On 26 March, Shell Lewis writes:
Foster home needed for 18-month-old Cairn boy
Snickers is a darling wheaten Cairn in need of a terrier-experienced foster home. Snickers' good looks are matched only by his big attitude. He can be extremely affectionate, but also quite "growly". A home with no other male dogs is preferred and absolutely no children under 12. Snickers will go to his foster home fully-vetted and is being neutered tomorrow.
On 27 March, Shannon, who is fostering Snickers during his time of neutering & recovery, writes:
Got an email from Shell asking if we would be willing to go to Racine and get this dog on Sunday; the owner was more then ready to surrender him. Joe & I went to get him and after we met him, wished we hadn't. He would let NO ONE touch him without growling nastily and attempting to bite whoever tried.
The lady had three young kids and a fourth on the way and couldn't handle him anymore. If we wouldn't have taken him she was, as she said, "going to put him down". My understanding is that she "rescued" him from an abusive home and someone else had him before that. We had her put his leash on and get him into our car and seatbelted best we could without drawing any blood!!
Joe & I were wondering just how we were going to get him out of the car when we got home, as he was peeing all over the back of my car where he was sitting! (Couldn't get near him to put bellyband on) . . . . Then the real fun started!! While he wasn't looking, Joe grabbed his leash and as soon as we opened the door, he jumped out. I grabbed him and took him for a walk, then we very carefully introduced Snickers to Mickey.
Oh Boy. not a pretty sight when two dogs are both trying to be Alpha dogs . . . a whole lot of snapping, growling, biting, etc., trying to go on but we had Snickers on a short lead. And my poor Maggie May [whom Shannon is fostering, from The Luv Connection] was scared to death . . . all he did was try to mount her every single time he saw her!! Well, she finally had enough, too (and scared the crap out of me); she went off at him pretty bad!!! This is the one who never makes a peep and is so gentle & sweet!!
Mind you, Joe & I were not ready for a dog like this; we have no experience dealing with a dog like this either, so we kept him outside with us on a leash for almost the whole day, or on our patio with no leash! Finally my friend brought over a big kennel so we could have a break, and so could all the dogs!
Anytime anyone came towards him or tried to pet him he growled and nipped at you big time. He slept in his kennel fairly well that night.
Monday at 6:00 a.m., I let him out to go potty, sat outside with him, talked to him, put my hand out towards him, etc. when all of a sudden he jumped into my lap growling like crazy . . . I thought I was dead meat . . . and he sat down!!! I sat & petted him & talked to him for at least 20 minutes with no nipping & no growling either.
I got the doggy diaper on him, put Maggy on the couch behind my legs and let him have free rein of the house. He sat & stared at her for quite awhile and tried to jump on the couch, but I kept telling him, "No", and he got the hint.
He & Mickey are still trying to work it out; Snickers really thinks he is the boss, and they get into it quite a bit, but I never let it get out of hand. Snickers settled in really good for most of the day and at night lay in the living room with us, let us pet him a whole lot and even rolled over onto his back to let me rub his belly!!! We actually had a little down time together . . . Yeah!!!
He is getting neutered as I write this, which I am sure will help immensely. I really feel that underneath all this growling is a great dog. We are seeing a lot of change in just two days, all for the better. But he does need to be in a one-dog family and with someone who can give him the training and one-on-one he so needs. I really don't want to mess up what I have with MM and am still working on, or even Mickey doesn't need to be on guard all the time afaird he's going to be messed with. I also don't want Snickers to be in a cage all day or on a leash in the fenced area for the whole day.
All in all my heart feels that Snickers is and can be a fantastic loving dog with the right home. He really is trying so hard now to trust and be loved . . . we had the whole lap thing again this morning and he gave one tiny growl, I told him, "No"; he put his head on my shoulder, tucked his nose under my chin and gave a big sigh . . . yeah, it's all worth it!!!