Rayven was a shelter dog that could destroy any space if left alone for five minutes. It seemed that he would never find a home, but with a little love and a little help, Rayven found his place when he became a crucial member of an all-rescue dog sled team.
The purebred German shorthaired pointer was a stray dog that came into the Otsego County Animal Shelter in Michigan. He can be a calm and happy dog when comfortable, but finding him a home proved to be a challenge. Rayven was adopted and returned three times. Though sweet, this dog was also destructive.
“He tore up insulation in a garage and window blinds in a house,” said Kris Foguth, animal control officer and clerk at the shelter. “We lent a dog cage to one of our adoptive parents and he tore that up, too. He tore down a door and he could jump high fences.”
Luckily Rayven was at a no-kill shelter, but it seemed that he might never find a real home. A dog behaviorist was sent for. It was determined that he had separation anxiety, which can cause dogs to feel so stressed when their loved ones leave that they bark, howl, relieve themselves, chew, dig, try to escape or mutilate themselves. He was put on the “hard to place” list, but staff hadn’t given up hope.
Lynn and Andrew Fabbo moved to Gaylord, MI in 2007 when they retired from the Coast Guard. They have since befriended those at the shelter, and have helped a number of its occupants.
“We’ve been dog lovers for a long time,” Lynn said. “So many years of our lives were spent rescuing people and saving lives. There’s no chance we’ll be rescuing people from hurricanes here, but we decided we could still make a difference rescuing lives at the animal shelter.”
Through Lynn’s Facebook page, many matches have been made with hard-to-place dogs and patient, dedicated dog lovers. For a destructive dog like Rayven, it would take someone exceptional.
“I contacted Lynzie Bacchus and she drove two hours one way to adopt Rayven,” Lynn said. “She clocked him at 22 miles an hour and the next day he was in a sled-dog harness with five other dogs as part of an all-rescue dog sled team.”
Lynzie is an 18-year seasoned dog trainer who runs the Lady Luck Kennel in Fowler, MI. The kennel offers dog sled rides, training and K9 Search and Recovery. In addition, people can learn how to train their dogs on her website, http://ladyluckkennel.net/.
German shorthaired pointers are large, strong dogs that were bred for hunting. They can be unruly and destructive if they are not trained properly and insufficiently exercised. Being part of a dog sled team might be just what Rayven needed.
In only a few short weeks, and after receiving some much needed companionship and exercise, Rayven became rescue dog. Soon, he will be taking the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizens test, and then will be certified as a therapy dog.
Lynzie recently brought Rayven by the shelter for a visit on their way to a dog sled race. Staff members were amazed at his transformation. He went from anxious and despondent to relaxed and content.
Lynn is happy for Lynzie and Rayven. She and her husband foster some hard-to-place dogs, and have adopted two Northern breeds from the shelter.
“We both are fitness fanatics, so we were looking for the right dogs to run with here,” Lynn said. “That’s why we chose Northern breeds. Shelter dogs do not mean broken dogs.”