We got Coconut from NEW PAWS when he was fourteen-months-old. He was skinny, so, so thin. He was almost an adult dog but he had puppy-like annoying habits. Well, they were annoying to me. Chewing my phone charging cable, counter surfing if I left something too low, destroying my brand new prescription glasses, and so much more.
The easy part was helping him gain the much-needed twelve pounds so that we couldn’t count each rib. The harder part was helping him to understand that he didn’t need to inhale his food to the point where we thought he would choke. There would always be enough food and treats and walks and love. Always.
But how to explain that to a dog when you don’t know their history or understand why they do what they do?
Then he started barking, charging the door, running away and leading us on a merry dance. I began to doubt my sanity in agreeing to adopt a dog even though my doctor begged me to get a dog after my traumatic brain injury. Now it seemed like the worse decision ever.
We’ve come a long way as a rescue shelter since then. Now each adopter gets a handout about the rule of three. Three days, three, weeks, three months. I didn’t know there was a pretty standard timeline on bringing a dog home and what to expect and how to help. This would have been a huge help!
So we are learning how to communicate to you information that comes easy to those who work in a shelter or have always had dogs. We continue adding resources to our FAQ page and writing blogs and giving you links to some great advice sources that are specific to issue your dog might be having.
This morning I looked at Coconut this morning and told him how much I loved him. I marveled at the dog he has become in three years. I asked him if he remembered being a little dog someplace else and if he was happy to be a big boy here with us. He looked at me with those huge eyes as if he was hanging onto every word and understood that I was telling him that by getting through the three days, and they were super tough, three weeks, and three months I had the patience and love to get him to the point where three years of him owning us is a gift.
Here is a detailed article 3.3.3 and I hope it helps those of you who have a new-to-you dog or will be getting one soon.