(As told by his new mom, Laura Kaplan):
I never meant to get a dog. I travel. A lot. I’m divorced and my Old English Sheepdog rescue, Yankee, went with my ex.
I get my dog fix through my friends. My friend Mike and his partner, Sandra, have two Dobermans who can’t be left alone together because they will attack each other. It’s hard for them to find people to watch them because of this. But I can handle them fine, and, as a result, Mike and Sandra can go on vacations. To thank me, they wanted to treat me to a weekend in Bar Harbor, Maine with them and their dogs.
During the weekend, we were invited to a friend’s house for dinner. When I arrived, I was welcomed into their home and introduced to Wilie, their little dog who were out about and Roger, a larger dog, who was in a crate. I asked why Roger was crated and they explained that they had only had him for a short time, and they weren’t sure how he’d be with all of the company or if I was comfortable with a large dog.
I asked them to let him out and came out and rolled over for a belly rub. I dropped to the floor and promptly fell in love with this amazing dog. He had such a great temperament and I couldn’t believe he’d only been there a couple of days. Then they told me they were just fostering him for another foster family who was away. He needed a forever home.
He looked at me with those big brown eyes and I was done. while I mentally tried to rearrange my life to see how I could fit Roger in it, I asked if I could take him with us for the next day in Bar harbor. He went into every store, charmed everyone, sat under the table at an outdoor cafe while we had lunch and allowed everyone to pet him and every dog to sniff him. I had to return him to the foster parents and cried when I left him. I went on vacation the following weekend when I got back I called them and asked them to put me in touch with the Almost Home Rescue organization. I took him home today and our first stop before home was Petco, where the staff all treated Roger like a rock star and helped us pick out his bed, collar, leash, toys and food. Alex never left my side, helping me control a very full cart and a 60 lb. dog that isn’t leash trained.
Roger was first rescued by AHR at 10 weeks old from Arkansas where he was in a litter of puppies whose mother was used in dog fights. The puppies were shocked by a fence if they tried to get near their mother. Roger was quickly adopted and AHR’s policy is if the dog needs to be surrendered, it goes back to AHR. Roger was surrendered after five years because his owner had a baby and couldn’t handle Roger. She said he growled at the baby.
Roger has shown no signs of aggression to any children, other pets, or people while in my care the day we spent together or today and in that short time we encountered more than 50 of them. He cowers with a firm command of “no”. He just wasn’t properly trained and had no idea what to do or what was expected of him. Roger is thriving with positive reinforcement, exercise, and a clear understanding of the rules in just one day.
I’m just so thrilled we found each other and I think we are the best thing that ever happened to each other. Roger currently is trying to win over Steve the Cat. Steve is unimpressed, but is tolerating Roger and his affinity for licking his head. As for travel schedule…Roger loves to ride in the car and will be on the road with me when weather permits and at home with a pet sitter when it does not. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Laura Kaplan, Steve the Cat, and Roger the Dog (and the now-beloved squeaky toy)