It takes a village many times to rescue dogs as in the case of Smokey and Bear. Both of them are eight year old German Shepherd Dogs who lived with an elderly man that passed away. When their rescuers found them, they were both tethered to a fence in the backyard. Concerned individuals threw food to them over the fence until rescuers led by Marla and Michelle were able to secure both of them. They were transported to a farm up north who watched after them for the next four days.
Michelle contacted Michigan Dog Training (MDT) in Plymouth, Michigan who in turn picked up the pair from the farm. Smokey was very friendly toward strangers but the care givers thought Bear wasnâ€™t so much due to him charging workers at his kennel door. Michael Burkey, Dog Behaviorist at MDT pulled up a chair outside the kennel to get to know Bear. Very quickly Bearâ€™s charging was paired with submissive pawing eliciting affection. His excitable behavior had been misread as aggression. Within five-ten minutes, Burkey was inside Bearâ€™s kennel leashing him up for his trip to MDT.
Board and Train
Both dogs successfully completed a four week board and train program entitled K9 University at MDT with flying colors. Their training included field trips to parks and other public domains such as downtown Plymouth for real world training. Both dogs showed very friendly behavior toward all strangers. And, Alsager Animal Care CenterÂ in Canton, Michigan provided great medical care for the two of them ensuring they are healthy and ready for their forever homes.
A couple of weeks ago, Kelly came to meet the dogs and instantly fell in love with Smokey. She returned a couple of more times to work with Smokey and MDT trainers. This training support was put in place as she had never previously owned a dog. However, she was a quick study and she has a tremendous big heart. MDT includes life time group classes called Perfect Practice for dogs who complete the K9 University program. This ongoing support will ensure Kelly and Smokey are set up for life time success.
German Shepherd Dog available for adoption
Bear remains available for adoption. He continues to be trained at MDT while he waits for his forever home to find him. His continued training is made possible by a very generous donation from an anonymous provider. While both dogs are very affectionate, Burkey and MDT Certified Dog Trainer Eric Allport are especially fond of Bear. He is truly a big sweetheart.
If you are interested in adopting or fostering Bear as your loving companion, contact [email protected]. Upon successful screening, an appointment can be set up for you to meet Bear at MDT.
As you can see many people were involved in the rescue of Smokey and Bear, more than I even know. In todayâ€™s times where nightly news are filled with horrific stories of violence, itâ€™s reassuring to know and honor the good nature of people who came together to save these two affectionate dogs.