My husband, daughter and I adopted Chance (formerly known as Bart ) in October of 2015. When I saw his pictures on JRS website, for some reason, I just knew he was meant to be ours. And as you can guess…I was right. Although I’d be lying if I said it was all “sunshine and roses” in the beginning.
The first month was unexpectedly hard. I was anticipating some adjustment period, but not as long as the one we had. Chance was very guarded (emotionally) and very insecure. He was EXTREMELY nervous around my husband and would often resource guard me from him. My husband couldn’t even get close enough to touch him or walk into a room without Chance getting nervous and defensive. He also would growl, bark and lunge at our cat, every move she made. It was beyond discouraging and frustrating. Over a few weeks it even seemed to get worse. I even had the thought in the back of my head that we had made the wrong decision in adopting him. He was adding so much stress to my life, I was questioning if this was all worth it.
Well, let me tell you, it was. I had to keep telling myself “give him more time, this isn’t fair to him”. I thought of all that had happened to Chance over the last year…6 months in a shelter, getting moved to and from multiple fosters. So much stress. Could I blame him for the way he was acting? What good would I be doing him by giving him back? So we stuck it out. Am I’m so glad we did.
So much in him has changed. Through dedication in training and persistence with my husband, he is a different dog. So much more confident. My husband can full on hug him now and Chance loves giving him big wet kisses everyday. He and my cat can now lay peacefully next to each other (although he still gets the urge to chase her every once in a while…all in good fun). He’s just so much happier and I feel like he finally knows he’s somewhere that he’s going to be forever. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still things we have to work on, like his separation anxiety. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
So my advice to all who choose to adopt. It’s probably going to be hard. There is going to be an adjustment period. Don’t give up. Give that dog the proper chance to succeed. I promise. You won’t regret it.