I have been MIA and am sorry about that. Life, work, election, off and on Maxwell illness (although that is less frequent these days – hooray!)….
I found something everyone should read before or after they adopt a pet from a puppy mill or hoarder… especially after a few years of age.
I have read it a few times. It hit me to the core as it is so accurate. Here are the points that resonate:
Q: What’s different in the behavior of dogs… who lived as breeding animals in puppy mills, or in a hoarding environment?
A: Dogs from hoarding environments were dramatically more likely to be fearful of people, of other dogs or just of the world in general. (A terror of new things—and to them, everything is new—is one of the hallmarks of a dog from a hoarding situation.) ….. Many of these dogs also dislike being touched or restrained, but simultaneously show a deep neediness and desire to be near people.
These results paint a picture of a dog who is not equipped at a basic level to interact normally with the world, and who is desperate to relate to humans but is not quite sure how to go about it. Serpell wonders if these attachment disorders are due to the disruption of the normal environment early in the dogs’ lives, followed by an environment with little to no individual attention. “You take them out of that situation,” he says, “and it looks like they hyperattach to the new owner.”
…the owners of these dogs report decreased trainability, presumably because the dogs avoid interaction.
Regrettably, those who adopted dogs from hoarding situations reported having difficulty finding support in the very difficult task of helping their dogs adjust. One adopter wrote, “There is little to no help available dealing with dogs with such social developmental deprivation. Dealing with physically abused dogs who have a basis of human trust in the beginning is very different than dealing with a neglected-from-birth hoarder dog.
The only thing in the article that doesn’t resemble Maxwell is that it indicates dogs tire of barking in hoarding situations. Maxwell has a field day with the noise in my building and many have mentioned they can hear him barking. I am working on that, but he is a quite a vocal guy for only 11 pounds.
I will post tomorrow with what is working. This article is compelling to me and I had to give it the attention it deserved.
PS – the freckles on his nose are much darker and prominent. I am still trying to figure out if from the Clostridium, nutrients, aging, etc… They weren’t there when I got the little guy, but his markings everywhere have changed also.