Helping Kobe Cope

Yesterday we celebrated two lucky dogs who were pulled by Bully Paws and are excelling outside of the shelter. I now want to share with you how Kobe’s story is progressing! Remember Kobe? He was the lucky brown “pit bull” dog who made it out of the shelter with Jasmine’s House after four months of waiting:

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Kobe was luckier than we realized when he left with Jasmine’s House that day.  The shelter took quite a toll on Kobe, and he developed severe anxiety by the time he got out. At his foster home he made it clear how much he hated being alone by doing some pretty serious damage the first day his foster parents left for work (anyone with dogs that have separation anxiety can relate to this, I’m sure).

Jasmine’s House and Kobe’s fosters immediately put a plan into action to combat his separation anxiety. It quickly became evident that Kobe didn’t need just the usual tricks to help his anxiety, he needed rehabilitation.  This would require lots of time, patience and dedication – which is exactly what his fosters & Jasmine’s House gave him.

Every day Kobe’s foster drops him off at Heather’s house (the foster coordinator for Jasmine’s House) before they go to work at 6:30 am. Kobe spends the day with Heather, and then gets picked up on his foster dad’s way home. Heather also happens to be Joanie’s foster! It turns out that those two are perfect for each other, and after spending a few days across baby gates and on parallel walks, they are now almost inseparable.

KobeJoanie

KobeJoanie2

Another doggy friend can really help dogs with separation anxiety – though it often doesn’t completely cure it. The regimen for Kobe is an intensive one, starting out with trips into the crate for only one minute or less. The point is to slowly build him up to where he can tolerate being alone for five minutes, and then thirty minutes, and then hours. This process can be very slow going, but it is essential for a dog who needs to learn that being alone is not the end of the world. For a more detailed description of crate training/combatting separation anxiety, I recommend reading Patricia McConnell’s book I’ll Be Home Soon.

Heather emailed me with a milestone just the other week: she went to walk one of her dogs for 40 minutes and when she returned, Kobe was fast asleep on his bed (next to Joanie in her crate). Then, I received another update that Kobe had been left alone for four hours and again, he was totally fine.  These are huge, huge victories for dogs like Kobe with such severe anxiety, and they were accomplished with consistency, patience and lots of hard work.

Kobe is no where close to anxiety-free yet, but he has come leaps and bounds in just a few short weeks.  He still does not like to be crated when left alone, and doesn’t appreciate tie-downs either – so he might be a dog who just won’t be able to stay in a crate. There are plenty of non-crate trained dogs out there; that’s not super important. But what is important is that Kobe doesn’t feel like he needs to totally lose his marbles when his humans leave – which it seems like he is learning.

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When he is not practicing being anxiety-free, Kobe is working towards his CGC!  Kobe participates in CGC class at Canine Lifestyle Academy, and he is quickly excelling with the help of his loving and dedicated foster parents.

KobeCGC

KobeandJoanie

He lives with another female dog and six cats, who I hear he is getting along well with! So even as Kobe works on getting his ducks in a row in terms of anxiety, he continues to be the darling dog we know and love.  He is lucky to have so many dedicated people in his life willing to work with him instead of just throwing in the towel and saying he is too difficult. He is going to make a family very happy one day!

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Joanie, the little black pup, is available for adoption through Jasmine’s House rescue! Kobe is not available just yet, but he will be one day. If you’re interested in either, head to the Jasmine’s House website and fill out an application.

7 thoughts on “Helping Kobe Cope

  1. Karen Wagner

    Wow…all the patience and dedication from everyone. That is so wonderful! Please thank all involved for helping both these sweetheart’s. I admire all of you so much! Just love these two…they are beautiful!! Thanks for another great post!! Have a great day everyone! xoxo

  2. kate with a camera

    Kobe is so cute :) It’s so great that he’s showing progress with his anxiety while he’s being fostered. And I love seeing Joanie again!

  3. Kobe is adorable! What a sweet-looking face. I am so glad he is progressing so quickly. It shows what a great nature he really has and with the right support and care, he will make someone a lovely pet. Jasmine’s House really is such a life-changing organization.

  4. nancy

    Our dog Zelda also had severe separation anxiety after we brought her home from the shelter, and she had only been there a few weeks. We quickly learned that the crate was out of the question, as she became so frantic we were afraid she would hurt herself. We have another dog, Jewel (with whom she gets along very well) and luckily, very flexible schedules, so were gradually were able to leave her and Jewel alone for up to several hours at a time. After we had her for about a year we discovered that she had a tape worm, she was ravenous and trying to eat everything, this often included packaging and garbage, jumping up on the counters, etc. Fearing she would injure herself, as a last resort we got out the crate. Amazingly she had absolutely no problems adjusting to the crate now that she was secure and in loving home. Once she was well we put it away again, but now we know…..it’s true what they say about the healing power of time.

  5. How wonderful that they were able to work out a plan to help Kobe! I’m so jealous of the wonderful fosters Jasmine’s House has, I would give all the money in the world for fosters like that here!

  6. Pingback: Happy Tail Update: Rojo! | Peace, Love, & Fostering

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