In an effort to restore canine balance to Wild Dingo’s staff, I’ve been busy interviewing and searching for just the right fit into this dysfunctional organization I call a business. The search was difficult, as the talent pool is saturated with an abundance of heartwarming quadrupeds that all deserve much better than the histories they had. Mr. Wild Dingo and I had a few requirements:
Saved From Gang Street Living
Loki (named after the Norse God of Mischief) was adopted in Taiwan as a puppy, but when he grew up, his owner no longer found him cute, so he abandoned him far away from home. It took Loki three months to walk back home, hungry, thirsty and fending off vicious attacks from feral dogs, but he made it. When he showed up at his owner’s door, he was shunned. Each day, he’d go out begging for food and each day return home to be rejected again and again. Sadly and patiently, he waited outside the owner’s house, but to no avail. A rescuer saw Loki’s sweet, faithful, docile behavior and saved him from a life on the streets, running with a canine gang of punks.
Loki was brought to the states and fostered by a few who found him to be too challenging. He played rough with other dogs and was overly protective of his food. His final foster parents were dog trainers who worked with Loki and softened his rough behavior. Because he is a bit difficult, it meant it would be difficult to find him a home. He was about to be sent to “dog sanctuary” -- a place for dogs to “retire” and be in a pack. But Loki’s foster parents believed in his intelligence and desire to do the right thing and felt strongly that he needed his own “person” instead of a “pack” of dogs, especially since he was shunned by his first person.
Because I have “sucker” written all over me when it comes to “difficult dogs” I immediately jumped on his adoption. When we met Loki, we were surprised to find a 58 lb dog (not a 35-45 lb as we thought he was). His bark was manly and gruff, but it didn’t take long for him to slather us with kisses. His mouth was very clean and made it easy to be kissed by him. We thought about naming him Hershey since he loved to kiss so much. His face was so adorable. But 58 lbs of pure muscle was intimidating! We weren’t even sure he’d fit through our dog door. Oh, who needs a weight requirement anyway? He was ours.
When we got home, Loki drank two full bowls of water, half of which landed all over the first floor of our house. I sure am glad I cleaned the house and mopped the floors for his welcoming. It made it so more meaningful for him to turn our home into a muddy slip and slide. So much for the “neat” dog requirement. We moved the water outside so most of his water can spill out of his mouth before he comes back in. Thankfully he fit through the dog door, and was thrilled to have one.
For the last two days, Loki has stayed glued to my side. (We could have named him Elmer for his glue-like behavior.) He’s an excellent watch dog and lets me know immediately when he hears or sees something that doesn’t belong. He's got some big fear-based challenges to collars, leashes and even walks. He never wants to be far from a house possibly because he wants so badly to belong and stay. It always takes some major convincing to get him to go for a walk in the forest, which most dogs would just adore. Since he’s so big and intimidating, his training will be more difficult that I thought. I’m either going to get very strong biceps or bursitis. But then again, it’s only his first few days here, so he’s getting a hall pass for several weeks before real obedience kicks in. We’ll eventually enroll in school this summer but if he flunks, I’m calling in Mr. Milan.
His role at Wild Dingo is yet to be determined. Guard duty is obvious, but Wild Dingo requires more than that of its staff members. No matter what his role becomes, one thing is certain: I am getting a demotion.