All About Behavior

My name is Orso and I am 4 years old. Here is my story:

I was found in a dumpster, along with my brother, at a very young age. I fought hard for my resources, especially food. My main objective was to survive. I even fought with my brother. I became an extreme resource guarder, not just with strange dogs, but also within my pack.

Eventually, we were found, fed and received veterinary care. Someone saw our photos on an internet pet adoption site and forwarded my photo/bio to Mom. Mom opened the email and immediately heard me call to her, “You have been chosen to help me. Please come for me!� Within a week, after all adoption polices were met, she came to fetch me up.

At first, I was a little humble to meet her, but it did not take long for me to show her what I was all about. I went right into puppy classes at 10 weeks of age. For the first two weeks, I tolerated the other puppies, as well as the adult dogs in my pack, but then I could not control myself.

I believed that everything should be MINE! Food, toys, beds, Mom’s affection – it should all be mine. I could not control my inner rage. IT SHOULD ALL BE MINE! I felt like I wanted to kill everyone around me who was getting a treat, so Mom pulled me out of puppy classes. My world started to crumble around me, but Mom learned that she had to modify things in order to protect everyone in the pack.

I did not play with the adult dogs of my pack at all. Mom knew that she would have to find a playmate that would play with me, and in turn, that playing would help me to get beyond my issues. That playmate is Cha Cha. She came all the way from Kansas and she has special talents as a healer among both dogs and people.

Changes came very slowly, as everyone learned how to adapt and modify their behavior. They came to recognize the triggers that would set me off.

One day, something really scary happened. Cha Cha and I were playing in the back yard. Mom was diligent about watching all interactions, but natured called and she left for a couple of minutes. We were out in the yard playing as rough as we always did – being terrier mixes. Like we had done many times before, we were grabbing each other collars and flipping each other around. I loved to flip Cha Cha, but this time I flipped her too many times and her jaw got caught in my collar. As I flipped her around, the collar got tighter and tighter. Suddenly, I could not breathe because the collar had become so tight that it cut off my air supply. Cha Cha’s jaw was stuck in my collar and I was choking. My heart stopped and I turned purple.

Mom came running out when she saw both of us lying on the ground, facing each other and seemingly lifeless. She was unable to release Cha Cha’s jaw because the collar had twisted so tightly that she couldn’t get her fingers under it enough to loosen it. She quickly called her brother-in-law, who was there in a flash with leather snips.

He managed to unravel us, took Cha Cha inside and Mom got to work. There was no heartbeat. Nor was there airflow, so Mom, being a veterinarian, knew to perform CPR. It took awhile, but I made it back. I was under and out for quite a long time, but apparently, miracles do happen. I passed through – but then I returned. I guess it was not yet my time to go.

The experience changed my life. I still had far to go, but things after that encounter, things were different. Mom continued to work with me, along with my pack mates, using alternative methods to help make me whole – in an effort to help me to become a dog! Indeed, I have changed. Now I play with the adults and it’s okay if they touch my toys. I don’t even mind it when Mom gives them treats and shows them affection. I love when she tells me how proud she is of me, and when she cries tears of joy when she sees how happy I am with life, in general. Mom says I am a work in progress and that we will continue to deal with my issues of lack of socialization and trust of people.

There are a few friends and family who I do love, but I’m still not quite sure of the rest of the world. My philosophy is to believe, to learn and to deal with whatever comes my way, but most of all to seek out help. Mom says that resource guarding is a hard behavioral issue to break, especially if a dog resource guards with people. (And I believe her because she’s a doctor and she’s really smart!) My life is forever evolving, and behavior modification is a lifetime commitment not just for me, but for my Mom and my pack members, as well.

My name is Orso, I am 4 years old and I am becoming a dog!

I am Orso and I am now 8 years of age and finally have become a dog. Each year of my life, I have evolved, learned, and grown into a dog that is more comfortable with life and is able to handle difficult situations. I have learned actually to modify my behavior to make decisions that will keep me from loosing control by pulling myself away from a situation which may become ugly. I cuddle more with Mom, I play well with my pack members, I even sleep on the bed now with all the others. Mom is very much aware of all these changes and really watches for any triggers that might upset me, but now I can walk away to a safe area to diffuse. I finally feel part of the pack. Thank you for becoming a dog.

Orso is special, I have never seen a dog that can truly process a very difficult situation, he has learned how to control himself, and how to deal with his temper, and has learned how to walk away.

His pictures now show you his transformation through his face, he is Finally Happy !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Orso left me this year 2018, suffering from kidney failure. He left me heart broken because I could not protect him from this. We learned, we suffered, had good and bad times but the one thing we all learned how to do was to LOVE!!!