Meet Bilbo, Chance and Pauley; 3 very special dogs available for adoption this Friday at the ARLGP. These 11-month-old Catahoula mixes came to the shelter at the beginning of February, after a long and difficult journey from Tennessee.
They are fun, playful, loving, and affectionate. And they are all blind and deaf.
The three brothers and nine other animals were confiscated by state officials from a home in Tennessee as part of a cruelty investigation. They were found living in a basement in very unhealthy and inhumane conditions. It is believed that they had no access to the outdoors. Upon removal from the home, they were taken to a Tennessee animal shelter, where they lived for three months. In January the ARLGP was contacted by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to see if we would be interested in working with them and rehoming them in Maine. The HSUS and Canine Express volunteers transported them to Maine the first week of February. Upon arrival we observed that they were extremely under-socialized, and understandably scared and fearful. We immediately placed them into experienced foster homes to provide them with socialization, physical/mental enrichment, and training. We worked with area obedience trainers, to learn more about how we could help these dogs. Our goal was simple, to make them feel safe and comfortable in their new homes.
Many professional trainers and experienced owners of blind and deaf dogs recommended scent training to teach them about their surroundings and environment. We have used a variety of different essential oil scents to mark doorways, stairs, furniture, hallways so that they can learn the boundaries of their space and move around freely. It has been working amazingly well, as each dog adjusts to new environments and quickly learns how to maneuver in unknown spaces. We are excited to say that Chance and Bilbo are ready for adoption. They have come such a long way since first arriving at the ARLGP, just a few weeks ago. Now, they are ready to go off to their new homes. What we have learned from their time in their foster homes is that they are truly happiest when paired with a seeing dog. The brothers do not need to be placed together in a new home; they have been flourishing and blossoming in their individual foster homes. But we do know they should be placed into homes with another dog that can serve as a role model. They depend on the companionship of a seeing dog, and they require that companionship to live long and happy lives.
We want to encourage adopters in our community to consider taking one of these sweet boys into their homes. We know we are very fortunate to live in such a wonderful community of animal lovers and supporters of adoption. If you have been considering the addition of a dog to your family, please consider one of these very special guys. They are still very puppy-like with their play and energy, but they are also very affectionate with their people. They may not fit the mold of the average dog adopted, but they are just as loving and provide dedicated and loyal companionship to their people. The third brother, Pauley, still has some work to do and to overcome his shyness. For Pauley, we are hoping to place him into a long-term foster home, or a foster-to-adopt home. We want to continue to work with Pauley and his foster family to help him blossom into the boy we know he is. He just needs a little more time to warm up to new situations and to trust his new environment and people. To learn more about Bilbo, Chance and Pauley please stop by the ARLGP to speak with a member of our kennel team or give us a call at (207) 854-9771. It will be a requirement that each boy goes into a home where there is a social, seeing dog companion. We will also require a dog meet-and-greet at the ARLGP, so that we can ensure that both dogs will be able to bond and live together happily.