We brought Ludovic into our tribe back on Feb. 16th, 2020. He was in a local shelter and due to his struggles at the shelter, he was given a euthanasia date. While there he exhibited fear of other dogs, a dislike for new people coming to his kennel, and he constantly paced back and forth through 3 kennel spaces with the guillotine doors left open to give him space.
I have worked with dogs with OCD behaviors but never seen a dog frantically pacing the way Ludovic was and seemingly unable to stop himself long enough to give himself a break.
He willingly left the kennel area and hopped in my car to head to his temporary foster home. He was well behaved in the back seat and enjoyed 12 pieces of McNuggets. The nuggets being intermittently being passed to him was the only way I could ensure he would stay relatively put in the back seat.
We arrived outside his foster home in Chicago, with his foster Mom waiting for us on the sidewalk, Ludo hopped out of the car and went on his way for a walk up the block. We went inside and he met the resident dogs through the x-pen wall and soon begin pacing from the kitchen to the bedroom and back, and again, and again.
We decided to remove his cone of shame due to a partial tail amputation, stop administering anxiety medication and give him a chance to unwind. Ludo continued to pace, bark, whine and make his presence known to the point that neighbors were filing complaints with the landlord.
His foster Mom couldn’t even go into the bathroom without him having a breakdown. This was going to be hard, she needed to go to work. We looked at boarding facilities, contacted a behaviorist and scheduled massage therapy, we needed to find a way to help him and his foster family.
This is when the foster couple’s family stepped up, Mom would come to stay with him at the condo, Mother in Law would take him to her home so he could play in the yard, friends stopped by to go on walks and within 2 weeks Ludo’s life had changed.
He was in love with the family dogs, enjoyed meeting new human and dog friends, he no longer lost his mind when foster Mom was out of sight and she returned to work, he was able to stay in boarding for 2 days when his foster parents had to leave town for the weekend.
Ludovic felt comfortable in his own skin, he loves his massage therapist who has worked to release tension in his muscles and to let go and give control away to her. He loves going on car rides and enjoys weekends at the lake house in Michigan.
Ludo didn’t leave after 2 weeks like we planned, his permanent foster home was now open. His temp fosters felt he was making good progress and no reason to upset the apple cart while he was finding himself.
Here we were 5 weeks later and time for Ludovic to start interviewing new forever family’s. Three days into his search, he was off the market. Ludo was home.
Fostering saves lives, opening your home to a homeless dog is a beautiful gift and sometimes, your foster dog rescues you right back.