🏡 Someone home much of day/ low alone hours
🌱 Safe and secured fenced yard
🐶 Canine companion of similar size & temperament
💜 Gentle children okay
Back in November one lone 6 year old, one eyed Cavalier boy stood on the auction block at the USDA auction house in Wheaton, Missouri. Although he was destined to be purchased by another puppy miller and never know life outside the mill, he won the doggie lottery that day when we won his bid and swept him off the block and out of puppy mill hell, forever. His number, 161, was replaced by a name, Gideon. It's now been 4 months since then and Gideon has had a taste of freedom, health, love, and family and is now looking for his perfect furever home to ensure that for him for the rest of his life.
When 6 year old Gideon (DOB 8/21/2014) arrived he was scrawny, filthy, badly stained, weak and suffering from painful ear infections and advanced dental disease. Because he had lived in confinement his whole life and had no opportunity for activity or exercise he had muscle atrophy and joint stiffness. We started Gideon on a daily joint supplement and along with good nutrition and daily activity he has gained so much strength, stability, and range of motion where he is now able to run and climb stairs. Gideon will go home with a bag of his joint supplements and we recommend that his family continue these for life. He is also on a daily Omega supplement that helps promote healthy skin and coat.
We treated Gideon for ear infections and he underwent a much needed neuter and dental in our care where he lost 14 bad teeth that he doesn't miss a bit. Because of years of neglected ear infections, Gideon has diminished hearing. All of his labwork including his heartworm test, tick borne illness test, urinalysis, and fecal test was normal and negative. We will never know what happened to the eye that was removed but his other eye is clear and his tear production is within normal range. A significant heart murmur was detected at his vetting so he saw a veterinary cardiologist for a full cardiac evaluation and echocardiogram. Although Gideon has a "loud" audible murmur (grade 4) due to mitral valve disease, the function and structure of his heart is still good and there have only been mild changes. No medications are recommended at this time but any progression of the disease needs to be closely monitored through repeat echocardiograms performed by a veterinary cardiologist. He is due for his next echo in December 2021. Gideon is now up to date on vaccinations, neutered, had a recent dental, microchipped, and on monthly preventatives. He is not currently on any prescription medications.
Gideon is typical in size and at his ideal weight of about 19 pounds. His blenheim coat has grown in beautifully and all outwardly signs of puppy mill life is now gone. He is obviously thriving off all the TLC, love, and nutrition he is receiving as his transformation over such a short amount of time is remarkable! Gideon eats his Fromm meals twice a day with a little bone broth on top. He is a good eater and finishes his meals but prefers to eat with his 'blind side' against a wall - this helps him feel less vulnerable and more secure. Puppy mill dogs can be finicky about bowls so we will be sure to send him home with the bowl he is used to eating out of to help with his transition. To ensure he remains at his healthy and ideal weight, his forever family must be committed to continuing his strictly portioned meals, limited healthy treats, and daily activity.
This is the first time Gideon has lived in a home environment before so potty training was brand new. He has made great strides with his training but will need continued training and long term reinforcement as all puppy mill dogs do. Gideon needs to be given frequent opportunities to be successful by taking him out first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and every few hours in between including right after meals. You should not expect Gideon to 'alert' you that he needs to go out, rather it is important that his family take the initiative to take him outside regularly. Gideon is treat motivated and so a special high value treat following good potty behavior will help with reinforcement. While he still prefers to do his business on the concrete versus the grass, as grass is foreign to puppy mill dogs, he has gotten more and more comfortable running through and exploring in the grass. While Gideon has made great progress with his potty training please know that accidents are to be expected, especially initially while transitioning to a new environment and routine. A 'belly band' can be used initially and for short periods of time to help manage accidents during the transition.
Gideon's foster family describe him as sweet, loving, and calm. They say, "he is the sweetest boy, gives kisses freely, and prefers lots of snuggles!" In true Cavalier fashion, Gideon is all about companionship both in human and canine form and likes to have friends around. He spends much of his day with his foster family on the main floor of the home with frequent opportunities outside for potty and fresh air. He prefers to camp out on the couch which is like his "safe spot" where he can observe from. He uses pet steps to get on and off the couch but with his increased strength, he sometimes bypasses them and makes a jump up. During short periods of time when no humans are home, Giden stays in a comfy crate. He would also do well in a safe, puppy proofed area of the home. Gideon is happiest being with you though and after 6 years of no human interaction and attention, we are seeking a home for him where someone can be with him much of the day and where he would experience low alone hours. At night, Gideon sleeps in the big bed with his foster family where he claims the pillow spot right above his foster mom's head! We are seeking a family who will invite him into the big bed where all cavaliers belong.
Gideon has some issues with depth perception, thresholds, and slippery flooring and needs some time to acclimate himself to the home layout and different surfaces. He can be very cautious on hardwood floors, and does best with runner rugs and area rugs throughout the house which give him the confidence to be able to freely move about the home. He can manage carpeted steps and outdoor deck steps fine but if there are hardwood stairs in the home we will ask that carpet treads be put down for his safety and sense of security. He is still quite fearful of doorways which is very typical for puppy mill dogs and needs some encouragement and patience shown when going through them. Because he is treat motivated his foster family has been practicing having him walk through with the help of a high value treat and much positive reinforcement. That said, he is still very cautious to walk through them on his own and this aversion is going to take much more time to overcome.
Gideon shares his foster home with several other Cavaliers and 4 feline furiends where there is no shortage of companionship. He gets along very well with all his furry foster siblings but is closest to another older adult Cavalier who like him is gentle, mild, calm, and laid back. He would be happiest and thrive best in a home with at least one other Cavalier, or other dog of similar size and temperament, for both companionship and leadership. While he doesn't engage in 'play' with other dogs, he does enjoy snuggling with them and just being among them, and he will continue to learn from and gain confidence from a well adjusted resident dog who will readily welcome him into the home and allow him to stick close by. He would also cohabitate well with a feline furiend who is dog socialized and friendly.
While inside the home Gideon prefers to camp out at his safe spot on the couch, he is increasingly becoming more and more confident, playful, and excited when outdoors even running down the ramp and taking a few laps of the zoomies! He needs a home with a safe and secured fenced yard for pottying purposes and to enjoy his new found freedom in. Gideon is not yet comfortable being on leash and should not be asked or expected to walk on a leash until he is ready and much further along in his rehabilitation. It is not appropriate nor safe for him at this time. Because of his impaired vision and limited hearing it is very important that Gideon is absolutely never "off leash" and outside of a safe and secured fenced area. A stroller is a great way for Gideon to participate in neighborhood "walks" and because he is a fantastic traveler in his car seat, car rides are another great and safe way to do socialization and continue to expose him to more of the world.
Although humans have treated Gideon badly in the past, this sweet boy continues to be trusting and loving. As long as you slowly and gently introduce yourself to him, Gideon is happy to meet you and welcomes gentle love and attention from all. He loves lap time and couch snuggle time and just being close and cuddly with his people. He has had some interactions with children while in our care and does well with them. We feel he would do well in an adult only home or a home with gentle children who know how to engage with him respectfully, gently, and appropriately. He can be easily startled if someone or something comes up on his "blind side" so care should be taken to make a habit out of approaching him on his "eye side". He would not do well in a noisy, busy, active home and needs a family with the time to really shower him with the time, love, and attention that he has missed out on for so long.
Gideon has been given a second chance at life but carries with him some 'baggage' from his puppy mill past. He will need a loving and supportive home with humans who are willing to love, nurture, and patiently support him as he continues to adjust to this new life. Gideon will continue to grow and bloom in the right environment - he needs a home with a safe and secured fenced yard, safe stairs, and another mild canine companion for companionship and leadership. He needs a family with someone who can be with him much of the day, continue to work with him on his training and safe socialization, and continue his cardiac care needs. The rehabilitation and confidence building of a puppy mill dog is long term and ongoing and so it is very important that his family does not have too great of expectations for him to be able to accomplish things, even what may be basic things like walking with ease through a doorway - some things he may never be able to do, and others in due time, or with special accommodations. But helping and loving a mill dog is an extremely rewarding and special experience and the love you pour in to Gideon will be returned tenfold. If you feel you are the perfect match for him, please complete an Adoption Application found on our website (TheCavalierRescue.org) and then email us at CavalierRescueAL@gmail.com to express your interest. Gideon is being fostered in Troy, Missouri (travel there is required), and his requested adoption donation is $350.