- Gender: Male
- Age: 8 yrs
- Size: 72 lbs
- Color: Blue
- Cats: Yes
- Dogs: Yes
- Kids: No
- Traits: Deaf
Remember the old song lyrics: "Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, and the other, gold." Our deaf boy, Keller, has quite a different philosophy. His old friends are indeed gold, but new friends are nonexistent. As an adolescent, Keller stopped making new human friends. He became fearful and displayed aggressive behavior around new people. Sadly, all strangers are now destined to stay strangers in Keller's mind. Although Keller has repeated Shy Dogs training classes three times, he still cannot be trusted with strangers. Keller easily learned to follow hand signals and excelled in offering creative behaviors during clicker games; however, he could never be convinced to let the instructor touch him. So Keller became an ACES Safe Haven setter.
Keller is absolutely devoted to his foster family. He has good manners in the house, and he responds to hand signals better than his hearing siblings respond to voice commands. He likes to sleep on the foot of his foster mom's bed, and he's the first in line for attention every morning. One of Keller's favorite games is to run back and forth between his foster mom's legs, getting his bum scratched along the way. Another favorite is tennis-ball soccer. Keller will hold 2 tennis balls in his mouth while batting a 3rd ball throughout the house with first one paw, then the other. All the pups know to clear the way when they see Keller running down the hall in soccer mode. After a recent snow, Keller was the dog who played like a puppy. He ran and jumped, threw snow up in the air with his nose, played chase with his foster mom, and grinned from ear to ear the whole time.
Rescues are often asked to take in dogs that are described as wonderful, loving dogs, but have some aggressive tendencies toward people or other dogs. That description fits Keller to a T. In most respects, Keller is a happy, loving dog, but living with aggression is not easy. Guests can never enter the house unless Keller is crated. Keller's foster family put in a 6' privacy fence so there was no chance of neighborhood children being bitten. The gates are locked to ensure others cannot walk into the yard. Keller's vet visits are also difficult. Although his veterinarian tries to make friends with him every visit, Keller is not receptive. He must be muzzled and held by his foster mom to be sedated before he can be examined. While Keller is usually good with other dogs, he fiercely resource-guards his food and favorite treats, such as rawhide bones. When other dogs tread too close, Keller's outbursts have caused injuries requiring first aid at home, along with a couple Emergency Vet visits. As a result, Keller eats in a separate room and his foster family is careful to never give highly valued items unless Keller is crated until all the other dogs finish.
Keller has been with his foster family since he was 3 months old, and he just turned 8 years old in March. He would probably be surprised to learn that he's an ACES Safe Haven setter since he knows that he's been "home" all these years. At 72 lbs, he's confident of his place as the "Big Dog" of the family. He's a lover, a protector, and once in a while, a bit of a bully. But you can't help but smile when you see his wide grin. Life with Keller is often delightful, sometimes challenging, but never boring. Keller and his foster family wouldn't have it any other way.
We'd like to be one of Keller's special friends. Glad he is making progress. Who would have guessed Keller would take to puppies? That's great to see.
Keller sends his thanks and a flying "nose poke" to his new friend Pamela Miller!
Many thanks to the Warfields: Heidi, Bonnie, Carmen & Mike
Keller sends a big thank you to his friends Lisa Rigsby Griffith & Dell Direct Giving Campaign
Keller is excited to have a new friend, Marti Hyland. Thank you, Marti!