Antonello

This weekend was very special. First of all, daddy was off work for 4 days. That means our whole family was together and nothing beats that! Our folks were in an extra-good mood after meeting Cesar, it gave them just the kick in the butt they needed. Then on Friday, they brought home our new foster bro’, Antonello! He comes from Spain and left the shelter 2 months ago cuz he was bullied by the other dogs. He went to live with a foster family but something happened there. Momma got a call and was asked to take him in because the foster family couldn’t handle him. He was supposedly very aggressive and attacked both humans and dogs. He suffered from separation anxiety and was impossible to housebreak. He was completely stressed out and had to be kept in a crate all day because otherwise he went wild. He was overprotective, territorial, and just about everything else that you can think of. “But in the right hands I think he could make an excellent dog”, the foster mom said. How about making you an excellent foster home? was my question, but I had to stop myself cuz I know she must have ment well. And it’s true in a way, of course he’s excellent in the right hands, all dogs are! I just wish people would strive to become those “right” hands instead of giving up and passing on the “problem” to someone else.

Anyway, Antonello is nothing they said he’d be. He was stressed out the first day but since then he’s just a mellow guy. He gets over-excited when it’s time to go for a walk, but then he walks perfectly on the lead. He’s got some weird association to putting on the collar, but that will all be over with soon. It’s the same with mealtime. He gets super excited but he eats calmly. At least now he does. But they’re working on it! It’s obvious that Antonello was allowed to take a position he had no business having, meaning he was dominant when he should have been submissive. He couldn’t handle the pressure so he lashed out. Here he fit right into the pack with one exception: Alfie.

See, Alfie is the kind of guy who wants to eliminate imbalance. If you’re scared he’ll wanna set you straight! Anything to make the pack run smoothly. Well, here’s the thing. The pack doesn’t belong to Alfie, it belongs to mom & dad. It’s not Alfie’s job to run it, it’s theirs. It’s fine if we correct each other if someone’s disrespectful, but we’re not allowed to make the rules and play boss. Alfie immediately sensed that Antonello is unsure of him. He hid and crouched and that was unacceptable behavior to Alfie, sorta like “quit it or it’s gonna hurt!”. Mom & dad had to keep a close eye on Alfie, but with time Antonello felt more comfortable, and in the end he wouldn’t back down when Alfie ran over to correct him. It was always when Anton was told to do something and he didn’t obey immediately. Then Alfie was there in a heartbeat to make sure he did. What’s going on right now is they’re sending Alfie to the back of the pack mentally, so he knows not to try to run it. At the same time Antonello is given rules, boundaries and limitations so that he feels secure but learns not to create imbalance by provoking Alfie. Antonello only feels strong enough to do something stupid when he’s close to a human, so he needs know they’re not a source for imbalance anymore. Alfie doesn’t think he needs a human for anything, so he has to know he needs one for everything! It’s a challenging but oh, so satisfying task! Thank heavens for foster dogs :).

Today is our first day in the apartment with Antonello and he doesn’t quite get the concept. In the beginning he was looking for the patio door, only to find out we don’t have those on the 10th floor. At least not in this building. Then he got a little stressed out and peed inside twice, but other than that he’s not had any accidents since the first day, when he was even more stressed out! It didn’t take long for him to relax, though, and now he’s back to his old mellow self. He’ll be fine, you’ll see. He was just misunderstood, but that’s all in the past. I’m confident we’ll find this great guy a good home soon, when he’s ready. I just know it.

Welcome.

Now, is this guy cool or what?!

We’re playing hide-and-seek….or something like that.

Shoot, they found me…

Momma’s writing a letter to Cesar.

Don’t forget to mention me!

Nothing new here…

Yoshi takes a nap.

I’m submissive… And take a long good look cuz you won’t be seeing this that often!

A self-entertainer.

Huh?

Scooby is so graceful.

Mr Troublemaker.

Addy found a good spot.

Peek-A-Boo I see you!

Wrestling.

She’s a beauty, my sister.

Sleepyhead.

In the shade.

Still nothing…

He never misses a thing, that big one in the back.

I do NOT look like that!!

It was a really hot day…

Sharing is love.

Mafaldah’s signature look; indifference.

Yo, where’d everybody go?

Yeah, that’s better.

Scooby enjoys his new life, which includes a yard.

Oooh, and you know what else? Our folks cleaned out the porch and made it into a neat place to hang! It’s gonna be Alfie’s bedroom but during the day it’s for all of us.

Neat, huh?

Mafaldah thinks so!

One thought on “Antonello

  1. You guys are all so great, helping Antonello settle in and become more balanced – her certainly looks like a character ;) Our human did some work with a dog that looked just like him, and had the exact same problems! Good luck!

    Lots of slobbers,
    Lexi and Jasper the Danes

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