RUGER | CANTON, GEORGIA
AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION
🏡 Someone home much of the day/ low alone time
🌱 Safe and secured fenced yard
🐶 Canine companion of similar size & temperament
💜 Gentle children okay
Back in February we rescued precious Ruger off the auction block and out of the puppy mill industry. Ruger turned 7 years old in March (3/18/2014) and is finally getting a shot at the kind of life he always deserved. We have now addressed all his medical issues and he continues to do well transitioning into life outside the ‘mill’. He is now ready for his perfect forever family who will continue to support him and show him all the life and love that he has missed out on for so long.
Ruger's medical needs had been grossly neglected in the puppy mill and so he arrived with bad ear infections, advanced dental disease, muscle atropthy, interdigital cysts, and evidence of a bad burn along his back. Between the poor condition of his paws from living on wire all of his life, and his lack of muscle and strength, the poor guy could barely tolerate walking on the ground when he first arrived and could not tolerate much time on his feet. We treated him for his sores and infections and he also underwent a much needed neuter and dental losing 7 bad teeth that he doesn't miss a bit. All of Ruger's labwork including his heartworm and tick borne illness test, fecal test, urinalysis, and bloodwork are normal and negative. He is also still congenitally sound with clear eyes, hips, knees, and heart which is impressive for a 7 year old Cavalier!
Ruger has gained so much strength and stability over the past few months just through everyday normal activity but his hind end is still weak and any activity needs to be gentle and short duration as he tires easily. The condition of his paws have greatly improved but understand that the benign cysts that form in between his toes are chronic and may reoccur although typically the recurrence rate reduces over time. If/when they do form, these cysts are very manageable with Epsom salt paw soaks and some antibacterial topical care. We believe the scarring on his back is due to a past chemical burn. While this appears to be old trauma and nothing to treat at this point, we do gently massage some 'balm' into the affected area which we will give to his family. Ruger is now up to date on vaccinations, neutered, had a recent dental, is microchipped, and on monthly preventatives. He is not on any medications and does not require any additional vetting outside of regular wellness checks at this time.
Ruger is an absolutely darling boy who is larger in size and at his ideal weight of 25 pounds. He eats his meals twice a day and is a slower eater, taking his time so he may need to be separated or supervised with other dogs around to be sure they do not eat his food. He seems to be a better eater at night when the house is calm and there is less noise, activity and distractions. He is a big drinker so his foster family is always sure to frequently refill the water bowl. Once he figured out treats he was sold, and loves his Fromm cheese treats and Crunchy-Os which we will be sure to send home with him. His forever family should remain committed to maintaining his ideal weight and best health by continuing his strictly portioned meals, limited healthy treats, and daily gentle activity.
Ruger had never been in a home environment before arriving into rescue so potty training is brand new and ongoing. He is doing very well with it when he is taken out very frequently. He is not having any overnight accidents but does need to be taken out first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and every couple hours in between giving him little opportunity for having an accident inside, which is key. He will not signal or alert you that he needs to go out so it is up to his family to stay on top of taking him out. He does love treats and so reinforcing his good potty behaviors with a special high value treat will help with continued training and positive reinforcement. While Ruger may have an occasional accident, he is not a "marker" and does not mark inside the home. Please know that accidents are always to be expected especially initially while he transitions to a new environment and routine.
Ruger's foster family describes him as a "laid back, quiet, and sleepy fella. He is an 'old soul' and a watcher of the world around him." In true Cavalier fashion, he just wants to be with you and wants to be a part of the family and included. While he likes to be near you, close to you, and touching you, he doesn't like for you to be right up in his face and is uncomfortable when you pass that boundary. Ruger really is a simple guy who appreciates the simple things in life - sleeping, sunshine, peace, quiet, gentle love, and treats (duh!) He is also enjoying his outdoor freedom in the backyard where he will leisurely wander around or sunbathe. He is content to lay at his foster mom's feet during the day when she works and can also be found atop the pile of clean laundry - one of his favorite spots! Living in a puppy mill Ruger has been denied even the most basic and simple of things so it is no wonder that they have such high value to him now.
Ruger spends much of his day with his foster mom who works from home. He spends his day laying at her feet with frequent outings in the yard for pottying and fresh air. In the afternoons he goes along for the ride to pick up his human foster siblings from school, activities, and practices. He is a great travel companion, riding in his boosted car seat, and loves to be included. We are seeking a home for him where someone can be with him much of the day and where he will be included in appropriate errands and activities instead of being left at home. During the short periods of time when no humans are home, he stays in a spacious xpen with one of his cavalier foster siblings where there is water and comfy beds. He would also do well in a puppy proofed gated off area of the home. Because of his puppy mill past, we certainly do not recommend that he is crated or strictly confined in any other way. At night, he sleeps in the big bed where all cavaliers belong and sleeps soundly down by his foster mom's feet.
Because of his weaker hind end, Ruger relies on pet steps to safely get on and off the couch and bed. We will ask that his furever family have these steps in the home so that Ruger can continue to safely and independently access his favorite snoozing spots. He would also be happiest with a safe and secured fenced yard in his home which will help him be most successful with his continued pottying training and where he can continue to enjoy his outdoor freedom. We do believe that he is deaf or hard of hearing and so it is very important for his safety that he is always supervised outside and always leashed if outside of a safe and secured fenced area. He has been introduced to a leash and has some gained some practice under his belt during foster care but we would recommend that his family move slowly and gently with his leash walking both because of his physical weakness but also for his safety as everything is still brand new to him.
Ruger shares his foster home with 3 other Cavalier brothers who he gets along with very well. While he does not engage in play with them, he does watch them and follows their lead to know what he is supposed to be doing since he is still learning about being in a home and apart of a family. He can often be found cuddled up with one of them and certainly enjoys their companionship. We feel he will thrive and progress best with the leadership and companionship of another Cavalier, or another dog of similar size and temperament, in the home. He would enjoy sharing his home with another mild mannered, well behaved, quiet, laid back adult dog who also chooses naptime over play time. He has not been around any cats while in our care so we are unsure how he would do living with a feline furiend.
He also shares his foster home with gentle children who know how to respectfully and appropriately engage with him. We feel he would do well in an adult only home or a home with gentle kiddos who can understand and respect his puppy mill past. He does appreciate a more peaceful and quiet environment so he would not do well in a loud, busy, or chaotic home or a with a busy family who doesn't have the time to really devote to him - after 7 years of no human love or attention it is very important to us that we find a family who can make him a priority and an important part of the family.
Ruger is still timid and cautious with people and certainly has every right and reason to approach humans in the way after the neglect and abuse he has endured at their hands. Once shown gentle love and with ample time allowed, he does warm up and welcomes pets and affection. Quick and sudden movements, too much activity, or too many people will startle and scare him to his family should not expose him to overwhelming situations and take care to continue to gently expose him to new people, places and things. Like all puppy mill dogs, he needs to be shown a lot of grace and a lot of patience and his family needs to have realistic expectations for him and his growth. His family must understand that developing a bond and establishing trust will not happen overnight and that laying that foundation will take time and effort.
Ruger is an absolutely precious boy who will be such a great addition to his perfect match family. He has come such a long way in such a short period of time and we know in the right home and family he will continue to thrive. We are thrilled that we were able to give him a shot at a second chance at life and are seeking a family who will shower him with all the gentle love, patience, time, and attention to make up for the first 7 years of his life. If you feel you are the perfect fit for Ruger, please complete an Adoption Application found on our website (TheCavalierRescue.org) and then email us at CavalierRescueAL@gmail.com to express your interest. Ruger is located in Canton, Georgia (travel there is required) and his requested adoption donation is $450.