Manchester Veterinary Clinic

156 Spencer Street
Manchester, CT 06040

(860)646-5170

www.manchestervetclinic.com

Layla's Homecoming

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Publish Date: 9/27/2018 10:10 AM

By Toni Nelson

When we were looking to add a second dog to our family, we scoured PetFinder and came up with 3 profiles we as a family could agree on. One was this little black puppy named “Stella.” We applied to adopt her before even meeting her. We had to wait about two weeks before we could meet her because she was from Mississippi and still had to be driven up to Connecticut.  When we did finally get to meet her and take her home, it was myself, my husband Josh, our youngest son Xander, and our current dog at the time, Daisy. We all fell in love with her the moment she was placed in our arms; she just melted into us and seemed like the sweetest 12-week-old puppy. The only thing we noticed that was wrong with her was a large scar down her back. To this day, we are still not sure how she got it; most likely we think it was caused by sunburn or an over the counter flea product that had been discontinued years before she was born. A few other littermates had the same scar. I think in her early weeks she probably didn’t have a lot of interaction with humans. Once we got her home, she was slow to warm up to living with humans and she didn’t always want to interact with us. Her favorite place to be was under the kitchen table because it was the hardest place for the humans to reach. But she did enjoy cuddling up with Daisy and she was even warming up to the house cat, Ed, nicely. We took Layla everywhere we could to socialize her: pet stores, Evergreen Walk, puppy play groups, and training classes. She was the star of her puppy kindergarten class, and it was easy to tell she really enjoyed learning and was very eager to please even though she still was not super excited about interactions with humans. She would shy away from being petted, and would struggle to get out of our arms when we held her. She almost never willingly came to us for attention unless we had food.

Layla is Home – Manchester Veterinary Clinic – Trusted Vets For Your Pets

Layla out and About – Manchester Veterinary Clinic – Trusted Vets For Your Pets

Layla at School – Manchester Veterinary Clinic – Trusted Vets For Your Pets

Layla hiding with furry siblings – Manchester Veterinary Clinic – Trusted Vets For Your Pets

Layla at the MVC – Manchester Veterinary Clinic – Trusted Vets For Your Pets

Layla’s first visit to Manchester Veterinary Clinic went well. She was very happy to be at the office, and was described as being “quiet, inquisitive, treat-motivated, and well behaved.” That wonderful vet office behavior did not last long. Her second visit, she was extremely aggressive, and this was very shocking to all. We had a long discussion with Dr. Soutter about her behavior and how to train her to use a basket muzzle and tolerate lots of touching of her when it was not her idea. We had been doing some of touch training, mostly accustoming her to let us touch her ears, paws, and look in her mouth. But as far as hugging (restraining) her, we didn’t always push that because Layla would growl. So we left MVC that day a little shocked and overwhelmed, and promptly ordered a basket muzzle and started training her to use it. We always made it happy; she would get lots of treats, she would wear it to school and for walks, so that she would associate it with happy places and good things happening. We also worked more on happy touching, treating her when she didn’t put up a fight or growl at us. Layla had a rough first year living with us, health wise, so she did have to go to Manchester Veterinary Clinic often.

  

Layla’s first night home with Daisy – Manchester Veterinary Clinic – Trusted Vets For Your Pets

Layla back at the vet....safety first – Manchester Veterinary Clinic – Trusted Vets For Your Pets

Layla sharing Daisy's bed – Manchester Veterinary Clinic – Trusted Vets For Your Pets

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