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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Rescue - A Protest of Love

The Canine Insurgency supports the rescue of dogs from abuse and shelters. One of its main characters, General "The Kid" Afie, is a 12 year old rescue from The Toronto Humane Society.

Afie's history is not well known, he was at The Humane Society as a puppy, adopted for 10 years then returned. Adopted for a month or so, and returned. Was there for 11 months before being adopted by Christopher Guest.

He was in bad shape at that time, glassy eyes, tripped on his feet, was afraid of tall grass, couldn't run, and would go half speed on any incline. There was times when he would just refuse to go down hill because he didn't want to walk back up.

But his real problems were fear and possessive aggression including biting.

We can imagine a story that would easily lead this state of canine blues. American Eskimos are known to be very loyal to one person and aloof or yappie toward strange people and dogs. The were breed as circus performers and likely also used as guard dogs. They are very smart and easy to train. Afie had no doubt been to obedience training, and knew all the usual tricks. He walked behind his walker, he would sit on command and was very treat motivated.

But the problems would come up after dark and they included night terrors, aggressive panic attacks and a general suspicion of everything. This include toys and food waved in what a normal dog would consider a playful way. But more importantly he was and remains concerned about the hands of people.

This is what happens when physical discipline is used on the dog with poor family support and socialization. And this is the most dangerous situation for a dog. Ask any behaviorists and they will likely advise putting the dog to sleep once a dogs is biting for fear of being handled. Especially if children are in the home.

But one year later, there are many more good days than bad days and he's the star of the hit dog soap opera Canine Insurgency (watch it from the beginning).

We will post the full story by Christopher Guest and how he turned Afie around as a case study soon. Until then enjoy the show.

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