September, 2014. Next up was Beary, a very scared eight month old puppy at the shelter. He had done pretty well in another foster but had to be returned. He was shutdown in his kennel and wouldn't take treats, but perked up quickly when I brought Boomer for a meet-and-greet.
Once we got home and I laid down on the deck he eventually came over to be petted and enjoyed running around the yard.
After some initial slow going getting him leashed up and in and out of the door he warmed up and made himself at home. We had one accident the first day so we did crate training. That meant many outdoor potty/play sessions a day followed by an hour or so free on the carpet.
He was a slow eater (especially compared to Sunshine) and didn't seem to overeat so I left two bowls of food out and let him graze whenever he was out of his crate.
After a few days he let me know that he loved to get petted, especially while laying on his back. Once Theresa got the chance to walk Beary and Boomer he warmed up to her as well.
He did well on our daily walks but was still pretty fearful at the shelter.
Beary was originally called "Biff" but we thought a more bear-like name was in order. So we officially dubbed him Beary T. Bear. Once he got used to you he was an adorable cuddle bear.
By the end of the first week we watched our nephew's dog Cookies for two days. She and Beary were energetic play buddies from the start. By the end of the day they were three very tired but happy doggies.
After a full week with no more accidents Beary got to sleep out of his crate. We continued to do daily trips to the shelter to work on improving his confidence meeting new people.
At home Beary was a friendly, affectionate big puppy. He loved getting petted, playing with his bones and toys and especially loved playing with Boomer. Boomer enjoyed running and playing tug-of-war when he was in the mood, but Beary always wanted to play longer and more often. So each day Beary got solo walks and activities to wear him out.
Beary continued to be extremely fearful at the shelter. At his best he would cautiously take a hot dog treat or sniff someone if they weren't giving him direct attention. But anytime someone walked toward him or tried to talk to him in a "dog voice" he would get worried and avoid contact. Once we left the building he pulled like the dickens to get back to the car.
But he was always eager to go for a ride in the car, and did better at Petsmart walking around. He did very well with every dog we met and was always eager to meet any we saw on our walks. Loud, barking dogs though made him shy.
Other than his shyness meeting new people, we didn't discover any real issues. He shared his food bowl, didn't overeat, didn't bark or whine, didn't try to dig in the yard and walked pretty well on the leash (when not trying to leave the shelter that is). I could reliably let him off leash in the front yard and let him and Boomer romp about to their heart's content.
When we had one or two people over at a time he'd eventually come over for a sniff and occasional brief tail wag.
His one peculiar trait was being very groggy when he first woke up. If we went outside right after getting up he'd plop down in the grass for a bit, do a lot of full body stretching, before finally standing back up to do his business.
We watched our former foster Shadow for a few days while we had Beary. Our big puppy was a little too high energy for her tastes though so Boomer had to do all the playing with Beary that weekend. They did well together for our morning walks though.
It snowed on Halloween and Beary, upon seeing the snow for the first time, did 12 full speed zoomies all the way around the back yard. Happy dog! Beary loved snow and never seemed to mind it raining either.
After about two months with us Beary was made available for adoption on the website while he stayed with us. We continued to visit the shelter, where his confidence slowly improved. Each day he also did one or two sessions in his crate, where I would always give him an antler and a thick cow bone stuffed with a few treats. He loved his "bone cup" and happily trotted inside the crate in expectation as I prepared it.
After three months with us, and right before we needed to leave town for the holidays, we brought Beary to the shelter to go on the floor. The next morning when I brought Boomer to visit, he was so glad to see us that he completely forgot his fear and did zoomies in the front yard just like he did back at home. Later that day we learned that a couple adopted him. Our early Christmas present!