First, a great question came to us on our Facebook page. Someone wanted to know how we choose a DDV Partner.
We love meeting new supporters and interested people. But to facilitate the best needs of our rescues we have a warming up period where we learn more about the potential partner.
The Rescue: It is incredibly important that we have as much information as possible about our rescue. As one can imagine, an abandoned rescue comes with no records other than what we might find from a Micro-Chip. Unfortunately these chips have been known to travel and get lost in a dog’s body. An Owner-Surrender requires a comprehensive questionnaire which includes medical history, behavior, diet, and more.
All rescues and surrenders are scheduled for health checks, vaccinations, spay and neutering if required, and follow ups for any additional recommended care if issues are discovered.
Temperament: If we have a rescue that is fearful of children, hates cats, and has anxiety issues with males; a male veteran is ruled out, a home with cats may be ruled out, a home with children will absolutely be ruled out. (Small example)
Partner: DDV Partners must be interviewed and fill out a application. It is important that we identify a partner’s need; ESA or Medical Service Dog? There is a big difference and many are unaware of the accessibility laws that govern the difference between a true service dog and an emotional support dog. Both type are also different from a therapy dog. All three have different training requirements. Therefore, we have to think about a rescue’s ability to be trained and how well he/she is predicted to be able to bond to their new partner. We have had several rescues that had to go to regular families. For instance, we received a rescue that refused to stop barking a high-pitched yip and was going to require additional training with no reliable way to predict the outcome of the training. To a veteran with PTSD this could cause major anxiety. We had another rescue whose bad behaviors were positively reinforced to such a degree that even our trainer said it would be cost prohibitive for a veteran, on a meager income, to afford the level of retraining required. In all od the tough cases we handled, each ACD was able to find a family that was able to fit their personality, needs, and invested future training and care. As one could imagine, the variables are numerous. Home, heath, job, resources, need, support network, and communication are just a few.
Future Outlook: We are getting better at this as we go and as our resources get better, we will be able to provide additional support for our partnerships. Our rescues belong to their partners with all of the bonuses and drawbacks that they may possess as typical ACDs. This breed requires an alpha personality to take a leadership role from the moment they meet. All of our dogs come with one caveat, if it doesn’t work, the dogs come back to us.
THE CALM BEFORE THE SH*T STORM
It has been a while so we decided to take three of the foundation pack to Bass Pro to do some training. This gives us an opportunity to engage with people and their children. It is great for the pack because we use the pack to help us train new intakes. More on that in a later blog.
Anyway, after an hour and a half they were at their max for training and we were done shopping around. We loaded everyone up to return home. I should mention this was their first ride in the new/used H2.
In the images above you will see the butt fight for the jump seat. Luna was not impressed but she is so low key that nothing impresses her other than treats and belly rubs. Then there is the picture of Ruby. She seemed to have found a great perch and was enjoying the scenery…. this is just before the Shit Storm began.
What was first thought to be a fart… was not.
Imagine a Hummer headed down the freeway at 65 miles an hour filled with three dogs and three women. The women are screaming, windows rolled down, sun roof wide open, and hysteria evident to anyone passing.
Problem? Ruby has evacuated her anal glands. I am not sure if any studies have been conducted to identify the PSI force of a stressed out Cattle Dog but if I had to guess, I would say it is equivalent to a pissed off skunk with bad aim and no control.
While the horror was confined to the rear, liquid ass was running down the sides, over the bags, and along the roof. The built in containers, formerly known as compartments (these are so nice, they hold a couple gallons of milk from the grocery store) were now part of a waste management system as they were filled with fish-shit-coffee liquid. Steyr was freaking out from the yelling and proceeded to place two paws in the bins. This rendered him ankle deep in shit. The murderish screaming was now broken with orders “DO NOT MOVE! STAY! STAY!”
In an attempt to save the carpet Amanda ripped open an unused tampon with the skill of a military medic. She used the tampon to try and catch the material dripping from the shopping bags onto the carpet. The cotton fibers were quickly at capacity and without thinking she threw the offending cotton pony out the window where it splattered the car behind us. I caught sight of the slight swerve of the car and yelled out “What did you do!”. I would never condone littering but to be fair, cotton is biodegradable
Ruby was still dripping from her butt and we were still yelling at each other, at the dogs, and at traffic. I called home base and ordered, (conditions warranted less that polite requests), that the shampooer be readied, the gate be unlocked, the dog door be barricaded, and cleaning supplies be at the ready.
I have to say it was a well coordinated effort. I backed the vehicle in while Amanda held Steyr and Ruby in place. I flung open the back, Kimeron grabbed the bags and ran in the house to throw everything into the washing machine, Amanda rushed the dogs into the backyard to start washing them, and I began spraying the back of the Hummer with cleaner at the same time as I was using the shampoo hose to suction the liquid out of the waste containment compartments.
I would like to mention that Luna watched with calm and dignified interest as we were experiencing An American Horror Story and engaging in a novice forensic cleanup. Unfortunately we have had to call in the big guns and my buddy Ken Carpunky, owner of Mobile Clean of Las Vegas, is out there working to properly clean up the Sh*t Storm.
One day, I hope to be more like Luna.