Tag Archives: Tucker

Tucker’s Glamour Shots

One thing that Agape Animal Rescue does for their adoptable dogs is give them the star treatment with a professional photo shoot.  There has been plenty of testimony from rescues and shelters around the country that a dog only gets one chance to make a first impression, and in the techno-age we live in, most the time that impression comes from an online profile.  So if you were looking for a new furry member to add to your family, would you be more interested in a dog photographed through the bars of a cage, with harsh lighting and fear in his eyes?  Or, this guy:

Many times, a quality picture of a dog can mean the difference between getting adopted and living out the rest of his days behind bars.  That’s another reason foster families are so important – even if there are no glamour shots, potential adopters get the chance to see a dog in a home environment instead of the stressful shelter atmosphere.   

So what do you think about Tucker’s modeling skills?  Does he have a future in front of the camera or what?  At the very least, let’s hope these awesome shots help him find his perfect People!

To adopt our little super model, contact Agape Animal Rescue.

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Tucker’s Lucky Day?

Tucker went to his second adoption fair over the weekend, and this time Foster Mom was lucky enough to be able to attend as well.  This one was held at the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, and was the second time the event was held.  Last year, they adopted out FIFTY animals!  You heard right…five-zero.  Amazing! 

We got to meet some great people and volunteers from other local animal rescue groups, and we had a great time.  There was one amazing volunteer there who did nothing but walk around and take wonderful pictures of the dogs.  We even got our foster family portrait taken, which is definitely the only one we have!

We didn’t stay until the end of the event because Tucker was, well “tuckered,” but by the time we left they had adopted out 27 dogs and 6 cats, and they still had an hour to go.  I don’t want to spill the beans or get my hopes up too early, buuuuuuuuut….let’s just say that Tucker put his best paw forward, and made some new friends of his own. 

Then he came home and did this:

 

Play hard, sleep hard.  This is the way of the Tucker.

**UPDATE** Final number of adoptions from Saturday’s event is 47, including 34 dogs and 13 cats. This number doesn’t even include pending adoptions, to families who may have turned in an application to a rescue (like Agape) that has an adoption process, and doesn’t adopt on site. What an amazing number of adoptions!

To adopt Tucker, contact Agape Animal Rescue.

 

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Party Animal?

A few weeks ago, we had a little gathering at Flaherty Foster House, in which the canine (as well as human) population of our house doubled.  Our friends brought over their two awesome dogs, Bailey (a senior Chow mix) & Libby (a spunky Border Collie mix). 

Boy if I thought getting two dogs to cooperate for pictures was tough….this is the only successful attempt at getting all four dogs in the same frame.  But, it is proof that Tucker survived the Invasion of the Black Dogs:

For those of you following along, you know what a big deal this was for Tucker.  Not only did Tucker tolerate meeting more than one other dog at the same time, but he did so without barking nervously or freaking out at all.  We made sure Libby and Bailey arrived on their respective leashes, then we met them outside so everyone could do the Butt Sniff Dance – bringing Oscar along for moral support, of course.  Once that went well and the dogs seemed cool with each other, we went into the backyard for some more sniffing and exploring.  Once everyone was happy and comfortable, we all went inside for our favorite fall Saturday tradition: college football.

The only time Tucker got a little nervous was during a little attempt at romance by Bailey (hey, we don’t judge).  I don’t know that Tucker’s ever been dominated by another (larger) dog before, but I do know that Tuck didn’t turn his back on Bailey again for the rest of the night! 

Tucker did absolutely amazing.  He played with the other dogs a bit, and found out that other laps can be just as comfy to snuggle on as his current foster People’s are.  But the most amazing part of the day was just how exhausted all the dogs seemed – at one point, all four dogs were passed out on their respective people or dog beds.  Tucker, however, opted for the one spot where no other dog could reach him:

Even though he did amazing, and got tons of praise and “I’m so proud of you” snuggles from Foster Mom, the ever-present snarl tells me that Tuck would have been just fine without his new “friends.”

It’s OK, buddy.  You may not have fallen puppy love with Bailey or Libby, but I could not be more proud of your performance.  If we had tried this three weeks ago, I’m sure the outcome would not have been nearly as serene.  As much as I’d love for you to become BFF’s with every dog you meet, I will settle for passive indifference – well done, sir!

To adopt Tucker, fill out an application at Agape Animal Rescue.

 

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Sometimes the Secret to Success is Knowing When to Ask for Help…

Well Tucker you’ve done it.  You’ve stumped foster parents. 

We admit, we had thought pretty highly of our dog training abilities – after all, most everyone who meets him tells us that Oscar is one of the best behaved, well trained dogs they know.  He may not know a ton of fancy tricks, but he won’t jump on you, bolt for the door when it’s open or steal food off your plate.  Our success with Oscar had us feeling pretty good.  “Of course we can foster.  We can train dogs, just look how well we did with Oscar…he’s the most perfectest dog in the entire world!”

Turns out Oscar had us spoiled.  We just happened to seriously hit the puppy jackpot with Oscar’s temperament, which was impossible to predict the day we sprung him from the shelter.  He’s super smart, obedient and well….quite frankly, lazy.  Even in his puppy days, Oscar was quite content to laze around on the couch – once we threw the “no dogs on the couch” rule out the window, that is.

Tucker, on the other hand…we’re stumped.  Don’t get me wrong, he’s come extremely far, and is doing GREAT at a lot of things.  However there are some habits that we just can’t seem to break on our own.   He still gets nervous around other dogs, especially in multiple dog situations.  He’s, let’s just say “vocal” towards the dogs on the other side of the fence in our backyard.  Oh, and there’s this:

Enter: Cathy, a foster and trainer used by Agape from time to time.  So tomorrow, Tucker is headed away to spend about a week with Cathy and her pack for some intensive doggie boot camp training. 

We’re sure going to miss the crap out of that little nugget, but I’m choosing to approach this week without him as a dry run to mentally prepare myself for what remains our ultimate goal: to get him adopted, pat him on the head and send him off to live with his People, forever. 

Make me proud, buddy. 

For information on adopting Tucker, visit Agape Animal Rescue.

 

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Tucker Sees a Ghost

I’m not sure what other explanation there could possibly be for this Halloween behavior: 

I just hope it’s friendly. 

To adopt this little ghostbuster, fill out an application at Agape Animal Rescue

 

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Tricks for Treats

Happy Halloween from Foster House!  This weekend we thought we’d let Tucker show off a little, and share some of the tricks he’s learned to earn his treats:

 

 

 

Keep in mind, this was a dog who, less than four short weeks ago, didn’t know his name, had absolutely zero training, and was an overall nervous wreck.  I’d say he’s gained some confidence, wouldn’t you?

  To adopt this little Einstein, contact Agape Animal Rescue.

 

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Tucker’s Perfect People

Tucker has had spotty interest from potential families since he came to stay with us a few weeks ago.  His most promising prospect was a couple who saw him online and put in an application for him.  They met him at the adoption fair last weekend, and wanted to move forward with the next step, which would have been a home visit with Tucker, a representative from Agape, and either myself or Dave.  The couple ended up changing their minds before the home visit could take place, which of course they are entitled to do – they didn’t think Tuck would be a good fit with them and their other dog, and if you think a dog won’t be a good fit with your family, then it won’t. 

The thing is, regarding people – Tucker is one of the most trusting dogs I have ever met.  You can pick him up, turn him over on his back with his head hanging off of your arm, and he doesn’t flinch.  He lets you look in his mouth, touch his feet, and rub his sleepies out of his eyes.  But when it comes to other dogs, Tucker can be a little…hmm, how to put this…Particular? Selective? Finicky?  Maybe we’ll just say, slow to warm up. 

To help any future potential adopters get a good idea of what to expect when introducing Tucker into a new home, let’s back up to Tucker’s first few days with us….the first night we met Tuck, a representative from Agape brought him over to see how he’d do with our own little fur-man.  We went for a walk, all the while Tucker showed about zero interest in Oscar, he spent most the time straining against the leash.  We got back to our house and let them run around a bit in the back yard, where mostly Tucker sniffed, and Oscar watched.  Tucker did eventually start getting closer to Oscar, and partook in the butt-sniffing dance. They even played and chased a little bit, but Tuck was extremely nervous, and when it got to be too much for him (which it did, pretty quickly), the hackles went up and the teeth came out. Lucky for Tucker, Oscar is a VERY patient dog, and did not seem to mind getting snapped at by a stranger in his own yard.  We separated the dogs, Tucker went back to the boarding facility that night and foster dad and I were left to decide if we were willing to work with Tucker, who may turn out to be a tougher case than we had originally thought. 

Well, have you seen the pictures? How could we turn down Oscar’s mini me? 

Answer: we couldn’t.  We just had to try. So the next day, our Foster Rep with Agape, Kirsten, brought Tucker back over with supplies. We went on another walk and then back to the back yard, then finally inside.  I’m not going to sugar coat it, that first night and the following few days were tense.  Tucker would go from avoiding Oscar all together to full on play – but we’d have to keep a close eye on them and separate them quickly if the play got too rough.  Which, at some points, it definitely did (snarling, snapping, teeth showing, etc).  Once they were separated, Tucker immediately went into submissive mode and rolled over on his back, totally on his own.  We would give them both some time out away from each other and let them try again.  This cycle repeated itself for a while, with constant supervision, lots of treats and praise when the play went well, and lots of breaks when things got tense. 

Fast forward three weeks, and we’ve got a completely different Tucker on our hands.  He and Oscar are best of buddies.  They still need supervision, but they can play on their own and self-moderate their play session completely.  Tucker is learning quickly what kind of play is “appropriate” and what is not.   He has completely come out his nervous little shell and the transformation has been absolutely amazing to watch. 

We think that the snapping and snarling comes when he’s nervous or uneasy about what’s going on, or when he just gets completely over-excited.  They key to introducing him into his forever home if it has another dog in it is going to be going slo-o-o-o-o-owly. Tucker’s People are going to have to commit to working with him to gain confidence around other dogs, through rules, routine and discipline.  We don’t know what happened in Tucker’s past to make him act this way around other dogs, but we do know that Tucker’s perfect People will have lots of patience, and that their patience will be rewarded.  Tucker may never be a “dog park dog,” but then again he might.  Tucker’s only been with us three weeks, but he’s still progressing every day.  I can’t wait to get updates from his People to see how amazing he’ll be doing a year from now!

To adopt Tucker, contact Agape Animal Rescue.

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Tucker’s Big Adventure

Fully aware that I have been a slacker in the posting department this past week, I’m sharing an old story that I wrote a few weeks ago, but wasn’t sure I wanted to share.  This little event happened the very first weekend Tucker was with us.  At the time, it was a very traumatic experience, and I thought it painted us as horrible, neglectful foster parents.  Looking back, it was really quite funny, and since no harm came of the entire ordeal, I thought what the heck – at the very least it can help Tucker’s future People make sure they’re prepared from the beginning… 

Remember how I’ve shared that Tucker is an escape artist?  Well this weekend he reminded us that you can’t take your eyes of him, even for a moment, if the door is open.  He’s sneaky, he’s curious, and he’s FAST.

This past Sunday morning, as we were about to leave for breakfast, Tucker made a break for it.  The door was open for a split second and out he went, through the yard and up the street and out of view.  My heart literally stopped.  As Foster Dad followed him, at a casual pace as not to lend to the game of “chase,” calling his name cheerfully, I flipped out.  Oscar knew immediately something was wrong as I went tearing to the back of the house to get my shoes, threw them on my feet (not bothering to care that they were from two different pairs), grabbed the leash and the dog treats and ran after Foster Dad.  By the time I caught up with him, we were in the yard of what we call the Cat House, three houses up from ours.  These folks have feline friends in numbers that I can only estimate to be somewhere in the double digits, who come and go as they please through a cat door cut in their front porch.  Well it might as well have been Christmas for Tucker – the smells!  The freedom!  The CATS to chase!!  Looking back on the incident, after my heart re-started, it was absolutely hilarious watching Tuck literally bound like a deer around their yard, chasing after cats he had no prayer of actually catching. 

“Tucker!  Come!” (At this point, Tucker barely responded to his name, let alone “come.”) 

“Want a treat??”  (While Tuck is fully aware of what freeze dried liver is, and that he LOVES it, he certainly did not know it as “treat.”)

While he was distracted by the felines we thought we might have a shot of catching him, but he saw us and turned on his little paw and bounded off towards the back of their house, and over a drop off in their back yard to the street behind our house.  At this point, I am FREAKING OUT – he’s gone for good, no one will ever be able to catch him, we’re going to get black balled from our rescue’s foster list, ultimate foster fail. 

Foster Dad, thank GAWD, kept a clear head.   In situations like this when I am a complete basket case, I respond best to direct orders, so when he turned to me and said, “Go get the car!” I jumped to action.  I took off running in my mis-matched flip flops.  I ran to the house to grab the car keys and back to the front porch.  Thinking twice, I turned around to grab Oscar to bring him along, thinking maybe he could entice Tucker back to us.  Like I said, Oscar knew something was wrong, so he obediently sat while I clipped his collar and leash on him with shaking hands, and ran with me to the car.  Now Oscar doesn’t really care for the car all that much – while he’s very athletic and can leap to the top of a picnic table from a stand still, the back seat of my Accord poses a huge challenge for him.  Not today – jumped right inside, and I made a mental note to reward Oscar with the biggest peanut butter stuffed Kong he’s ever seen if we successfully get Tucker back in one piece.

By the time I got Oscar in the car, Foster Dad had gotten back too and jumped in the drivers’ side.  The Hollywood driving outta him I saw that morning was nothing short of impressive.  We tore around the block to the street behind our house, to where we had last seen Tucker disappear to.  Foster Dad spotted him darting between two houses.  We pulled into their driveway, tires squealing, he jumped out and ran to the back yard while I grabbed Oscar.  When we got to the back of the house, there was Tucker, having the absolute time of his life.  As soon as he saw Oscar he ran right up to us – Foster Dad gave him a treat and scooped him right up. 

The entire ordeal couldn’t have lasted more than 10 minutes, but it felt like hours, and definitely took at least a year off my life.  Thankfully, Tucker got home safe, and perhaps this little event will help Tuck’s People to always remember to guard the door with your life – Tucker’s might depend on it!

To adopt this little Houdini, please contact Agape Animal Rescue.

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MARS Petcare Adoption Fair

Tucker attended his very first adoption event this weekend.  It was hosted by MARS Petcare in Cool Springs, TN, and is one of the largest annual adoption fairs in the area.  Tucker had a great time, made lots of new friends, stole plenty of hearts, and came home EXHAUSTED!  Foster Dad got to fly solo due to Foster Mom’s work schedule, so the boys got to spend a nice day out together. 

Tucker even scored a sweet new vest.  Doesn’t he look handsome in it?

So, did Tucker score anything else besides some sweet swag and a fun day out with Foster Dad – say maybe, some People of his very own?  Time will tell….

 

To adopt Tucker, visit Agape Animal Rescue.

 

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Dreamin’ of Furever

Tucker completely zonked out after his big day on Saturday.  Here he is, dreaming of…hmm…probably meeting his furever family and giving them lots of kisses.

To adopt Tucker, visit Agape Animal Rescue.

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