They say the second slice of is never quite as good as the first.
Well my name is Pie, and I disagree. With gusto! And a la mode!
In fact, I’d say the third slice is every bit as good as the first. When you’ve already made two previous appearances on The Daily Corgi (yes, two), the thrill is by no means gone. Nope.
The beat goes on, and today I am here to tell you fellow rescues what expect during the first few weeks after adoption. The more you know, the better it is. You will have to show these people things. They are only human, where you are canine. Not an equal fight, but we can take the higher road.
Rescuers will typically warn that you might not see your human’s true personality until several weeks after adoption. However, there are a few practices you can put into place to help ease this transition.
First, it is important to remain patient and consistent when working with your human. Although experts disagree over the details of domestication, it is agreed that canine interaction played a significant role in shaping the domesticated human that we know (and love) today. Therefore, while the human may be genetically wired to seek companionship with their canine protectors, it is important to remember that their life experiences may be telling them to do just the opposite. Only through exposure to repeated, safe interactions will your human overcome those lingering anxieties. From my experience, Greg and Gretchen responded well when I lay on my back with my paws in the air and just gazed at them.
When I pulled this move, there was an immediate change in their facial and body language. Their eyes would soften, their mouths relaxed, and their lips would pull up and back. Notice that these are very clear signs of a relaxed or happy human.
I know that we like to personify our humans and imagine that they are just like us but, when it comes to stress, it is really important to remember that we are not the same. For example, do not worry if your human is demonstrating “whale eyes”. Frankly, this is a constant state for them. While in a dog, seeing the whites of the eyes means that we are under some stress, human eyes show the white parts all the time. So, either humans are always under stress (something to consider) or that marker just doesn’t mean the same thing for them.
Second, set up and keep to the schedule you intend to maintain for feeding, walks, etc. When building a trusting relationship, this schedule will show your human what is expected of him as well as what he can expect from you. I decided to follow a twice a day feeding schedule. I insisted that, for my family, the first meal would be eaten shortly after relieving oneself after waking up and a second meal would be eaten, after my humans successfully found their way home after work. I am sure you can see how the feeding schedule served as a reward system for behaviors I wanted to reinforce (proper potty behavior and performing a consistent recall behavior).
Many of you have asked if I spoil my humans. Oh, yes, I do allow them treats. Too many treats. I have to watch how much I give them. They have such strong food motivation and, frankly, their breed tends toward chunkiness. Thankfully, my humans a huge fans of green beans, though for some reason they prefer them hot. Sometimes I think I’ll never really understand them.
Finally, make sure your humans get sufficient exercise. As I mentioned earlier, humans are prone to chunkiness. Many of the humans coming from the foster system are carrying a few too many pounds (possibly due to the combination of stress and confinement). This extra weight can put stress on their internal organs as well as their knees, hips, and back. When your human is at an ideal weight, her ribs should be palpable (you should be able to feel them), but not visible and her waist should be easily noted when viewed from the back. My female, Gretchen, was clearly carrying extra weight.
So, when caring for an adult human, any new exercise program will need to take into account the condition of your human’s muscles and joints, heart, and respiratory system. I recommend that you choose an activity you both will enjoy and then just take it slowly. Remember to watch your human carefully, make her rest if you notice signs of fatigue such as heavy panting. I decided on a simple Couch to 5K program for Gretchen and that has worked very well for us. Though, I still haven’t really noticed her developing much of a waist yet.
Well, that’s all for today, folks. So, when adopting, what you see may not be what you get, but he and/or she maybe what you need.
The Daily Corgi extends sincerest thanks to Gretchen Anderson for her transcription of Pie’s Corgispeak.