Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Happy Gotcha Day Faolan

Four years ago today, I drove to Greenfield-Hancock Animal Management "just to look at" a dog.

Said dog was an approximately nine month old wolfdog who was an owner surrender.  I met a skinny young male with a terrible coat.  I fell in love immediately. 

I hadn't "planned" on adopting him, so I wasn't prepared.  So he and I made a trip to PetSmart, so I could purchase a crate and bowls for him.  He flipped out in the store, scared of people, scared of the other animals.

Taken his first night with me, after a successful introduction to Neeko and Bruce.
His introduction to Neeko and Bruce couldn't have went smoother.  He was a bit shell-shocked, I think. 

I quickly learned that he was not house trained, but he quickly picked it up.  I also quickly learned that he was afraid of EVERYTHING, but wanted to love people.

His first pack walk.  Look at how skinny and gangly he was!
I immediately began feeding him a full raw diet.  Didn't waste time by slowly introducing proteins and organs, he did fabulously. 

He fear peed daily.  For any reason one can think of.  Because of a raised voice.  If I had any object in my hand.  If I looked at him cross-eyed.

He was adopted out as neutered.  Turns out his testicles just hadn't descended yet, which is fairly common in animals with relatively recent wolf heritage.  So off to vet he went for his neuter, which he recovered easily from. 

He did best when out with Neeko.  He picked up on her confidence.  But would still come unglued in the presence of other dogs, and fearful of many people.

He and I worked with two different trainers, both of whom I respect and admire, and am friends with.  I socialized him, and watched for his signs of fear, which began to lessen each day.  I gained his trust, and he remains a huge momma's boy to this day.  I showed him that people are awesome, and now he thinks everyone wants to be his friend.

He now loves other dogs, though doesn't always have the best of manners when first meeting them, particularly dogs of his size or larger.  He is incredibly gentle with small dogs, dogs that are old, and puppies.  He LOVES puppies.

My fearful older puppy is now a friendly, outgoing dog that I can take anywhere. 

He's photogenic, happy, and so adorable.

I love how confident he has become.  He will do anything I ask of him. 

We have learned so much from each other.  That fateful day four years ago forever impacted my life, in so many ways.

Happy Gotcha Day, little boy.


  1. Happy Happy Gotcha Day Faolan and your Mom is extra, extra special for noticing and wanting to nurture, just how SPECIAL YOU ARE!!! DakotasDen

  2. How rewarding it is to change a fearful animal into a beautiful confident one. Happy gotcha day.

  3. You have done a great job with him. Happy Gotcha Day to Faolan!!! That looks a lot like Lightning in the photo with him:)

    Woos - Ciara and Lightning

  4. You really have done so well with him - and he is SUCH a handsome boy!

  5. Happy Gotcha Day! You've done so well with him!

  6. Happy Happy Gotcha Day!

    Monty, Harlow and Ramble

  7. Happy Happy Gotcha Day!!! Golden Woofs SUGAR

  8. I haven't been visiting blogs lately so I'm catching up... it was great to hear Faolan's story, I found it hard to relate coming in the middle. How amazing - sounds like you broke all the rules when you got him and it turned out fabulously. Yay for Faolan!


Thanks for the howls!!