Three dogs, three different personalities. Thor, stubborn, confident and opinionated. Ophelia, sweet, unassuming and friendly. Nemo, excited, entertaining and aloof. All three found something different here, Thor found leadership and a chance to meet new friends. Ophelia found a place to explore and gain confidence, a place to try new things and a way to see the world around her. Nemo found a place where he was understood, he enjoys everything, but he needs help to explore.
Thor was first introduced to me when he was already an old man. Grumpy, frustrated and short on patience he was difficult to work with and was quick to snap or growl. We found Thor a new arthritis medication, then began to work with him on patience, teaching him to relax and trust that other dogs and people will not hurt him. Because of his arthritis he became convinced that petting and hugging and playing were painful and would lash out before anything happened to prevent anyone from hurting him. Slow shaping and careful interaction with other dogs helped him to relax and be able to play and enjoy friends.
Ophelia was never a problem dog, she always just wanted to fit in and go along with whatever Thor was doing at the moment. Taking her places without her companions helped her to think independently and to have more confidence in herself. She still looks to her friends when doing things but now feels much better about trying new things alone.
Nemo is a very special little dog, I have never met another quite like him. He looks and acts like a toy, he races everywhere and dances wildly when he is excited. He likes to be talked to , he likes to see new things, and smell things he has never smelled before. A true little adventurer he takes every experience and throws himself into it without reserve. He has even started to become more independent.