Patch the dog meets his match

Patch the dog meets his match

Patch the dog found himself at the Dumb Friends League for the fourth time in less than a year this March. The gorgeous border collie lived in three homes with owners who tried their best to accommodate his needs, but the relationships just didn’t quite click. Each patron returned Patch and explained his great qualities, each telling why it didn’t work and all with his best interest at heart. It’s thanks to these patrons, who made the right choice by bringing Patch to the Dumb Friends League, that he finally found his best friend, his match – his person.

Homeless dog receives gentle care

Every one of the nearly 10,000 dogs the Dumb Friends League helps each year is different. Each has their own needs, each is looking for the right home. For Patch, he needed a family with patience, a quiet home where he could reach his full potential and his affectionate, adventurous and smart personality could shine. But, before we could find that person we needed to do some work at the shelter to help Patch gain enough confidence to meet that adopter. Enter the Dumb Friends League behavior team, a staff of experts who knew just what to do when it came to helping a fearful dog like Patch. The team could see that there was a confident dog hiding behind that façade of fear, so Patch was enrolled in the League’s Canine Courage behavior program, which helps dogs gain confidence and trust using positive reinforcement. Patch excelled in the program and soon glimpses of his personality began to break through. After two sessions, Patch graduated and was ready to start the process of finding the right adopter.

Finding the right home for Patch

Patch had a history of fear in his previous three homes, he would hide from strangers, submissively urinate and dart at loud noises – sometimes right out the front door. The adoptions team knew that it would take a special person for Patch, someone who could help him grow in confidence and help him continue his journey to confidence.

Bob came to the Dumb Friends League looking for a companion. He had adopted a border collie from the League in the past and was familiar with the breed. He met Patch and knew it would take work but was excited for the opportunity to help this fearful dog finally find peace in a loving home.

When you talk with Bob, it’s obvious he loves Patch, between his progress reports he often stops to say, “he is a lovely dog,” sharing how he patiently lets Patch progress at his own speed, stopping to comfort him with a quick pat and an “I love you.” Bob’s voice has an innate calming effect, he talks softly peppering his stories about Patch with small bubbles of laughter and finishing our conversation with a joking “you can’t have Patch back.” Bob sends frequent emails keeping us updated on Patch’s improved confidence, bragging about Patch making friends with his neighbors, learning to walk up and down stairs, increased tail wags and best of all – sleeping in bed with his new people. Bob has worked hard with Patch, having met with behavior counselor Avery, Bob learned what he needed to do to continue positively reinforcing behaviors with Patch, practicing patience and just generally loving his new dog. We are thrilled that Patch finally found Bob.

Need pet behavior help?

If you need behavior help for your pet check out the handy behavior resources available on our website or call us at 303.751.5772. Additionally, we offer a behavior helpline where you can get advice on how to help with multiple pet related behavior concerns from one of our knowledgeable behavior specialists, learn more here.