The dog that Finley is today is so very different from the five-month-old puppy who arrived here from Thailand two years ago. She’s come such a long way, both in distance and behavior. Although still shy, she is sweet tempered and has started to learn to trust people. Now all she needs is a caring and patient family to go home with!
“Finley’s made a lot of progress with her fearfulness/trust issues with humans thanks to our pet behavior trainers,” says foster mom, Emily DeFelice, who is also the Foster Program Manager for North Shore Animal League America. “I started spending some time with her a few times a week for the last month or so to build our relationship before fostering her. When she finally took treats from me and I could pet her, I was able to take her home as a foster. She’s really taken the transition to my home well and is coming out of her shell.”
Just like change can be difficult for some people, it can also be difficult for some dogs like Finley. In this case, she was rescued off the streets of the Hua Hin district in Thailand in 2017 by Project Street Dog, Thailand — an international rescue partner of Animal League America. She went into their shelter and then took the long airplane trip to the New York City. She was terrified when she first arrived—she didn’t want to be touched, was afraid of sudden movements, and would yelp and cry with any pressure from a leash and collar. Who knows what she endured on the streets? Probably getting too close to people was not a positive experience.
Of course, having a socially confident dog at home already is often the key to the success in transitioning a shy or fearful one into the home. Emily brought her dog, Wyatt, in to meet Finley before bringing her home to see how they would get along. The pet behavior trainers at Animal League America had discovered that Finley does better with dogs that are not overly rambunctious, demanding, or over-assertive. Emily is happy that Wyatt and Finley have become friends and they now play together all the time. She’s initiating play with her other two dogs as well and had a good time with a dog Emily recently dog-sat for.
“Finley’s a great dog. She’s happy and fun and playful once she is comfortable. Now she’s getting more confident, she bats at me and asks for attention and cuddles,” states Emily. “But Finley’s going to need someone who can put in the time to get to know her first before taking her home. It would also be important that there’s another dog and an introduction is done beforehand to see if they get along.”
Emily has been working on leash training with Finley. She is walking on leash with her around the backyard without her trying to escape or pulling excessively. That’s major progress. Both Emily and the pet behavior trainers believe that Finley’s family should have dog experience. She needs strong leadership, trust, and obedience exercises to help her continue to become the dog she was meant to be. She would do best in a family where children are 18 years old and up. Finley definitely prefers a quiet neighborhood and a fenced-in yard where she can romp and play with the other dog(s) in the household.
With guidance and patience, Finley will show her family how she can be a happy and loyal companion. If you’re interested in meeting Finley, and possibly giving this loveable dog a new start in a loving, responsible home, please contact Foster Program Manager, Emily DeFelice, at 516-373-3483 or [email protected].
Would you like to make a difference in the life of a shelter pet?
Becoming a foster parent is a very rewarding experience. Even if you are unable to adopt right now, you can help a foster pet get through medical or behavioral issues, acclimate to a home environment, and become ready for adoption into a loving, responsible home. Visit animalleague.org/foster to learn more about the Foster Program and to fill out an application.