Sam is a very different dog these days. He is running, jumping, pouncing and just an extremely happy plus affectionate boy. He is showing wonderful confidence in himself, his surroundings at our place, us, the horses and the other dogs. He still needs more outside stimulation, socialization and reassurance yet he is doing the baby steps to accomplishing this AND we could not be more proud! He has continued to get along great with all of the other dogs and plays with them daily. His best bud is still Cletus. Sam has not shown us any aggression in the five weeks he has been with us. He has displayed a little possessive over his high value item, a pig’s ear yet with reassurance and a quick vocal ‘check’ to Samari; he has settled down beautifully. He is not a ‘fight’ personality whatsoever. He is just worried about losing his special treat and we have been there showing him that that will not happen. We have been teaching Sam that he will never have to worry again about where/when his next meal is going to come from and that treats plus toys will be a part of his life forever. Sam is almost ready to go and he has been such a dream to have with us. We can only hope that his new home will update as Sam & Cletus have won the hearts’ of many over the past 7 weeks.
Here is a letter from Sam’s Via his one Foster Mom —-Dear Foster Moms and Forever Mom,
Foster Mom Christie thinks I need to write to help you know more about me, so she is helping me write this letter. I am amazed that the 2 legged animals that are considered higher intelligence can’t communicate with us, yet we understand what they are saying.
I came to Foster Mom Christie from Ft.Rucker. The police found me wandering the streets sick and hungry. I was very scared. The vets treated me for Heartworms and fattened me up a little. Christie came and rescued me because the Army vets couldn’t keep me and they mentioned euthanasia. Christie kept me over a month and boy did I eat well. I love to eat and am not a picky eater. Christie fed me dry and canned food to fatten me up and help my coat shine. Now I will eat anything offered.
I still am scared at times and tend to be shy. I warm up to new humans but it may take a few days for me to trust you. I like Moms and Dads (foster Dad Bob feeds me delicious treats) and even like children. I was adopted but they could not keep me because I did have ‘food aggression’ with their older male Dane. I enjoy playing with Mitzi (a little shi-Tzu puppy) and Brandi (a little Boston terrier) and we get along great. Mitzi likes to nip me and I really don’t mind because she is playing. Foster mom Christie watched us at first but lets us play without supervision. I guess she was afraid Mitzi might step on me – Ha.
Momma Christie says I have an inferiority complex. I have learned to hold my head high and prance but only after I get to know you. Mom thinks my shiny black coat and natural ears are pretty and calls me ‘Pretty Boy Sam’. I do get scared the first time people try to take me inside. Please have patience and keep trying, because I will come in and be good. My favorite TV is the Animal Planet station.
I have all my shots and Mom is sending an envelope with me. I need my Heartworm medicine on the first of each month because I sure don’t want that stuff again.
I like all treats but love pig ears! I have not been to school but Mom thinks I am very smart and just need consistent and patient training. I don’t understand why Mom gives me a treat for sitting. If I sit when she is around she says ‘Good Sam Sit’ and gives me a treat. 2 legged animals are weird. She also treats me when I lay. Can you imagine getting a treat for lying down?
Enough for now Mom says. I hope this helps you understand me and take care of me.
Sam was also the DaDane of the Week by Ginnie Saunders, you can read the 1st article at:
& the 2nd article at: http://www.ginnie.com/DaDane451.shtml
& the 3rd article at: http://www.ginnie.com/DaDane.htm
Samari’s potential new family came today to visit ‘the boys’ as they affectionately call Sam and Cletus and to stay for lunch. Sam was quite shy today yet by the end of their visit, started to wag his tail at them. This looks like a really nice fit and so…Sam is ADOPTED WITH CLETUS! GOING TO HIS NEW HOME ON TUESDAY OCTOBER 11th!
I truly wish that those that have been a part of saving Samari’s life could see him now. Sam does not resemble one iota the sad, unconfident, extremely nervous boy who came into our home back in July. Sam looks the world in the eye now and holds his head up high and actually bounces along. He is not a runner but a bouncer and a pouncer! He wears a collar with tags regularily and when we see his body tense begin to tense up in new surroundings, just a comforting word; some loving and a special lean from Sam and he is ready to move on. I am so proud of Sam and his potential new family will be coming here on October 8th to meet him and Cletus. If all goes well; they will be heading home with them on the 11th of October. His new home will have to continue to be patient with Sam and work with him on showing him how beautiful the world can be for him!
THE great news is that we can now let Samari off leash when we go outside for walks on the property for he is recalling well. Of course, this is not done in Cletus’ presence for the two of them are characters and develop ‘selective’ hearing! We are working on that. He has really come out of his shell. His new home will have to understand that Sam will most likely have a large ‘set’ back when leaving us yet with lots of love, patience and consistency; I am positive that he will not take long, especially with Cletus the ‘goob’ by his side to begin facing the world with his head held high. Sam has been doing quite well in public settings and with lots of comfort plus reassurance by us; he is showing more confidence. He is still fairly ‘velcro’ in public yet at home; he ventures quite happily from our sides to explore. He does tend to keep an eye on us though and we just call out that we are here and that things are ok.
Sam has made his biggest break through to date! HE is wearing a very loose collar! And, of course, only doing so in our presence for we would never leave him unattended in one. We have been slowing working with leashes and leaving them lying around and then over time touching him gently with them over his body. He has had been fine for the last while with me gently looping the leash over his neck and moving about. Then we moved to collars and tonight he accepted us putting on the collar and with lots of praise and lots of leans on his part, he is now prancing about! We have not yet tried tags or other ‘danglies’ on the collar and will work on that at a later date. As previously, stated; I am very comfortable if Samari only wears a harness yet he is going to be adopted with Cletus and be around other dogs that wear collars; and at one time; he will easily see those collars come off and be put back on. I do not desire to see him ‘bolt’ or panic over that. I want to see him comfortable around them and while he is still a little nervous when he first sees a collar come out to be put on one of the other dogs; he no longer runs and even shows interest now. We are always talking gently and softly and Sam is responding. The most important thing is to go slow and at Sam’s pace. He has also turned into quite the bed hog! 🙂 WHICH is just fine Sean says! Sam is one of the softest dogs I have ever touched. He is like soft velvet and these days, I am positive that I see him smiling. He and Cletus are going to be very hard to let go yet this is why I started BHRR in the first place(to help those that need us) and we now know that Sam is going to be ready to be adopted sooner than we originally thought. Cletus is to be greatly credited for that and it will have been a true pleasure to have had my heart touched by these two boys. I believe that I am giving them the strong foundations they need and we hope to place them in the best match possible spoiling home to ensure that their healing/understanding plus acceptance continues over the course of their lifetime.
We have made the final decision that Sam will only be adopted out with Cletus. They are meant to be together. We have reduced their adoption fees by $50.00 each to make the financial cost to the new adoptive family less. All monies will then be put back into Rescue to try and help the next one(s) that need us.
Sam let me gently loop a long leash around his neck last night without any stress. He did not even try to tuck in between my legs. He was not even wearing his harness and we went for a short walk. I have not yet worked with collars with him and I can only keep saying how proud I am of Sam and how fast he is adjusting and I know that it is more to do with Cletus than myself. His leash manners are really good and he is now starting to lean less into me when we do go for a walk. It is only when he is unsure of things that he gets really close to me for safety and reassurance. It is to be expected that when he is adopted that he will have setbacks. Patience, consistency, routine and lots of love is what Sam needs to become adjusted to his new surroundings. He cannot be rushed and he will be adopted to a home that is experienced with Great Danes as he is very sensitive to correction, ‘checks’ and even a raised voice can ‘crush’ him. He is getting better listening to the kids yell, run and scream in joy and just lies there watching them with a curious, slightly interested look now instead of showing some shyness of their flighty movements. We had company over this weekend and he felt comfortable approaching them on his own account AND I am so jealous for he gave Cathy kisses!!! Actual kisses!!! 🙂 He knew that he had his ‘safe’ spot to go to if at anytime he was uncomfortable.
For the first time since Samari’s arrival, HE slept on the bed last night cuddled with two other dogs and Sean. Sean has been sleeping in one of the guest rooms with Sam to give him some extra loving. Tonight, Sam had his best play session to date. He was running with three other Great Danes and Guinness outside and having an absolute blast. He was wagging his tail, running and jumping and doing the zoomies! It was fantastic! Sam continues to demonstrate to us no aggression in respect to his bowls. He is now interacting daily with 11 other dogs inside and outside of the house and is doing awesome. We will test him with pig ears within the next week. While we are still learning a lot about Sam and his needs; we have determined that he will only be adopted to a home that currently has at least one other dog that Sam feels he can truly bond with and/or he must be adopted out along with Cletus. They are very special to each other.
I dropped by the Vet Hospital on my way home and Sam’s bw is normal and he is HW- The vet stands by his assessment that Sam’s coat condition plus the look of his skin under the hair is due to a recent flea infestation. It is amazing the difference that Cletus has made to Sam. For the last two nights, the two of them have done nothing but play! Sam is learning how to play like a dog and Cletus is now showing him about toys and pull ropes etc. Right now, Sam is very interested yet he does not quite seem to know how to play with them. While Cletus is teaching Sam all the great things about being a dog, he is also teaching him not so good things, like that there might be wonderful things hiding in the garbage! 🙂 Up until August 2nd, Sam would not go to the bathroom outside, no matter how many times we took him out. Now, he is finally showing us that he is housebroken. Tonight, Sam will get his first bath with us!
Sam went to the vet tonight. He weighs just over 114 pounds, had a manicure, pedicure, full exam, bw and a hw test. We have confirmed that the microchip can be read and will have to determine what ‘brand’ of chip it is for it currently is recorded back to AL and should Sam ever become lost; we do not desire to have him transported all the way back there. Sam was given Drontal+ for tapeworms and hookworms and it has been determined by the vet that his coat(we did not bathe him as of yet for we wanted our vet to see his coat condition) is due to a recent infestation of fleas. He is now on Sentinel and his body condition is great. We are going to wait to decide if we should be doing X-Rays on Sam as he does not show any joint problems and we will find out what his bw indicates as well. I brought Cletus with me to the vet for ‘confidence’ boosting for Sam and Sam did amazing! He went without hesitation on the weight scale, allowed us to cut his nails with minimal issues and looked towards Cletus for reassurance when it came to his bw. He did lean on myself and the tech yet he showed so much confidence in himself as he was handled by strangers. I am so proud of him! Cletus has done more for Sam than I think I could ever do in boosting him up and their bond grows stronger every day. Sam lets Cletus and Cherokee eat and drink from his bowls without any problems and he has not shown any aggression or possessiveness at this time towards anything. Sam is going through doorways and using stairs without any problems at our place. We will continue to monitor and once Sam is out of his ‘honeymoon’ period test his behavour appropriately. Tonight Sam decided he was ready to meet our 204.91 pound male English Mastiff and so we let them go face to face and everything went well. Within a short period of time, they were both lying down close to each other. Sam also met one of the Golden Retrievers tonight again, and while he was ‘ok’ he was not as comfortable around him. Klondike respected Sam’s wish for ‘space’ and everything was fine.
‘BHRR’s Samari’ AKA Sammy- Black Adult Great Dane(age estimate 1.5 (January 2004); weight was just over 114 pounds on August 2nd. Samari is housebroken, microchipped, shots utd and was treated for HW before coming into our program. We re-did the HW test and he is HW-. We have introduced Sam to our small female GSx and he has been fine. He has shown no aggression or possessiveness towards his food or water bowls with her either. He allows her to lie next to him just gently touching bodies. He also LOVES Cletus(another Dane in our Program). Sam might never feel truly comfortable around more than one or two dogs, size aside; and he would be adopted out accordingly. He is actually somewhat afraid of cats, good with geese, swans & he has been fine with our own children( 5 & 2 ). We were told that he did not get along with the one older male Dane that was in the home that he was initially adopted out to from the shelter in Alabama. He has been described as very ‘sweet’ and ‘submissive’ and he startles at things or people unknown plus loud noises. He was a bit unsure about doorways and is a little awkward on stairs yet now he is doing just fine with them. His confidence and emotional levels are greatly improving. Being on a leash terrifies him so we will be working slowly with Sam on that one. Ginnie, his former FosterMom purchased a harness for Sam and it has greatly reduced his stress. Sam might always have to wear a harness over a standard collar should he never feel comfortable enough in one and that is just fine. When he first arrive and he caught sight of the long lead line we have clipped to the side of the house, you could see and feel his terror. He was also afraid of the water hose for the garden plus the vacuum cleaner in the house. With great reassurance, Sam showed trust in us that these things were not going to hurt him and he is now walking by them more confidently. He is working on learning his name and when comfortable in his surroundings will try to wander off and does not ‘recall’ very well. He has been called a wonderfully sweet dog and will require lots of patient loving in working with him. We will assess and test his behavour after he settles in and is vetted. We will be running the usual bw on Sam and specifically testing for any thyroid concerns plus looking to see if he possesses any possible allergies. Sam’s vet appointment is on Tuesday August 2nd. He was abandoned at the Fort Rucker Army Base in Alabama, USA.