Steve, the rescue dog
This is a bit of a crazy story. My parents drove off the ferry in Orient Point, NY and in the parking lot was someone who looked suspiciously similar to me. My mother ran over to her and she did not find me but my true doppelgänger. Sure enough after looking each other up in Facebook and deciding that yes, we did in fact look like twins, we agreed to meet a year and a half or so later. Fast forward to us both instantly talking dogs and her tale of her rescue dog Steve. I gave her the assignment to write his story and I am pleased to shared it with you!
"When Toast, our Golden Retriever, died, we were convinced our yellow Lab was so sad that he needed a friend. Never mind that Wahoo took his new place on the bed with us where Toast never before let him sleep. Never mind that he got singular attention from us, we were certain he needed a pal.
My husband and I scouted Petfinders and found Steve’s online dating photo. He was a beautiful, unusually tall yellow lab with black eyeliner. After being approved by the adoption group, we drove through Queens to Steve’s foster home so the pups could meet. Wahoo was shy as usual but Steve was overjoyed with all of us; jumping up and licking our faces. I’d never seen a happier dog. Of course we took him home.
Watching Animal Planet one evening, NK, (my husband), got to the bottom of why Steve was so tall. He saw a giant dog that looked just like Steve. It was an Anatolian Shepherd. Soon after I was walking in the city and I also saw a giant dog that looked just like Steve. The owner explained that Anatolian Shepherds were flock guardians and ran down a list of behaviors that made sense of why Steve was so often un-lab like.
A flock guardian habitually circles all perimeters. Steve not only circles the house and the yard, before each walk he’ll pick up two toys and take about 20 laps around the living room. Always the protector, he barks at everything especially his sworn enemy, the squirrel. But he still revels in very labby things like chasing balls and swimming. Lucky for us, both breeds are keen on learning.
The guy was a handful though. At a year and a half, Steve was an 85-pound puppy that had never been trained. He was sweet dog but insane. He had acute separation anxiety (symptom – endless barking), making it impossible to leave him alone, chaining us the apartment for weeks and weeks. We gathered his former owners simply let him out in the backyard because he didn’t know that the partial goal of a walk was for peeing and pooping. Like all puppies, he chewed on everything he could find including Persol reading glasses and Tom Ford progressives. Flip-flops didn’t stand a chance. And he affectionately nipped me. With all the bruises and cuts, I looked like a junkie. Our dog walkers and vet thought we’d never make it but it never crossed our minds to surrender. He was a good guy, he just needed some work.
Working with a trainer, we were finally able to leave the house. She had us leave the apartment for short periods. We graduated to a walk around the block then dinner. Woot Woot. He learned the command “drop it” and finally lost interest in my glasses and shoes. Eventually he stopped the nipping. With time he has calmed down entirely and is a lie-at-your-feet sort of pup. We love the phenomenal new Steve.
When Wahoo died, NK thought Steve needed a pal. I think Steve likes being number one dog."