This is Karl.
He came from animal control to the rescue I volunteer with last Tuesday and had been staying at the kennels waiting for foster. I told them that once O'Reilley got adopted I would take him if he still needed a foster on Sunday. After being at the kennel for a few days I found out he was very scared and there was concerns about whether or not he should even be moved again or what because he is very timid. I went to meet him and we basically decided that even if it means taking a step back and him having to get used to me/transition again, it would be better to get him out of the kennel and into a home.
Back story: Karl is thought to be about 1 year old. He was picked up as a stray, running with another dog (who looked just like him only 2 floppy ears--brothers?). The other dog was pulled by a rescue to be a service dog, Karl was left...and has been there since February. The volunteers there begged the volunteers from our rescue to take Karl because he is such a sweet boy and was really starting to shut down.
Fast forward to now. Karl came to my house on Sunday night and was absolutely terrified (panting, shaking, startled at even the quietest noise or sudden movement). I set him up in a spare room with a crate so when someone is home with him we leave the crate door and bedroom door open so he can come out as much as he is comfortable. Other than that I've been basically ignoring him (secretly watching him out of the corner of my eye) and letting him do only as much as he is ready for. He really seems to be taking baby steps (I do not expect more than this, obviously I've had him less than 48 hours!).
My question is, how do I help him the most? Last night he would come out, peek at me, go back in...repeat. He continued this most of the night until he was finally approaching me, letting me pet him and going back in. He also showed his first interest in some toys which would have made me scream and jump for joy but I couldn't because it would have scared the bajeezus out of him! Anyway, then we had a major setback. Karl was sniffing around and then squatted to pee! Totally without thinking, my reflexes took over and my reaction was to jump up with a "no!" (I know, BAD!!
). Well of course the poor guy Scooby Do's it on the hard floor, sliding all around, knocking over a fan and water bowl, everything crashing around him as he scurries away back into the crate in the bedroom.
I felt SOOO bad. He of course didn't want to come back out the rest of the evening (it was already pretty late by then), and after a few pieces of turkey we called it a night. I'm glad to say that even after our setback he has bounced back rather well today. Again, I am taking it VERY slow with him and just trying to keep things very calm, level and positive.
I'm just wondering what advice people have. I definitely don't want to do anything that may traumatize him further and I feel that these first few days/weeks are going to be very important in terms of doing things right. My focus right now is on building his trust and confidence and helping him feel safe and secure. I am not coddling him but when he does something good I am praising him in a soft, low voice. I know its important to take things slow and not to push him beyond his threshold. Just wondering what other tips and suggestions people may have for me to help this sweet, gorgeous young guy.
Few more pics...
The first night in my foster home
Once he finally settled he positioned himself where he could see me, but still at a safe distance before falling asleep.
Getting a little more comfortable resting/coming out of my crate