Obie is a 4-5 year old lab mix who has entered HOPE to work on his social skills with people and other dogs.
“Obie got adopted. Hooray! His foster family decided to give him a permanent home. Hooray for fosters! I’m going to miss him, but he’s a lucky dog. On a more serious note... We need to find homes for more dogs. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I’m not hungry. I’m warm and I have people who care about me. Please find it within yourselves to give as much to a rescue pet. Thank you.”
“Another update on the life of Obie. Last week I told you about the stinky pineapple (still stinky) —this week...the frisbee. Have you ever seen those champion frisbee dogs? Cool, huh? Obie is not one of them. Oh, he’ll chase it down and bring it back but doesn’t seem to grasp the catch aspect. I thought it might be my lack of skill in throwing it until I hit him in the nose with it. Doink! Seems his enjoyment is in playing tug of war when he brings it back. Oh well, at least he’s having fun.”
“This week in the life of Obie.... Sally Fields and a stinky pineapple. Okay, stay with me— Obie gets his ears cleaned every 2 weeks. I know when it’s time because he shakes his head. When he does this, his ears stick out to the side like a nun’s wimple. Remember the flying nun? So that’s Sally Fields. The pineapple is a stuffed toy that Obie loves. He carries it around with him like a security blanket. Last night I was laying down reading a book and he jumped on the bed and dropped the pineapple on my chest. There’s the stinky pineapple. Now, the question is do I wash the pineapple? Maybe that’s why he likes it because it stinks. Dogs are weird. I’ve got one that looks like the flying nun.”
“It’s rewarding to see Obie making progress in how he reacts to strangers. He’s gone from a distrustful and hostile reaction to one of mild interest. He’s still a bit of a fence gangster, but we’re working on that.”
“This is a funny dog. It seems as though I spend an inordinate amount of time standing around, holding his leash, waiting for him to defecate. He’s incredibly fussy about the whole thing. We go to his favorite place and he walks around sniffing for just the perfect spot. Then he circles. And don’t let him hear or see something interesting or he starts the whole ritual over again. When he’s finally ready, he gives me this look like, “Do you mind?” As if I were overjoyed to be there. Afterward he leaps about—so furiously happy. Me? Not so much because now the crappy part of dog ownership begins. All in all, definitely worth it.”
“This is one smart dog. He has learned 40 commands in 8 weeks. He is so eager to please that it has been relatively easy. His anxiety has diminished a little bit, but he still dislikes strangers.”
"Poor Obie cut his foot last week so our activity was curtailed while it healed. He spent most of the time curled up with me and a book. Poor me. Overall he's doing well and gaining trust and confidence."
"OK, it's official. This is the smartest dog I've had since joining the HOPE program. Obie has learned basic obedience skills (and a bunch of silly pet tricks) so quickly and easily that I am amazed. He has some shortcomings, namely a distrust of strangers, but we're working hard to address them and he's making progress. Here's the list of commands that Obie knows: watch, touch, sit, down, stay, shake, high-five, wave, spin, through, leave it, up, off, stand, whisper, speak, side, rollover, come, in, out, dance, sing, front, house, sit pretty, foot, play dead, back, and hands up."
"The word for today, boys and girls, is companionship. Obie is a wonderful companion. He is great company and ready to go everywhere I go. His behavior is good enough that it isn't a chore to take him with me on even the most minor of trips, even if he winds up sitting around waiting for me. His leash manners have improved and so has his reaction to strangers."
"Obie continues to be an absolute joy to have around. He is funny, attentive, and affectionate. I've heard this is ideal boyfriend material. His one area that needs improvement is his reaction to other dogs and that has been improving. I'm told that there was another dog in his foster home and that they got along fine so I'm hopeful that this will eventually resolve itself."
"Poor Obie. No one seems to get his name right. Toby. Hoby. Moby. Even Colby. I've stopped trying to correct them. He doesn't. Regardless, he's making progress and that's the important thing. His anxiety seems to have dissipated a bit so he's not quite as suspicious of strangers. Once someone has earned his trust, he's almost puppy like in his happiness to see them. He wiggles furiously and presents a toy. Very cute."
"Obie is settling in nicely and showing progress. His anxiety regarding new people has largely diminished and he is growing accustomed to strangers. His reaction to the other dogs is still concerning because of how excited he gets. His foster family said he got along with their dog so I remain hopeful, but we just haven't gotten there yet. It's only been 10 days and some of our other dogs can be a little testy."
"Obie is a mixed breed (greyhound/black lab?) dog with a jet black coat and white socks. When he got here, he was quite anxious which is understandable. Scary place. He needed some time to get used to the place and me. I just let him go at his own pace and he's coming along nicely. Very affectionate dog. I want to thank the foster family who included a very informative letter with him when he came in. It is apparent that they really cared for him and they did a great job. So… Thanks. Since he already knows his basic commands, we are ahead of the game."