I tried for several months to find the right home for Guido. He was rescued from Roswell Animal Control along with his partner, Vinny. I did not realize how strong the bond was between the two until I tried to “separate” them. For awhile it seemed to be working. Guido was definitely the stronger personality. Whatever he wanted to do, Vinny went along. So, the separation gave Vinny a chance to develop his own strengths and talents instead of relying on Guido, and he quickly proved that he had exceptional skills in reading and calming pack energy. He diverts any potential problems in a quiet way, and I’ve used him in training sessions with clients. He taught a 60 lb labrador retriever how to play appropriately instead of being an overwhelming bully. So Vinny had solidified his place in the pack.
But I had started noticing a not so good change in Guido. He seemed to have become the proverbial “wild child” . . . despite my working with him. His attention span was short and he started “picking on” dogs he had previously been friends with. It didn’t matter which group I put him with, he found someone who displeased him. Then he began to sit in the water bucket. I figured as active as he was, he was doing this to stay cool. The time in the water got longer and he was losing weight. So we went to the vet. Five days and $500 later, he crapped out a 3 foot leash that he had eaten. So, I told him he could stay . . . it was clear that he needed to be here and with Vinny.
They understand when you tell them these things. Vinny and Guido love each other and still do things in tandem . . . I love to see them scale one fence to get to the yard by the driveway when I come home because they can’t wait to see me. But there’s enough of a healthy separation between them that each is his own individual.
Guido, one of my biggest “foster failures” . . . an exceptionally happy and lively dog . . . because he’ll never have to leave Vinny, or us.
We at EXTRAORDINARY DOGS INC study and monitor the emotional health of our dogs. When we rescue or place our dogs, we are always conscious of the bonds dogs have developed. Sometimes it’s a temporary friendship that is later replaced once the dog is comfortable and feels safe, and other times it’s a lifelong, and such a sacred bond that separation would cause a broken heart for one or the other or both, what I refer to as the “Ann and Dan Syndrome.” It’s our job to identify which is which, and do what is best for the health and happiness of our dogs.
EXTRAORDINARY DOGS INC. is a nonprofit organization registered as a 501(c)3 public charity in New Mexico. Please remember that our operation and successful rescue and retraining depends on your generosity. ALL contributions go directly to the care of the resident dogs, and are tax deductible.