Story is a sweet, gorgeous Afghan hound mix (apparently bred with a Golden retriever) from Washington state. We do not know how long he had been feral, only that he was caught in Washington by another rescuer there (thank you, Harbor Rescue) after a sighting 1.5 weeks previous. He was not approachable and not touchable.
We have been working with Story every day and evening since his arrival to help him reintegrate, at his own pace, and without force, pain, intimidation, or fear (as much as we can control anyway–we accept Story’s fears while at the same time slowly working to help him overcome them; his startle responses are quite notable, but non-threatening). He learned his new name after a couple of days, began coming to Rain when she called him a day or so after that, and about that same time began following her around the yard, etc. Around that same time, Story also took one treat from her hand, but did not repeat it. It was about 2 weeks after his arrival day when Story finally took his first treats from Rain’s hands–that is, not just one treat, but a string of them–and continued to do so from there on. The day after, he comfortably allowed Rain to touch and pet him; she then proceeded with the petting process in an intentional, measured way to ensure Story’s comfort at all times.
Story is about 1.5 years old and getting his puppyhood back now. He loves to run around in the yard, adores all toys and even things that are not really toys such as blankets, bed pads, and Rain’s cellphone if she forgets to pick it up! Fortunately, Story is not destructive, just playful. 🙂 Lately he has begun storing all the toys along the shady side fenceline. That seems like a good plan for summer.
If you would like to sponsor Story, you may sign up for a monthly PayPal automatic subscription at any amount you wish, or you may choose a one time amount if you prefer. Our PayPal is HoundSanctuary@gmail.com. We hope and believe that Story will be adoptable eventually, but in the meantime he needs all the love and support he can get from all of you, his devoted fans. To follow Story’s progress on a daily basis, you can visit him on our Instagram, www.instagram.com/HoundSanctuary. Some of his tags are #Story #goldenafghan #afghanhound #feralrescuedog #loveaferaldog #LIMA #positivereinforcement #learningtotrustaleash
A day or so after Story started accepting petting, he learned about being brushed, and decided he enjoyed it. Brushing quickly became a daily event, usually a several times a day event. Next we taught him to allow clipping of mats, which build up quickly in his hair type, and since it was a couple of weeks after he arrived before we were able to touch him, he had some doozies. This was a bit slower process, but he succeeded there as well. Now he sleeps through grooming, which he receives daily.
Story was extremely fearful about having his collar handled and about having a leash anywhere near him. Unfortunately, as he gained weight, which was needed–though not anymore!–the collar in which he arrived became too tight and could not be loosened while he wore it, so it had to be removed. A slow, stepped R+ process eventually allowed Rain to first place a Hound Sanctuary embroidered ID collar on him, then another slow, stepped R+ process allowed the removal of the old collar. We then needed to take his tags from his old collar and put them on his new collar. Rather than remove the collar he was wearing and have him collarless, which is simply a risk we never want to take, especially with a dog like Story, we placed the tags on another HS ID collar, put that collar on him, then removed the tagless HS ID collar–following the same process as before.
Leash training is being handled similarly, with a very slow, stepped R+ process over time. As of this update, Story has had a leash connected to his collar twice and walked with it once, within the safety of our fenced acreage only of course. Given his history, our hope is to acclimate Story not only to leashes but to a safety harness before walking him outside a securely fenced area.
Story appears to be a sweet, playful, affectionate, happy dog who is still trying to figure out certain things about the human world, but seems willing to learn to trust those who prove themselves trustworthy.