New Kid on the Block

August 28, 2009 at 3:35 am 5 comments

Young Charlie, (aka DickHead, alias Johnny Mac) arrived here yesterday.  Charlie’s here for an extended vacation attitude adjustment after spending seven months of his young life at Operation New Beginnings in Billings, Montana. 

Charlie and his littermates were born a month or so before the dogs were seized. Their mother was either already dead or got separated from them when he and his littermates were rescued from the Kapsa property, so they grew up as a small, motherless pack.  In a perfect world they’d have been put in with an experienced, older female dog who would have whipped them into shape showed them the ropes, but as Charlie knows – we don’t live in a perfect world.

So, Charlie has a few issues. He’s snarky with other dogs and pushy and rude with people. He’s not the least bit house-trained. He’s seen very little of the world and he has a tendency to flight. He’s a poster pup for the abused, neglected dogs you read about in humane society pleas for money.

But the thing is – Charlie doesn’t know this.  He’s not aware that he probably wouldn’t have survived his first winter on this earth if he hadn’t been seized as a “feces-covered” piece of evidence.  He doesn’t have a clue that he’s the least bit different from any other dog. All he knows is that, after spending an annoyingly long, crappy day in a crate he ended up in a clean, roomy place where really interesting things happen.

Charlie isn’t a victim, he’s freakin’ brilliant. He’s a natural retriever and in a stunningly short period of time he learned to sit before I threw his toy.  In twenty-four hours he’s gone from pulling like a freight train while orbiting rapidly around me to walking comfortably on a leash.  In ten minutes he learned to wait until I released him with an “OK” to take bits of food I set on my shoe.

But it hasn’t all been sunshine and roses.  This morning he decided to try to muzzle punch and intimidate me when I went in to feed him.  Note to dog: do not, under any circumstances, try to fuck with a tired, crabby, sleep-deprived, pre-menstrual, caffiene-deficient alpha bitch in a hurry.  I took Charlie’s pushy, crappy, annoying energy – multiplied it by ten and tossed it back at him with nothing more than a vile look and threatening posture.  The little poser jumped back three feet and stared open-mouthed at me in WTF wonder.
Since then, a raised eyebrow makes him salute.
I think Charlie and I are gonna have a great time.

NESR still needs foster homes and funds to transport dogs.

Entry filed under: dog training, dogs, rescue. Tags: .

So, You Have a Rat Problem… Parsing a Sneeze

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. bluntobject  |  August 28, 2009 at 8:00 am


  • 2. Puppy dog  |  August 28, 2009 at 11:24 am

    I met my Mama and Dada through the pound too! Thank you for being one of the angels who save us!

    You can read more about me and my new happy life at

    As my Mama says, at our house, every day is dog day.

    Lots of licks and woofs,

    Puppy Dog

  • 3. Jean  |  August 28, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    Thank you. I wish I could foster, but I’m not in a situation where I can.

  • 4. Dorene  |  August 29, 2009 at 11:24 am

    Pictures! Pictures!

  • 5. H. Houlahan  |  August 29, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    And don’t forget the eight months of ground work done by the volunteers at the puppy barn who cared for Charlie, still love Charlie, and worked hard to train Charlie in all the ample time left over after they had fed, cleaned, exercised, handled, socialized, supervised, vetted and played with Charlie and all his cohorts.

    We asked ordinary animal loving people to do the job of a professional trainer. With no pay and little enough help and, oh, also absolutely no control over their physical environment or the resources they could bring to bear. They are the dog-rescue equivalent of farm kids who were drafted out from behind the plow, drilled with wooden dummy rifles, and then sent to fight a professional army.

    Thing is, sometimes those farm kids with the wooden rifles kick the redcoats’ asses.

    That Charlie is freakin’ brilliant and a fetching fool is a testament to his genetics and the care of the volunteers. That he is also a little asshole at times is an artifact of the loss of his mother and the fact that his former owner did what she did to the dogs — not just the initial abuse, but the eight months of delusional delay before pleading.

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Because A Dog’s Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste


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