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Raising Dogs RightPosted Tuesday, October 23, 2012, at 12:51 PM
Boomer with his Halloween costume on. Happy Halloween from Phyllis Diller!
Now, I don't claim to be an expert at dog behavior, and all of the dogs that I have fostered have unknown pasts, but there are some pretty obvious signs that the dog was not a beloved family pet that curled up by his owner on the couch.
Boomer, for example, is still apprehensive in unfamiliar situations. There are still times that he won't come in the house, that he's afraid of jumping up onto the bed, and when an unfamiliar noise sends him hiding in fear.
Salsa was found as a stray and was severely emaciated. She, too, had to be coaxed to come into the house and be a part of the family. But no matter how they were ''raised'', they are becoming happy, confident dogs. They don't look back, they are forgiving, and live in the moment.
I've seen, heard, and even read about some dogs that had a pretty awful upbringing and have turned out to be wonderful, loving family pets.
Take for example the dogs that were confiscated from Michael Vick's dog fighting operation. We know for certain that these dogs were not ''raised'' well. They all lived outside, tied up to truck axles, fought, bred, used as bait, beaten, and injected with steroids. Of the 51 pit bulls that were taken off of his property in Virginia, 4 were euthanized. Only one of those four was euthanized due to aggression. She had endured years of breeding and had enough. Some of these dogs have gone on to become therapy dogs, breed ambassadors, and loving members of families.
I think that this example truly shows that it is not ''how they were raised'', but rather how they are being cared for now.
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My name is Stephanie O'Brien. I'm an animal lover and enjoy volunteering. I have combined those passions into providing a temporary home to animals that would otherwise be sitting in a shelter or worse, euthanized due to lack of room in a shelter. For the past two years I've fostered pit bull type dogs for a rescue in South Dakota. I've also had the opportunity to do some presentations on responsible pet ownership and have been involved in fighting breed specific legislation in SD and IA. I'm looking forward to providing the readers with animal related topics and possibly answer any questions you may have. Enjoy! Stephanie Sioux Empire Pit Rescue Volunteer