In the three weeks he’s been with us, DJ has amazed us all. This 1 year old Terrier mix (probably with Rottie) is incredibly smart and also very lucky. Sprung from MDAS at 3 months, he was returned to the high-kill shelter a year later, doomed for death. (Catch up here and also here.) Since DJ had never been taught anything, he had no idea how to behave. He jumped on everyone, tried to fight with the dogs and didn’t know any basic commands. He was an 8-week puppy in the body of a strong, full-grown dog. No one ever taught him boundaries so DJ didn’t have any, whether it came to humans or animals. And DJ was, and still is, one wild, high-energy boy!
About a week ago, DJ started learning to interact with the dogs properly and since has started his basic training. He knows “sit”, “down” and “down stay”– all without verbal commands. This week, we’ve also been working on “down stay” while we walk away 30 feet. DJ has not mastered it yet but usually will do it correctly 3 times in a row. He’s very active and high-energy so with too many repetitions, he gets bored and wants to do something else. So we move on. Progress is progress, right?
DJ’s progress and incredible ability to pick things up quickly combined with his strength and activity level have led us to strongly consider agility training. Sadly, we do not have a budget to pay for lessons and haven’t found anyone willing to let us join a class for free (yet!). DJ currently goes to basic dog training, where he’s a breakout star and his trainer is amazing. She offered us free group training classes for any of our MDAS foster dogs. We could not be more grateful to her selfless dedication to help these shelter dogs get proper training so they can find amazing homes.
Since she doesn’t offer agility training, Dom has taken it upon himself to start constructing an agility course in our yard. So far, we have the weave poles complete. Today, he’s building the jump. He’s wanted to build one for a long time because Harley memorizes routines very easily (he’s already going through the weave poles without guidance!) and it would be good for continued FHO surgery rehabilitation with Chelsea and Scarlett. Now that DJ is here, it’s icing on the cake.
Because DJ is so high-energy, smart and active, he needs the right family. Through our efforts to find him a home, I posted an album on Facebook featuring adorable DJ photos. My 4th grade teacher, whom I recently reconnected with on Facebook, emailed me. She said she had to have DJ. After a few more conversations, plans were finalized and DJ will be adopted by Ms. Patty, my 4th grade teacher/dog rescue fanatic! In a word, we think it’s AMAZING!
She lives in NC, so we’re currently looking for ways to get him transported to his new forever family. We’ve been working with Pilots N Paws, a website that connects pilots of small aircraft with rescues and needy pets who need transport. We’ve also been working with a ground transporter, Tour de Paws, who transports rescue pups all over the US. One way or another, DJ will get to his new home soon! We are so excited for this big lovebug to get to his forever family. We couldn’t think of a better place for DJ to call home 🙂