October 15, 2013: Porter was rescued from a puppy mill where he had spent his entire life. Porter was never socialized or loved, and he is an insecure, timid dog, who bites. Port is in the Rehab Program, and he is my assigned dog. Our session started with carefully putting a leash on him...a task, since he wouldn't let me touch him without trying to bite. He leads very well for a pup new to the whole idea. I lead him out of the kennel and began by walking him to a secure outdoor area. This was the first time he had been outside since his arrival...maybe in his whole life! We would walk a bit, then I would stand beside him, bend down, say 'touch' and starting at his back, pet him, working forward. I started using the word 'touch' so he knows what to expect. By the end of the hour, we had been all around out front and into the socialization area, where we took a break to relax on the couch. He also let me pick him up, which is a huge show of trust for him. To end the session, I lead him back into the kennel and rubbed his shoulders while removing the leash. We ended on a positive note. Before leaving for the day, I visited him and got a nose touch on my hand...I think he likes me!
UPDATE 12/28/13: Porter had made great progress! We thought he had found a home, but it ended up not being a good match for him. He has improved by leaps and bounds though! He has done so well during our sessions at the kennel, that I brought him home for a couple days to work with him outside the noisy kennel environment. He has done great!! He stays with the pack, walks like a champ on a leash, will go into his crate when told and sleeps thru the night, uses the stairs, has only had one accident inside (and to be fair, it was near the door), rides really well in a car, is napping soundly at my feet as I type this, and he went on his first hike ever with the Mullis Pups!!
Porter needs a calm, patient person, who has the time to spend with him on a daily basis to help him get over his fears. He will need a strong leader in his new family to give him the confidence he needs to be the great dog he was born to be and will do best with children over 12 years old.
With just a little bit of work, he is going to make someone the best, most loyal pup...a true best friend. If you know anyone interested in adopting Porter, please have them visit the National Mill Dog Rescue website and complete an application...it will be the best investment they will ever make!!