With apologies to H.A. Rey…This is George. He is a good little monkey, and always very curious.

George is (NOW!) a delight. He’s been with us for just over 2 years now (adopted from ABR May 2011). He’s still a work in progress, but so am I. When I first got him he just couldn’t settle…and I thought I knew hyper after having my son’s Brit live with me most of one summer! George is Brittany number 3 ½ for us (2 of our own plus our son’s dog). We’ve had the fearless dominant personality dog and the one who was a nervous basket-case (timid, OCD about things being out of their proper place). I was used to “zoomies,” where they would race through the house with their butts tucked under, spin in circles (again, butt tucked under!) on the bed and then leap into the next room, tear around the yard with expressions of pure glee…But George would run laps around the yard, as fast as he could, then come in and run laps around the dining room table. He’d sit down, then almost immediately start to trot around the table again. Even then, he thought everyone was his new best friend…he just couldn’t settle to be petted unless he was dismantling one of his toys (or a throw pillow…and he did that a LOT!). I actually cried a lot the first few months, from pure frustration and near despair. I kept telling myself that if I just was patient and loved him enough, eventually he’d be a really good dog, but the only time he was “calm” was when he was stalking birds or asleep. I thought about getting a thundershirt, but then saw a posting on the ABR bulletin board that suggested rubbing him HARD, like deep tissue massage. It worked ; he turned into a little limp dishrag in my lap. At that point I started letting him sleep on the bed, and that seemed to help as well, once he figured out that he was only welcome if he actually SLEPT on the bed, no leaping about or chewing the people. We took an AKC obedience class and “graduated” successfully October 2011 (although the trainer looked at us the first night and sighed, “oh, a Brittany”). It did teach him to focus on me instead of the distractions around him. He loves to do tricks for treats, will play ball for hours if someone will keep throwing it, and thinks everyone he meets is his new best friend, even the vet. And over the course of his first  winter with us he learned that it’s GOOD to sit on the couch together in the evening and be petted. He’s very loved, and we thank ABR for rescuing him and helping him find his way to us.

Jennifer Maguire