Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Have you ever wondered how long it must take to teach dogs to do those amazing tricks on YouTube and television? The sit, down, stay, shake thing is hard enough. The endless repetitions it takes and the patience to slowly model random behavior into the desired result! Not everyone is blessed with that much patience and not cut out for the task - no shame in that.
Every once in a while, however, a person or two comes along with endless patience and love to help a damaged dog find their way back to themselves and to happiness.

Such was the case with Mickey, BTRNC's Katrina survivor who lost his family and home in the path of the devastating hurricane. In his foster home, Mickey was a challenge - terrified one minute and aggressive the next and unable to get along with most other dogs. Mickey had lost trust and along with that, his ability to bond with humans again. His foster Mom provided everything she could for him along with patience. Mickey is a handsome little guy and many people saw him on our available dogs page and wanted to adopt him. Unfortunately, the visits were not successful due in part to his interactions with existing family dogs.
Along comes a couple who were determined to make Mickey "their dog". His foster Mother explained all of his faults and challenging behavior. They were not deterred - Mickey was meant for them. The adoption was complete and Mickey was home in 2006. The transition has not been easy and Mickey's new family could have given up many times along the way. They were among those with that wonderful gift of patience. Mickey was a no refund no return member of their family. They praised lavishly for good behavior, ignored inappropriate. They loved him unconditionally and only used positive reinforcement. They exposed him to other dogs and children and parks to help him socialize. They never gave up.
Mickey's former foster Mom received an update with some pictures recently. Mickey now has a fur rescue sibling - Lola.
He has made friends at the park and is beginning to bond again.
It seems that patience does pay off. BTRNC and Mickey sure are glad!


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