Real Rescue Dogs Are Talking…
HIYA!! SAVANNAH HERE!!!
Today I have another interview for my series…
LIFE CHANGING INTERVIEWS WITH SAVANNAH
My guests today may not be known to many of you…they came to me when my Champion Jetty referred them to me for an interview…so purrlease give a rousing round of…
APAWS!!! APAWS!!! APAWS!!!
…AND HIS SISFUR GENNY
Savannah: Oh My!! Shiloh and Genny!! I am beyond purrleased you had time to stop by and have a few woos with me!!. In case some of you don’t know Shiloh and Genny, you can find them at The Stoutino Inn & Foster Kennel blog.
Shiloh: Haroo, Savannah. Shiloh here. I must say that cats and I do not normally get along too well. However, Genny told me that you are a good cat, so I will be happy to oblige.
Genny: Haroo, Savannah! It’s Genny here. We are thrilled to be interviewed by you. We think it is great that you are spreading the stories of rescue kitties and doggies. So, let’s get started!
Savannah: Alrighty then…you start Genny…how did you come to be in your furrever home?
Genny: Well, Mom tells me that it was a setup. See, she had a German Sheppard Dog(GSD)/Husky mix that looked just like me once upon a time.
He was a rescue too. The folks at MaPaw Siberian Husky Rescue and Referral were notified that I ended up in the York County SPCA shelter. I was loose on the streets of York, PA and ended up there. They told the rescue that I was a good girl and asked if the rescue would find a new home for me.
Once the rescue saw my picture, they sent it to Mom. She wanted to foster me so badly that she drove from our house to York in a big snowstorm to pick me up. Mom evaluated me—meaning she spent time with me to learn “who” I really was.
I was very friendly right from the start because I could tell she was a good lady. She just knew I had to come to stay with her, at least for a while. Once I got to the house, I met Shiloh and we got along right away.
Now, Dad, he’s a tough cookie. He had to be convinced. It took Mom a whole week to convince Dad that I was much more than a foster, that I was HOME!! But Dad is a softie at heart, so here I am. I really love my Daddy.
Savannah: So, Shiloh…how did you come to live in this home too???
Shiloh: At first, I was not so sure about this “rescue” thing. After escaping my previous captors, I had a free roaming life, running free in the Lancaster County area (known for their puppy mills) of Pennsylvania, USA.
The rescue put out this contraption called a ‘Have-a-Heart’ trap. I was dubious. However, it had yummy food in it. Being a clever fellow, I managed to retrieve the yummy food out of it 4 times before they got me in their snares.
I was fostered by good friends of Mom & Dad. Foster Dad Dave was so good to me. You see, at heart I am a lone wolf and quite shy. I am also quiet and aloof by nature. These humans had to work very hard to earn my trust if I was going to stay with them.
Savannah: Thank you Genny and Shiloh. And yeowzers, Shiloh…just look at your beautiful white furrs and drop over blue eyes…oh, sorry…I digressed…ahem…koff, koff…
…moving on…so, Genny, What has been your greatest challenge in learning to trust and depend on your Guardians?
Genny: I felt at home pretty much right away. I wasn’t in bad shape at the shelter, so Mom thought wherever I had come from, that they took pretty good care of me. But they did not come to the shelter looking for me, so MaPaw took me in instead. Shiloh was really fun to play with and I was warm, dry and got yummy food. I made myself right at home…but Shiloh…tell Savannah about some of the challenges you had…go on…it’s ok…
Shiloh: Thanks Genny…well, Mom & Dad’s dog that looked like Genny, his name was General, he was sick with cancer. They knew he didn’t have a long time with them.
Well, Foster Dad Dave brought me to visit Mom & Dad. I met General and Guinness, another German Shepherd. General approved of me right away and I of him. He was a very large and respectable dog, but he was ailing, poor fellow.
General went to the Rainbow Bridge very soon after. Their other dog, Guinness, missed General a lot. So, Mom & Dad asked me if I would come live with them.
They were good eggs, so, after some trial and error, I decided it was a respectable place to stay and that they were good humans. They soon took me to obedience school—as if a “Respectable Siberian” needs to be obedient…heh…heh.
I soon found out, much to my chagrin, that school was a very nice place to go. The humans all had treats and my class mates were very pleasant. Some of them actually wanted to please their human! Astounding, I know.
But I discovered that if I did what they asked (with my own style, of course) I excelled.
Savannah: Why of course you used your own style…you are a Siberian after all…and anyone who chooses to adopt a Siberian or even a Siberian mix must know…you are very like cats…you make up your OWN mind!!…ahem…just sayin’…
Sorry to interrupt…go on Shiloh…
Shiloh:..Oh Savvy, no problem. I know you understand us Sibes. Anywho, I even earned a medal—“Canine Good Citizen”.
If there is enough incentive, as in yummy treats, I still like to remind them that I am so well educated, so I will do a “finish” when I am just asked to sit. Can’t let that good education go to waste, now can I?
Savannah: Of course not!! And I know that a “finish” means you hop right around to sit at your Mom or Dad’s left side…purrfect!!
Shiloh: Oh Savvy…you do know your Woofie obedience!!
Mom & Dad were patient and kind. They did take me places that I would have avoided had it been my choice. But I soon discovered that they would not take me anywhere I would be hurt. Although crowds of humans still make me quite nervous and they try not to bring me into those situations if it can be helped.
Savannah: Well, as you know Shiloh, I also avoid a lot of “peep” interactions whenever Mom and Dad have company…sigh…hard to trust all peeps…
Ok…would you mind giving a bit of information about some of the ways you and your Mom and Dad worked together to help get you into your recovery so you were able to show them your REAL SELF?
Genny: Oh let me say a bit Savannah.
As I mentioned, my transition was pretty darned easy. But, I too went to obedience school. I do get a wee bit aggressive with dominant doggies when on a leash, but I usually get along with everyone just fine. Our visits to a local dog park help with that. It is our favorite place in the world, next to our home. Shiloh would do any trick in the book to get more trips there!!!
Shiloh: Yes, I do agree. The Park is a most wonderful place.
Trees, trails, good sniffs and pleasant companions to be found…as you say Savvy, “PAWSOME”.
Some of the young whipper-snappers need some guidance, however. I am happy to oblige. I will mark my territory and inspect the grounds until I am satisfied they are keeping the place up to my standards.
Savannah: I totally understand Shiloh…(whispers behind paw to Shiloh…of course I never, ever leave the house…just wanna be honest)
Now, give me some soft woos about how much success you have had over the years in getting to the place where you are more comfortable with humans and such.
Genny: Well, I think it takes practice, practice, practice….and lots of cookies. I have to ask nicely if I want something. I get so excited! In the end, I was voted “the most improved student” and I am very proud of that.
Shiloh: I worked my charms on the other Guardians at school. I would look at them intensely – it is my secret power. These icy blue eyes of mine are irresistible, if I do say so myself. Mom calls it the “Paul Newman effect.” I don’t know who that is, but it works for me.
If the Guardian was very reluctant, I would offer my paw in friendship. That usually did the trick. I am a patient fellow and I will eventually get my just rewards.
The biggest difference for both of us has been time and patience. Genny, being the more outgoing of the two of us is my tester of sorts. If I see that humans she meets greet her kindly, than I too will go and meet them, cautiously. I am usually rewarded for my efforts. It is the small ones I avoid. Genny likes them however, as they usually have food in their tiny paws. She behaves and tries to will them into dropping their morsels.
In the beginning, even though it was a pleasant enough place, I did look for an escape route. Being a Siberian and having my time as a lone wolf, I still long for the open road. Mom & Dad are very careful that I do not wander off. They use a leash or inspect the area to be sure it is well secured. And they are ever vigilant that we do not get into a situation we may regret later. Indeed, they would miss me greatly as I would them. I like it here, and dear Genny needs an example of genteelness at times. I am happy to oblige.
Savannah: Oh Shiloh, I hear ya!! I would miss my Mom and Dad too for sure!
Now, last question, can you or Genny offer any advice to our readers to help them support their adult rescue woofie, or one they may be thinkin’ about bringing into their home, through its recovery process?
Genny: Lots of love, lots of attention, cookies, and maybe school in order to train the Guardian to learn techniques to help us. They sometimes need as much help as we do. Maybe for kitties, the treats should be fishy flavored….(snicker, snicker…)…ooopps…sorry…
So…If you will not be the only pet in the household, it is very important for everyone to have a good introduction on neutral ground. This way no one feels that they have to protect their home or territory. Asking other Guardians for help is a good idea. Make sure the place is neutral and safe. Introduce us slowly and respect what we tell you. If we do not like what we see, we will tell you.
It is also important to make sure any small Guardians know how to behave around strange animals. Shiloh is especially shy around them because they move so fast and squeeze hard. He treats them with respect, but you can tell he doesn’t like it. He gets very low to the ground and curls up.
I step in, if I can, to distract the small one so he can make a safe getaway. He’s an awesome big brother, so I am happy to help. And they usually have food in their tiny paws…heh…heh
Shiloh: Yes, indeed the youngsters are quite intrusive as times. And they are often sticky.
Another thing for me…I have been in my furrever home now for about 4-5 years. I only now am willingly coming up to a strange person. Probably I will never do that enthusiastically, always cautiously. But I now know that most people Mom and Dad let near us are trustworthy. If I am unsure, I will retreat to my crate or drop down into a ball and just be still.
My first ever Christmas with Mom and Dad was a disaster for me…they had their friends over and I took one look and found a place under the tree for the duration of their visit that night…
Savannah: Thank you for telling me about his continuing challenge you have Shiloh…so many of us adult rescues do have some lingering fear…but if we feel safe we can overcome them…purrs for you Shiloh for trying so hard all this time…
Genny: Anyroo, getting back to what the peeps can do to help us be safe…another great thing to remember is to never, ever let your Guardian forget your leash and make them use it!
We Sibes (and sibe mixes like me) have a great need to explore the great wide world. We are bred to run! However, we do not remember our way back home so easily. No amount of training can take away our instinct to run.
Shiloh: Remember too, that we are a working breed and love to keep our minds and bodies active. Vigilant practice will keep our attention and ready for any encounter. Confidence means a well behaved pet.
Savannah: This was great! Any last thought or words of wisdom you want to share?
Genny: Thank you so much for including us! This was really fun. We hope we get to know you even better now that we have met. Keep up the great work!
Shiloh: Savannah, it has been my privilege to be a part of this conversation. I hope your endeavors to educate other rescue pets and their Guardians is a complete success—so many of us are relying on them.
Savannah: Oh you guys…you know I just luyvluvluv doing these interviews…play bows to both of you and aaarrrwwwooosss….be careful…don’t get stuck in the teleport tunnels…just a suggestion…
In closing…thank you all so much for coming by to visit…I know there are so many other events going on in many other blogs…
…my good furriend Mollie is having her second Birthday celebration TODAY…so please click HERE to visit and leave her your good wishes…
…and on April 4th, my very good mancat furriend, Texas, is celebrating his SEVENTH Birthday!!…Click HERE to visit him…