All of these dogs are fostered by the St. Louis Senior Dog Project
please stop by if you are interested in adopting or fostering.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I, Winken, St. Louis Senior Dog Project foster dog, am a shy dog. .

There I said it, I am a shy dog and there is nothing wrong with that! Let me tell you a bit more about myself:

After I was rescued from a puppy miller auction I was happy but had a hard time showing it to my foster mom. I was not yet one year old but the experiences I lived at the puppy mill had already affected me. I was never held or socialized and I lived in a gloomy environment, those factors contributed to making me a shy dog. It was hard for me in the beginning to trust humans, little by little I got more comfortable with my foster mom and let me tell you she has been so patient and loving with me, she even decided to let me go for a little bit to spend time at other foster homes so I could learn to trust other humans besides her. And guess what? I was able to grow accustomed to other houses and the humans living there :) So you can say I have come a looooooong way.

But... to tell you the truth I still get shy sometimes, specially in environments with lots of people, like adoption events. I get shy and then you know what happens? I get overlooked. I become one of those dogs that just doesn't show well, you know the kind, the dog that you see at the shelter cowering in the corner, the dog that is at the adoption event in a crate and barks constantly or just curls up and lays there. It is rough for some dogs to deal with all the hustle and bustle of an adoption event so you may wonder why I go, and the reason is because it's the best place for me to meet my new family!

I do have some advice for you all humans out there, next time you stop by a shelter or by a rescue adoption event and you see a dog that doesn't seem to be quite in their element, please take the time to talk to their foster parents. They are in constant contact with the dog and they have likely struggled alongside with the dog to grow accustomed to being petted and held, and even better they have observed the dog in a home environment and are likely to know a lot more about the dogs character. Foster parents are the best resource you have to find out about a potential new family member, if that is not available a lot of the local shelters feature info pages on the cages of the dogs at their facilities. Take the time to review them and read the notes the volunteers have written about your potential new dog.

Information, information, information! you can never have enough of that when considering to adopt a dog, but it is particularly important when considering to adopt a shy or fearful dog.

Give a shy dog a chance to get to know you and you will see them blossom.

Thank you for reading and catch up with you later!


Please check out Winken and our other dogs for adoption at our website.

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JJ said...

Ooh, I like your post. =]
You're right - all doggies deserve a chance, especially the shy ones; and the foster parents are usually the best to ask about them.

I was hoping, however, that you'd include tidbits of what Winken is shy of - like loud noises, people, other dogs, etc. ....And how he reacts to them (like diving under the bed, pacing around in a circle, whining, barking, etc.

That way, we could say, "Oh! If you do this or this, it may help him become more confident when approaching his fear!"


Good post in any case. Winken sure is a good writer. ^_-;;

....And sorry it took so long to get back to you. Haven't had time to really sit at the computer and catch up on my reading! But you got to be first (that's gotta count for something, right?)

Dog of the Week @STLSeniorDog said...

Thanks for the comment Julie! I agree it would be a better post if I include that :) its a good idea, specially because I want to write as Winken and I want to give out as much info as possible because the blog and twitter are meant to help getting a dog more promotion for adoption. Thanks for reading!

JJ said...

Is it possible to write down his behaviors in a mini journal during the day (say you see him shy away from his food bowl when someone approaches) and then translate it into a blog at the end of the week?

We (my company, that is) used to volunteer at a lot of shelters and try to work out a lot of fear issues and whatnot. (Most of the time, when we showed the volunteers how to implement behavior modification plans, they either used them or they did not. The shelters where every dog sleeps in the same kennel that is his toilet were notorious for not bothering. But the shelters that gave a crap did them, and the dogs did well. =] )

So, why not try to keep little doggie charts or something of the sort for Winken. In fact, you could make them for any dog displaying any behavior you wish would be different (barking, jumping, shoe eating, etc.)