In this time of uncertainty, we would like to brighten up your news feed with an uplifting, heartwarming story about one of our very own members of the Doggone Fun! Family:
Meet Levi. Levi has been attending Doggone Fun! Since February 12, 2020. He comes to daycare Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week. We wanted to share Levi’s story.
Levi was about six months old when Bill and his wife adopted him from the Vancouver Human Society. Not much is known about Levi’s history other than he was in the Tall Tales Rescue Center in Texas and brought to Vancouver, WA by “Last Chance to Washington” this past August.
Levi is very scared of people, but loves dogs. His parents worked very hard to gain his trust. He lives with his human parents and three other dogs. Levi’s dad, Bill, contacted Doggone Fun! in February inquiring about Daycare for Levi because he had severe separation anxiety and was destroying their house and furniture. After a long conversation we decided to give Levi a try at daycare.
On Levi’s first day of daycare, he was very unsure and would not come into the lobby. His dad had to carry him in and place him in the play yard. At first Levi stayed in the corner near one of the igloos and just watched everything that was going on. He soon started wandering around the yard, making sure to stay as far away from the staff as possible. He showed interest in the other dogs but would not come near the staff. In fact we had to gate off one section of the daycare so Levi’s dad could come in to the yard and leash him up to take him home.
For Levi’s next visit Bill decided to bring one of his other dogs with Levi as a companion. This helped him feel confident enough to walk into the lobby and into the yard on leash. Levi stayed and his companion went home. We noticed he spent much more time walking around the yard, was much more interested in the other dogs and was also coming closer to the staff. He still kept about a 6 foot distance from us, but not all the way across the room as he had been before. When it was getting close to pick up time, instead of fencing off the play yard, were able to open a gate to the side area and Levi walked in on his own. We gave him a bed, water and treats while he waited for his dad who then came into the side area to leash him up to go home.
Over time, Levi was able to walk into the daycare without his companion animal. In fact after about 2 or 3 weeks his stared pulling his dad to get into the yard. We were so thrilled. Levi also has the “go home” routine down pat. We open the side gate, call his name, and he runs in the side area, lays on his bed, eats his treat and waits for his dad. We now just open the gate and door to the lobby and he runs from the side area to his dad in the lobby.
Levi has been attending daycare regularly for just over a month now, and we are seeing incredible progress. He now likes to come lay by the fence near the staff during down time, just a few feet away from us and has even taken a treat or two from the staff’s hands! Levi has also started to show his playful side. He has made a couple of doggy friends that he loves to wrestle and run around with, especially in the mornings. Levi is always one of the first dogs to arrive in the morning, and he gets so excited when his friends show up. Especially his best bud Tommi! Tommi was very gentle with Levi at first. She could tell he was a little nervous and needed some extra time to warm up. This is Tommi’s specialty. Now that Levi is more comfortable and confident, Tommi will come running into the yard in the morning and go bounding over to her friend, ready to romp and run with him.
It brings us so much joy watching Levi open up and gain confidence in himself. He is slowly learning to trust the staff, and is building strong bonds with many of our dogs here. He is beginning to understand and trust that this is a safe and fun place. He is now comfortable walking all the way into the play yard in the mornings.
Levi still has a long way to go and we are making sure it happens on Levi’s time and that it is a positive process, but we are beyond happy with the amazing progress we have seen him make in such a short period of time. All of the staff here at Doggone Fun! are so passionate about animals and their well-being and we are grateful to have the opportunity to positively impact Levi’s life. It has truly been an incredible experience for all of us.