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  •  Three years ago, we made the best decision in deciding to adopt another ESS.  Zoey then came to us and is the BEST dog ever.  She is not only beautiful but so well behaved and is loved by everyone. We can't thank MAESSR and Debbie enough for giving us Zoey.                                                                                                                                                                                                  Judy Minnick, NJ              

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Entered: 09/27/2016
Status: Adopted
Age: 2
Color: Black/White
Weight: 47 lbs.
Gender: Altered Male
Location: Fayetteville, WV
Health: UTD, HW-, treatment for ear infections and intestinal worms complete, overall excellent health
Temperament: Good with adults, fostered briefly with children as young as 2 and did well, good with other dogs,
Temp. Cont.: good with cats

Popper's Story . . .

Update 11/11/2016:  "In the fenced yard at home or at the dog park, his joy is complete when someone throws a ball again, and again, and again!"

As is often the case, with a little more time in foster care for settling and outings, his foster family has better understanding of Popper's interests and comfort zones.  At home he remains a sweetie who can't be too close to his people.  In the fenced yard at home or at the dog park, his joy is complete when someone throws a ball again, and again, and again!  He consistently outlasts anyone he plays ball with.  While he has met other dogs and their people at the dog park with appropriate manners, his focus remains on a ball, his person, and anyone else who will throw for him.  He'll charge into brush at home to retrieve a ball and returns proudly as if with a downed bird during hunting season.  He's very entertaining to play with and watch!

Besides dog park visits, Popper's been to several other dog-friendly spots with his foster family.  He's shopped in a local farm store and walked nicely through the business area of his small home town.  He waded in the shallows at a river's edge without second thought but showed no need to go for a swim.  Thank you, Popper!
He's made 2 visits to an NPS visitor center near home.  It was there that Popper showed his limit of comfort with human busyness.  During the first visit, the center was overflowing with Sunday afternoon travelers.  Most folks were coming and going with no notice of Popper.  That was OK; he and his foster mom settled on a park bench away from the pedestrian traffic for some people watching.  It was telling then that Popper quietly but deliberately turned to her and buried his face in her lap.  When petting and quiet words of encouragement didn't bring comfort…too many people at once for him….a calm departure was in Popper's interest.  A few days later, on a not-so-busy weekday, Popper revisited the visitor center and reacted much differently.  That afternoon he paused for conversation with some dog-friendly people who petted him.  He watched steadily as some children raced past him.  He walked the length of a long, narrow boardwalk to an overlook.  The anxiety he experienced during the 1st visit was absent this time, the only difference being the numbers of people he was among.   It's clear he's cool with moderately busy surroundings; he just isn't ready for the block party!

Popper has used extra time to shape some manners too.  He understands "wait" and sits politely in his crate until his bowl is set down at mealtime.  He rarely puts his paws on people to get attention now, opting to bump a hand with his nose instead.  With continued shaping and training, he will grow emotionally and be most devoted to his family.

Original:  The possibilities for this one seem endless.  If you enjoy bringing out a dog’s potential and also love living close with one, consider Popper.
Popper is a gentle, people-loving youth who came into MAESSR’s care from a rural West Virginia shelter.  He landed there when an animal control officer collected him and a boxer as strays.  The boxer was reclaimed but no one called about Popper so, after the required waiting period, he became a MAESSR boy.  He’s quite lean, though not particularly underweight for his age; he’ll fill out as he finishes maturing.  His overall health is very good…not even ear infections or a UTI. His coat is silky-soft and he has a closely-docked tail that never stops; his foster mom thinks of it as his “grin.”
For a few days before joining MAESSR, Popper was fostered by a family with a dog, a cat, and two children, ages 2 and 10.  He interacted with the children under the parents’ supervision and did well.  The resident kitty could rub up against him and wander on without turning Popper’s head.  In his MAESSR foster home, there are fewer people but more dogs.  Though he’s not playful with them yet, he’s relaxed with all, even the younger resident who doesn’t share his space well.  Popper’s sensitive to the other foster who is blind and deaf; that dog lets Popper know when he’d like a little more space and Popper calmly steps away. Popper’s reaction to one very small dog in another home wasn’t quite as positive, but he’s consistently done well with ones his own size and with all sizes he’s met in the vet’s office.
Popper’s not missed a chance to impress while in foster care.  He was eager to greet everyone, both human and canine, during his vet visits but was polite on his leash. He visited the local dog wash for a bath and stood steadily in the tub through the wash, rinse, condition and final rinse cycles without even being tethered.  He jumps onto the tailgate and into a crate for travel and is quiet as a mouse, whether it’s a five-minute errand run or a 5 hour road trip.
Whether Popper’s had some previous training or is simply very responsive to guidance from people isn’t clear.  He would “sit,” “down,” and “give paw” in the shelter.  He readily rolls over for belly rubs.  When caught counter-surfing once or twice, all it took was an “ah-ah” to prompt his return to the floor.  In excitement, he gets a bit mouthy at times and “ah-ah” stops this immediately.  He was a bit snatchy with treats when he first arrived and that’s already disappeared…”ah-ah” works for this too.  He walks in a flat collar and regular leash with little pulling, in a Leader Harness with less and hasn’t reached the end of a 25’ flexi-leash yet!
Popper loves being close to his people.  His idea of close is in the same room and, if possible, at one’s feet; better yet is lying on one’s feet.  He has spent little time alone since in foster care but has crated with minimal protest in the dining room when his family was upstairs in the office…good boy!

There have been a few accidents as he’s adjusted to a new schedule but housetraining is basically in place.  What he’s required supervision with the most is marking behavior; with altering now done, that should disappear quickly.   Popper crates easily in the house, at mealtime, when his family is away and during the night.  As he continues to adapt, crate time will lessen.  So far, he’s shown no interest in anything in the house that isn’t for dogs; he does like his black Kong and carrying a tennis ball around!
Popper’s attentive, gentle nature makes him an apt learner and a companion to treasure at home or when out and about.  His future could go in many directions.  He would be lots of fun in a basic obedience class…then intermediate…then advanced and perhaps CGC.  He could be the perfect walking partner who would enjoy getting his steps in right along with his people.  He would enjoy daily fetching in the yard.  His dog-dog socialization is sound; he has the potential to be a welcoming “resident” dog in a home where fostering is regular activity.  The possibilities for this one seem endless.  If you enjoy bringing out a dog’s potential and also love living close with one, consider Popper.  He won’t disappoint.