Flash is a 2 1/2 year old Treeing Walker Coonhound

He was with me for about a year and a half. He’s bonded to me. He went to a great home, without other dogs, but one of the guardians is taking him to work with him every day.

They called yesterday because he is depressed. (Well he also jumped out of a window and went to a party at the neighbor’s but that’s not the problem!) I know it’s only 24 hours, but he wasn’t eating and kept going to the door, they think looking for me. They want me to come and see him this week. They also want to bring him back here to play with his doggie friends.

I want him to bond to them – I thought I’d stop by and visit him for 5 or 10 minutes this week to let him know I’m not dead. Usually I don’t see the dog for a few months after placement, but another dog that I placed sees me 3 days a week and it made the transition easier. He lives with my secretary and comes to the office!

Will I screw up Flash’s brains if I visit? What about coming out here and playing with his doggie friends?

3 Responses to “Flash is a 2 1/2 year old Treeing Walker Coonhound”

  1. William Says:

    It won’t screw up the adopted dog’s brain at all if you visit. In fct, when I place foster dogs, I take them for a visit first, which lasts at least an hour, and then bring the dog home with me again, for at least 48 hours. This arrangements gives the family time to buy any needed pet supplies, figure out their own logistics, “Where will he sleep?” etc. then I drive the dog to the new home again, stay at least an hour while we complete the adoption contract and answer any remaining questions.

    It may be that your new adopters have a feeding routine which is very different from yours, so you could make some suggestions there, e.g., put the dog’s food bowl in its crate and let it eat alone, undisturbed, since many new adoptees are easily distracted by people moving about in the kitchen.

    By all means, permit the family to visit you with the dog once or twice in the coming week or two. That would be a great idea. Slow transitions to new homes are a great idea. It may put everyone’s mind at ease, the people’s and the dog’s.

  2. William Says:

    If you want to go visit, fine, but downplay your role in the reunion, and make sure that all the best treats come from his new family. I often place older puppies that I have bred, and they love coming back to play with their family members, and I love them up a lot, but I feed only boring treats, and they get the best stuff from their new family.
    Give him at least a couple weeks to settle in before he comes back for a visit. It is probably anthropomorphizing, but I think it gives them confidence to come back for a visit, and see how happy you are to see him *with* his new family. A bit of depression is normal, going through a relocation transition is not always easy. Make sure they are using only positive reinforcement training, and lots of good treats! It takes 3-6 months for a dog to bond to a new home so that he can really *trust* the relationship.
    I was never happier when one of my puppies that I placed at a year old, came to visit, then ran to his new family’s car and hopped in to go home, *rather than* stay here at my house!

  3. William Says:

    Oh, I forgot to say, it is OK (in fact wonderful) for dogs to think they have a really big family with several wonderful homes. I think it is ideal when they can go back and forth between two or even three homes (like when you go on vacation?) and have lots of mommies and daddies and kids. I like to have a support system in which my friends and I dog sit for each other so we can go on vacation without worries. Of course, when you have 8 dogs like I do, that means there is almost always an extra dog visiting here!

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