Monday, April 23, 2012

SociaBulls: Waiting to be Noticed

As we've been detailing many of the things SociaBulls dogs have been working on with their families, we also wanted to point out that there are some dogs in our group who are currently looking for families. Little Estelle is a 'pocket pittie' who has been coming to the group for awhile. She is lucky to live with a very devoted foster mom who not only has her own pooches, but has also been fostering Estelle (and puppies!). Estelle came to her foster mom as a fearful, broken pup, and her mom has diligently been working with her to improve her skills as she works towards finding her perfect family. Read this story of how little Estelle is facing her fears and hoping to be noticed by her future forever family and see photos from our latest walk (a beautiful lakefront stroll!):
 When I picked up my foster, Estelle, from CACC on behalf of It's aPittie Rescue, I found a skinny, broken little pup cowered in the corner of the cage.  Her cage card did not have a name or any info that might indicate where she came from or what her life like was before coming into the shelter.  Her body language and sadness in her eyes said enough and was magnified when she literally army crawled out of the cage and continued to do so until I was able to bring her into the hallway and sit down by her, where she instantly crawled into my lap and rolled over on her back.  I wish I could say the rest was history, but...
After a beautiful text book intro between Boomer and Estelle (it was love and first sniff) I quickly learned Sweet Estelle loves people and kids and is eager to learn. I just as quickly learned Estelle suffers from separation anxiety and is extremely leash reactive and despite the quick bond with Boomer she still needs time meeting new four-legged friends (just a few issues that would need to be dealt with before adoption was an option).   Separation anxiety was quickly tackled and managed with crate training but the reactivity has presented itself to be more of a challenge. Fortunately after a course of cautious k-9 classes, fellow Sociabull (Sophie's person) told me about Chicago Sociabulls and I couldn't sign up quick enough.  In the four + months Estelle has been a sociabull, we've had our shares of ups and downs our experience has gone from moments of encouragement when Estelle finds her rhythm amongst a pack of unfamiliar dogs to complete meltdowns when the pulling/piggy noises seem far too intense for even the most patient person to withstand.  But we have kept chugging away with the support of the Sociabull leaders and thankfully without judgment from fellow walkers.  I'm so pleased to report a real change occurred about four walks ago when after some trial and error the wonderful coordinators with the Sociabulls determined Estelle calms down much quicker when at the head of the pack.  Furthermore when surrounded by buffer dogs (thanks Izzy and Torre) the snorts and grunts eventually diminish and if i didn't know better, it seems Estelle is actually enjoying herself, but shhh don't tell her.. .
So there it is,  I can't say enough about the Chicago Sociabulls and how it is helping my sweet girl. Private walks have improved tremendously as well and I think the group walks have contributed to that.  Moving forward, Sweet Estelle will continue to look for that perfect forever home while facing her fears with me. Fingers crossed she will find a home with a family that will continue on with the Sociabull experience.
 You really need to check out this video of how great Estelle is with training, and being walked by her favorite little boy. (Poor little Estelle even cries cartoon tears). And if you think you or someone you know might be interested in Estelle, you can read more about her here
 You can also read about more SociaBulls Members: Franklin (A Small Dog in a Big Dog Group), Gordon (Learning to Be Social and Have Dog Friends),  Nabi (A Shy Dog Making Sense of a "People World") Sprocket (Teaching a Dog When it's not Time to Play), Lola (Living in the City with a Dog who Fears Strangers),  Zoe (The Dog who "Loves Too Hard")Izzy (Being a good pitbull ambassador while working with an energetic dog) and Maize (Being social with an unsocial pup).
Plus, join our Chicago SociaBulls  Facebook page for more photos and information about group walks. And check this link from the DINOs (Dogs in Need of Space) group to read more about the benefits of dog-walking groups and to see if there is a group in your area.   

12 comments:

Skinny Fat Kid said...

So great! I've seen a great change in Izzy when she's walkin in the middle of her Positive Pittie Pack. We've also walked the same route solo and I swear she is looking around trying to find her buddies!

I got to take out adoptable Wiggles this week for our walk. I was told she had some issues with some reactivity, but this girl couldn't have been more enjoyable. By the time we got to the walk, she had her head resting on my arm in the car. Can't wait to bring her out again and expose her to the pack! Hope she'll get spotted by her forever home too!

Of Pit Bulls and Patience said...

What a cutie! I think that is one of the biggest benefits of a pack walk- everyone is there for a different reason, but you are all there to help each other out. Good luck finding her a great forever family!

therufusway said...

Our own foster seems to have a similar personality - she took to our Rufus right away, but now is hesitant and very reactive towards new dogs. While she's gotten better, we still have a ways to go. Teeny is also a pocket pittie!

waldobungie said...

What a beautiful girl! I am so glad her foster mom understands the benefits of the pack walks - I know they make a huge difference with my leash reactivity Turkey dog!

Froggy said...

Estelle is the cuuuuutest! I swear if she wasnt a clone of Maize I would scoop her up in a second. She is a dear little pocket pittie who I am sure is an awesome snuggler. Plus her various farm noises will keep anyone entertained.

Kirsten (peacefuldog) said...

Love those pocket pitties! What a great resource you have there in Sociabulls. I do wish there were something similar around here--after 2 years of working on Fozzie's leash reactivity, that seems like something that could really make a difference for him!

Kate said...

Aw, that's so great! I love how she's improved so much with the walks! And how cute is that video?!

Kiira said...

Petey and I have walked next to cutie-pie Estelle for the past two weeks, and we've noticed she settles into the rhythm of the Sociabulls pack walk just beautifully. Estelle's foster mom is pretty amazing for not just giving her shelter and love, but for helping her be more confident and mellow around other dogs.
And we agree that Estelle's video is pretty darn cool!

Christine said...

She is just too cute and is doing so well! Awesome job by her foster mom, and we really hope the walks help her find her perfect forever home!

Two Grad Students and a Pittie said...

So amazing, i love it!

Rebelwerewolf said...

Good luck, Estelle! As always, great pictures of all the pups.

Two French Bulldogs said...

Paws crossed for you kids
Benny & Lily

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