospects, but I was mostly sticking to Aussie, BC, and collie-type mixes), this boy was on his last day in the shelter, sick with a URI, and just too special to let go. So I figured I could foster him for a day or two- he was gorgeous, surely he’d be snapped up before he was even healed up from his neuter, right? Well, yes, he was- but for the first time in better than 10 years volunteering with dogs, I failed fostering.
Jack is outgoing, people-oriented, easy to motivate, and has a strong desire to engage with people. He’s definitely got a sense of humor (his favorite game is piling toys on me while I am asleep), and he likes to fling toys at my head instead of putting them in my hand when I throw them for them- but he loves to retrieve, and in general, seems not to have gotten the memo about northern breeds being aloof or not liking to retrieve. He was found as a stray, and had apparently had some foundation training as a younger dog (he’s approximately 18 months old based on his teeth and general demeanor)- he came to me knowing sit, down, and shake- and picked up on the clicker ‘game’ very, very quickly. He’s just joyful to train in a way that I adore, and in general, once he understands what I want (and he’s a VERY good guesser), he’s willing to do it if there might be a ball or a treat involved.
Will he make it as an SD? I hope so. Despite his apparent breed mix (and I’ve spent YEARS talking people on the Dogster Service & Therapy Dog boards out of huskies as SD prospects, because most really AREN’T suitable), the breed traits that are generally the most problematic aren’t traits that he has. He’s still got a long way to go- but I have hope. He has at least 6 months of serious training ahead of him- I’m hoping to get his CGC and his RN at Glen Rose in January, and the process of getting him ready for that should bring him up to the standard I expect for a dog beginning public access training. Yes- that’s 8 weeks- but I have faith we can do it. There’s still health testing to pass, and some of the activities I’d hoped to do with my next dog (ie herding and likely dock dogs, although he could surprise me) won’t be in the cards, there are others that I know I enjoy just as much. And I have hope. That’s a big thing, right now.