Dangerous Chase, Part 6

Our Lovable Little Bother

By Terri Florentino

Chase, Part 6

The Remarkable Journey

ChaseDebbieFast-forward to now.  Five years have passed since Debbie, Sam, Chase and I made this deal: give our training three months. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll rescue him. Needless to say, Chase has a permanent and loving home! I’m so proud of their accomplishments.

Debbie has also gone beyond my training and taught Chase many playful and clever tricks; she was always diligent in making sure she kept the learning process fun. I was so impressed with their tricks that I invited her to teach a Tricks Workshop at the training center. It’s a great success; the students enjoy the amusing and interactive activities with their dogs. Watch Chase’s video on YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5XmqxNqFaE&feature=youtu.be.

Chase will always be a work in progress. When Debbie and Sam leave the house, Chase must go to his room. There he finds a yummy interactive toy that keeps his mind occupied for a short while. Now Debbie and Sam can go out the door without Chase jumping and biting at them.

When it comes to interacting with other dogs, he’s still no social butterfly. In fact, Debbie knows that bringing another dog home is not an option. Chase does fine with my dogs so we get together as often as we can. Their interaction isn’t the tumble and play, but rather a coexisting in the same space, running and chasing a ball or swimming in the lake. They have a mutual understanding and know the no-fighting rule. It’s my job to enforce it, so when I suspect one of the dogs is getting a little too pushy, I remind them, “Get out of it!”ChasewithDogs

When company comes to Debbie’s home, depending on who’s coming to visit and how long they’re staying, she handles Chase differently. Chase is comfortable with older children and adults that he is familiar with. Very young children and infants make him uneasy. Their quick, unpredictable movements, loud high-pitched voices, and crying make him anxious. If the young children stay just for an afternoon, Debbie can manage Chase at the house by keeping him with her on a leash, giving him an occasional time out in his room, and making sure he gets outside often to exercise. When they have out-of-state visitors stay at their home they take Chase to a boarding kennel at the training center. Chase knows the facility very well and does fine with his stay.

The Gentle Leader is a mainstay for walking, because keeping control of Chase’s head and mouth is essential. If he happens to see a squirrel, for instance, he’ll lunge and bark. The Gentle Leader keeps him from pulling Debbie down to the ground. Also, for no obvious reason, he’s not comfortable with certain people. He might grab and bite them. Again the Gentle Leader affords Debbie the head control to keep him from endangering others, and therefore himself.

When it’s time to exercise outside Debbie puts a collar on Chase and secures it to a 30” long line. Chase can never be trusted off-lead unless in a fenced area. While outside on the long line Chase gets to explore, play fetch, practice recall and run. If while on the long lead he encounters a wild animal or a neighbor that makes him uneasy, Debbie can use the, “Leave It” and “Come here” commands. Fortunately Chase is food-motivated and knows that if he immediately returns to Debbie he’ll be rewarded with a mouth-watering treat.

Debbie keeps a crate in her car for travel. Chase jumps right in and lies down quietly. If not for the crate, Debbie would never be able to safely exit her vehicle. Chase gets far too anxious when she or anyone else tries to get out of the car and walk away. He barks, bites, and grabs the clothing of whoever tries to leave the vehicle without him. So as you see, for the obvious reasons, it’s safer for all parties involved that Chase rides in a crate.

His separation anxiety, for the most part, is under control. He no longer redecorates the walls, baseboards, and floors with frantic claw marks. A person leaving the home is still a little bit of an issue, so Sam and Debbie are diligent with the down/stay exercise. Chase is not released from the position until the person has exited the house and driven away.

All in all Chase is a nurturing, sensitive, affectionate, and lovable dog. Even Debbie’s Mom isn’t afraid of him anymore. She brings him a toy every time she comes to visit. He’s so intelligent that you need to spell certain words in front of him, such as “walk,” “ride,” “lake,” “out,” and “training.” He also knows certain ChaseSamDebbietoys by name, like “monster,” “football, “Santa, and “tumbler.”

Chase, has become my buddy. Sometime I look at him and say, “There’s my adorable little bother,” and he wiggles so hard he keels over and shows me his tummy. Debbie and I have also become great friends, a relationship I value very much.

I’m thankful to be a part of this remarkable journey.

In closing Debbie wanted to share her thoughts:

For how frightened I was of Chase, something told me I had to help him. I’m not sure if it was the fear of losing a dog all over again that tugged at my heart, but that was part of it. I think I just knew that if given time and with the right direction we would make it.  Chase has taught me so much. I have become a more patient person, I’m more relaxed and learn to be proactive rather than reactive when Chase acts out. Terri has been a godsend for Chase and me. She is so compassionate about animals as well as the people that care for them. If I hadn’t made that call to her, I really don’t know where Chase or even I would be today.  Would his next adopter have done the same for him, or would he have just been put down? Would I have adopted another dog, or just given up?
Terri has inspired me to become a trainer and to help people the way she helped us. Chase has come a long way in the last five years, and even though he still has his moments, I can say that I am equipped to handle them. Occasionally I still get a little frightened so I stop take a deep breath and move forward. Chase has turned into a loving companion and we are forever grateful to Terri, her family, and her pack for helping us get where we are today!  And as a bonus, we have forged a long lasting friendship!
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Debbie, Sam, and Chase.

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.

Roger Caras

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15 responses to “Dangerous Chase, Part 6

  1. What a wonderful story of true love and determination.

  2. You’re right about that, Denise. Thank you for commenting.

  3. Chase is now a good dog all due to Debbie & Sam’s continued love and patience. Ed & Tulley……..Job well done..

  4. Reblogged this on Chase's Journey – A Border Collie Rescue and commented:
    Dangerous Chase – The Finale!!!
    The Remarkable Journey!!

  5. One thing I forgot to mention is that I would like to thank everyone that was in class with Chase. You all helped in his training and also never made us feel like we shouldn’t be there especially when he had his many outbursts. You were all so encouraging and we could have never done this without any of you! We have made many friendships along this journey and am grateful that you are all apart of our lives!! Thanks again!!!!

  6. Well that was certainly a very happy ending! I have never personally met Chase but can remember the fear in Debbies’ voice through her tears. She would call me at work and tell me of the, sometimes, horrible situations.
    And, of course, I would recommend that she swap Chase for a lap dog!
    HAHA! 🙂 Seriously, I was in fear for Debbie and Sam only. I did not want the next phone call to be worse than the last. So with such a great outcome
    of the life of CHASE SEYMOUR………I take my hat of to Terri, Debbie and Sam

  7. Well that was certainly a very happy ending! I have never personally met Chase but can remember the fear in Debbies’ voice through her tears. She would call me at work and tell me of the, sometimes, horrible situations.
    And, of course, I would recommend that she swap Chase for a lap dog!HAHA! 🙂 Seriously, I was in fear for Debbie and Sam only. I did not want the next phone call to be worse than the last. So with such a great outcome
    of the life of CHASE SEYMOUR………I take my hat of to Terri, Debbie and Sam

  8. Great ending is right. I am so happy for you Sam and Chase. You did a great thing by going back to get him and working so hard to make him part of your family. Terri I never met you but Debbie speaks so highly of you and your great work. I am a dog lover too and I respect all your hard work. Thank you for sharing this amazing story.

  9. Thanks for sharing such a great story. Kudos to Terri, Debbie, Sam and your classmates. Many a trainer would not allow a dog with Chase’s problems in their class. Many a classmate would be intolerant and impatient having a dog with Chase’s problems in their class. Many a dog owner would not have the courage to forge on. Sounds like all parties involved came together to set the pace in rehabilitating Chase. He is one lucky dog!!! Kudos to Terri for turning Chase’s problems into a positive learning experience for all us dog lovers and owners.

Whatcha thinking? Gimme that! Grr! Grr!

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