JAKE: A rescue dog
Male, 3 year-old, black Labrador Retriever
MONTGOMERY COUNTY HUMANE SOCIETY
Proud owners: Jennifer & Ed
Written by: Jennifer
We found our rescue dog Jake while visiting the MONTOGOMERY COUNTY HUMANE SOCIETY in February of 2002. Just one-month prior, I lost my 9 ½ -year-old female Black Labrador Retriever (who I raised from a puppy) to a 4-month battle with a brain tumor.
We had visited many shelters in the Washington, DC area in search of a new companion. I knew that we would "know" when we found the right one. Ed thought that maybe Jake was "too big". Admittedly, his nickname on his shelter cage was "Big Boy." There is clearly no question; he is a very big Black Labrador Retriever at 105 pounds!
Jake was picked up as a stray, so we knew nothing of his owners. It is fair to say, that due to the visual signs of past abuse that the first years of his life were not his best. He was brought to the shelter dirty and with severe ear infections. When we picked him up from the kennel, he had tracheal bronchitis (kennel cough), and a lingering deep ear infection. So, he was constantly coughing, or honking, like a goose! Jake was very untrusting, and very scared. His behavior, to me, seemed odd for a Labrador, though I had never adopted a dog from a shelter as an adult. He would bow his head and cower, as if he was afraid of being hit, and would not allow us to touch his paws.
After a couple of months, Jake was becoming more secure in his surroundings and more trusting of us. We decided to take him to dog training, to build our bond with him and to ensure a safe environment for both Jake and us. Due to his size, at 105 pounds, we felt it very important that we are able to control him in public, and at home for that matter. We started our search for dog trainers. I had taken my previous pet Haley to dog training and was in search of a non-aggressive dog training facility that rewarded positive behavior with praise, not food treats. I found Greenbelt Dog Training online while searching the vicinity of my work area. Allie Lee has years of dog training experience and both Allie & Adele have rescue dogs of their own. We were invited to a class to watch and we decided to join.
Jake's behavior has improved dramatically, more so since taking his dog training lessons, and we refer to him fondly as our "dog circus." He likes to show off and often puts on quite a production with his Kong toy and big bone (an endless source of entertainment). When he wags his tail, he wags his entire body, so much so, that we have to be very careful about what may be knocked over! Maybe we should have named him, "Dozer", short for "Bulldozer."
We couldn't be more proud of our Jake as he graduated at the top of his basic obedience class. Having access to a knowledgeable trainer at any hour, any day of the week, even if by phone, is very reassuring. We are pleased with our decision to choose Greenbelt Dog Training, and very proud of our big boy's results! We plan on continuing on with Allie and Adele for intermediate classes to work more on dog socialization skills and other problem areas.