This is a guest blog post written by one of our awesome fosters. Nate has been fostering for us since April 2016. If you would be interested in writing a guest post for our blog, please contact us! If you are interested in becoming a foster, please fill out our foster form.
Note from GSRR: Gremlin came to our rescue through a small shelter in SouthEast Kansas. Lauren and Logan tagged along with Good Boy Professional Dog Training to do a training evaluation on Gremlin who was basically deemed unadoptable in a shelter setting. He had lived in this small shelter for three years after being dumped outside of the shelter as a puppy. The staff really cared for Gremlin but didn’t have the means to give him the training he needed. He’d never lived in a home and was pretty dominant. When we evaluated him, we knew he would not be able to find a home through that shelter and we knew he was coming back to GSRR. After doing a more intensive evaluation on Gremlin, we paired him up with our experienced foster, Nate. We felt that Gremlin would benefit from a male authority figure because the majority of the staff at the small shelter we pulled him from were women. Here’s Nate’s story about Gremlin’s transformation.
When I got Grem, it was because he had problems with women and wasn't responding to the commands of the women at the rescue. He was often grumpy and thought everything was his. At first, we had a problem with him stealing things and protecting them. Parallel to this, he also had problems sharing toys with people as well as other dogs.
My first step was just to let him settle in and not cause any unnecessary ruckus while he was already stressed out. He had never lived in a home before. I believe during that time there was one scuffle over Grem wanting a toy that my dog, Clyde, and I were playing with. Grem was immediately put into the kennel to de-escalate and has never fought over a toy since.
About a week to 10 days of Grem staying with me, he started becoming noticeably more excited when I'd get home and he started bringing me toys, not to play with just as a gesture, I guess. Soon after, he started listening pretty well and we started playing together but he would still have an attitude toward my cousin, Robin. One day he stole the towel we use for the dogs and was keeping Robin away from it. After a stern correction, he wanted nothing to do with the towel. He was learning quickly.
After this incident, he started making friends with Robin and really hasn't been a problem since. The key, I think, was mainly letting him get comfortable but also seeing what would get his attention off of the current problem. When he would get so grumpy that I wouldn't trust putting my hand near him I learned that if I got out his training collar he would immediately change moods and would sit and let me put it on him. From there I could correct him on the issue and send him into the kennel.
Now he seems to love everybody he meets and is excited for new people. If somebody new comes to the house I know that even if he gets out, he is going to orbit the new person and try to get their love. I know that if I were to take him into the field he would stay close and that I wouldn't have to worry about him running away. I was told he doesn't like having hands on his collar but now he really doesn't seem to mind.
Grem is a pretty great dog really, he loves to be with people and he tries to cuddle but just hasn't quite got the hang of it yet. He absolutely loves to be petted and butt scratches, although he isn't much for showing his belly. He listens decently well and it's mainly just finding a method of training him that works for him. He is very excited to do about anything, even just going in and out of the house, he runs around in excitement. He can be calmed down extremely fast by grabbing the training collar if he gets out of hand, which I've been trying to work on him with not playing with such high energy levels. He loves his toys, he keeps them all on his bed and loves to catch them when you throw them up, or bounce them off his face. He also lays down funny like a frog, it's pretty great.
The only big downside of Grem is that he is so ugly, I think he looks remarkably like the Grinch (I call him the Grench). He does tend to destroy and eat toys, but that's easy to manage by giving him more durable toys. He also still has a bit of an attitude at times and, in all reality, he is still in training. Grem isn't a perfect dog but he is still wonderful and has plenty of room to grow.
Grem is ready for some great adopters to come for him and get a new best friend, somebody he can share all of his love with for the rest of his life. The adopters will need to be patient but he will come around and they will get to see how wonderful he is. Plus, he does this super cute smacking while he eats that gets me every time when he looks at me and does it, I honestly believe he is as happy and as comfortable as he has ever been and now he just needs somewhere to call home.
Gremlin is still in search of his forever home and has a reduced adoption fee of $100. If you're interested in adopting Gremlin, please contact us.