Leo - Adopted!

Name(s): Leo
Age: 7 years old
Size (weight): 24 lbs. – needs to lose at least 4 to 5 lbs.
Coat & colour: Black and tan short hair
Temperament: Sweet. Comes when called. Will walk on a leash if he trusts where you are taking him. Otherwise, he freezes and won’t move.
Blind and arthritic.
Good with Dogs: Yes
Good with Cats: Yes, but has discovered them and wants to chase them.
Good with Kids: Lived with a 10 and 12 year old
Needs another Dog: No
Needs to be an only Dog: No
Housetraining: Yes
Suitable for an Apartment: Likely – hasn’t barked when the resident dogs bark but will bark at times. Has occasionally whined and cried quietly when left.
Origin: Owner surrender to a shelter
Adoption Fee? $300

And now a few words from me:

Hi, I’m Leo and I’m looking forward to meeting you. Foster mom tells me that I’m absolutely sweet and calls me a gentle giant. But I do have some special needs. You see, I’m blind and I have arthritis. Foster mom has me on a weight loss and mobility diet to help me lose weight and improve my mobility.

I have a low deep bark that I don’t use very much. I don’t generally join the resident dogs when they bark at strange noises but I have barked occasionally. I used to live with a 10 and 12 year old so I would welcome respectful children in my new home that can understand my blindness. They don’t know how long I have been blind and I am going to see if an ophthalmologist can offer me any assistance with my sight.

I love to be outside and to run and roll in the grass. Foster mom has taught me how to go down the 4 steps to the grass. I figured out how to get back to the deck to go inside all by myself. We’ve gone to the dog park (trails) several times and foster mom has let me run on a 12-foot leash and it has been so much fun. I generally ignore the resident dogs and I’ve greeted the dogs at the dog park appropriately. However, if I’m not sure where you are going to take me, I freeze and won’t move so you will have to be patient with me as I learn my new environment. I also like to go for a car ride.

While I’ll sleep in a dog bed on the floor beside the bed, I’d rather be in the big bed with you and sleep under the covers. I found the doggie stairs that the resident dachshund uses to get to the big bed. I also like to cuddle with my human and I’ll ask to get up in your lap.

My new home could have some older children that understand my blindness. If you have a cat, I promise I’ll learn to ignore them. If you have another dog that would be okay but I can live as an only dog too.

And now a few words from my foster family:

Leo is a delight! He is quite smart and learns quickly. He found the doggie stairs to the big bed on his own and has used them to get on the big bed. However, he hasn’t learned to use them to get off the big bed so I have to take them away when he isn’t supervised so he won’t fall off the bed. It is obvious he is used to sleeping in the big bed.

I am teaching him a series of words so he knows how to move around. He learned “step” to go down the stairs from the deck to the backyard. “Careful” means he is going to bump into something but he doesn’t seem to care if he does bump into something. He seems to be able to sense when he is getting too close to the edge of something and turns so he doesn’t fall.

It took 10 days until he would take any direction from a leash. At first, if he felt any pressure on his collar from the leash, he would freeze. We went out to the dog park one night and I tried a leash and he walked on it. He has walked 2 km with the resident dogs. He will still freeze if he doesn’t understand where you are trying to take him. Doorways seem to be particularly challenging. I’m now trying to teach him “front door” so I don’t have to carry him to go for a car ride.

CDRO has booked an ophthalmology consult to see if we can find out more about his blindness and whether anything can be done about it. We are using Metacam to manage the pain from his arthritis. We have also added a glucosamine supplement to see if it improves his pain so we can reduce the amount of Metacam he gets. Our vet has told us that weight loss will reduce his pain by 30%. We also have him on a weight lost and mobility prescription diet to help get the weight off. His adopter will need to make sure that he stays at his ideal weight. He is more active than I would have expected based on his weight and arthritis.

He discovered the cats after he had been here 2 weeks. He knows where they sleep or he hears them move around and wants to find them. While he is likely safe with them, you should never trust him unsupervised with them just as you wouldn’t trust any dog unsupervised with an infant or child. As a result, he stays in a separate room while I am out. He also doesn’t seem to mind a crate.

While he happily co-exists with the resident dogs, he doesn’t seem to be dependent on them. He has greeted other dogs appropriately.

If you have the patience to work with Leo to learn his new environment, he will reward you with love and affection. He is a happy dog once he knows his home.