Since we brought him home, and over the course of the last few days, I have noticed some peculiar behaviors coming from the Spotasaurus. He as no interest in toys (or playing for that matter), and becomes Mr. Grumpy-pants when Delilah gets too playful. I couldn’t figure out how he was six years old, and having anxiety issues over every-day objects and happenings.
He has an inexplicable fear of heights which he demonstrated on his first few days with us. He was absolutely terrified of the last 2 flights up to our apartment, and we ended up carrying him to our doorstep. The poor guy was so adorable about it! He would make it up the first 16 steps, then instantly plop down on his belly and stare through the gaps between the stairs, panting and panting. We finally broke him of his fear by offering some tasty salmon, but it took awhile before he realized that no-his big feet will not, in fact, slip through the cracks causing him to fall to his death.
Mr. Spot has also learned to conquer a fear of glass doors. He would just stand in front of the opening, staring at the glass next to him, and whine with excitement about going outside, but afraid to take a step past the weird reflective door. He just about gave my sister a heart attack when she tried to nudge him outside, and he suddenly did his belly drop to the floor.
Another quirky little thing he does, is bark at-and try to bite-rain drops that flow across the window in the car. His little yip-yip startled me out of my skin the first time he did it, and at first I thought it was large trucks passing that made him anxious, but he continued to bark and bite at the window even when we were the only car on the road. It doesn’t really hurt anything, and keeps me awake while driving, so I let him have fun.
Spot also has a problem with darting through openings. I say openings because it’s not just doors. It’s the crate, the hallway, the car, the dog park gate, the refrigerator (I can’t blame him…the poor guy only gets 1c. of food per day!), between cars, between legs, the guy just seems to love when things create a space which he thinks he can squeeze his 60lb body through!!
It became quickly apparent to me that Spotasaurus knows little to no-basic commands. He barely knows sit, and will only respond to my brother…rude. I could sit there for 15 minutes trying to get spot to sit, and my brother will walk up and say “Spot, sit.” and the rump goes down and the tail starts wagging, tongue hanging out with a big smile.
Of course he doesn’t know how to politely wait for an “ok” queue before darting through doors. He’s afraid of stairs because he hasn’t ever had to walk up them before. He has probably rarely, if ever, ridden in a car. He doesn’t have any clue what we’re asking him to do when we say “sit” and “wait” But boy…does he LOVE us! He is my new shadow, and will not leave my side. I feel like I have an extremely calm six-year-old puppy in my home!
My goal in fostering these dogs is not to make them perfect. It’s not to whip them into shape before they go into their new home. While I do work with them on manners. I do condition them to behave respectfully in a home. My main goal is to give them a soft place to land while they are waiting for their families to find them. The kennel can be extremely stressful, and the goal of our rescue is to place dogs in homes, not another kennel. So why not give them a head start?