Stoli was a victim of circumstance. His folks got pregnant, and as is so often the case, the dog gets dumped to make way for the baby. Further, since this little boy had not yet enjoyed the benefits of basic obedience training, his owners reported that Stoli was a spirited and enthusiastic participant in matters that were absolutely none of his business. At the same time, his owners reported that Stoli had an excellent temperament-- he had proven to be a big fan of the neighborhood children and generally loved people. Ah, if only some basic common sense and responsible dog ownership had been practiced....Stoli would have been the dream dog.

Well, sometimes when owners fall short of their obligation, it gives us the opportunity to find a much, much better situation for the deserving dog. When I first picked up Stoli, I was truly dumbfounded that folks would give up such a great dog. And, I wondered how they thought they were going to cope with a baby, if they couldn't manage a 20 pound dog. After all, you can't put a baby in a crate!

After interviewing several applicants for Stoli, I was struck by Sarah, who had relocated to Connecticut with hubby, Mike, from Australia. I met Sarah, and it seemed that she and Stoli had some kind of telepathic connection. That dog stuck to her like glue, and I remember the drive home with a really warm fuzzy feeling.

Here are some of Sarah's reports:

April 7, 2004

Hi Denise,

Stoli is doing great - he took to Mike immediately, no hesitation at all. He has settled in so fast, as Mike said, it's like he's been here forever. The first night he was a total maniac! Very entertaining, but absolutely full-on. It turns out he is mad for balls - throws them for himself (and at us). My friend came over with her two dogs, which he didn't like too much (basically put them in their place and ignored them). He was being very bossy and domineering, and he and I had a bit of a stand-off (I stared him down, much to his frustration - he threw a tantrum, but I won) and he's now accepted that he can't just do what he pleases. I am determined to win the battle of the sofa.

Yesterday he was very good, went to the groomers and the vet - he was extremely well behaved at both - no snapping or anything. Vet said he's in good overall health, waiting on results of heartworm test. We went shopping at the pet store, where he selected some revolting dried animal parts to chew on, a bed, some more toys and new fashion accessories. That dog really knows how to shop! Two long walks, and he was exhausted by 6pm. Last night he was very good and calm, and today he is the same - sleeping under the desk here. No accidents in the house, and is being very good on the leash - no pulling, even with the regular collar. He's barked/growled at a few people, seems to be older men he dislikes. I just make him sit until they go past.

The only issue we're having is that he seems to have an excitement urination problem. It happens when I'm trying to get his leash on to go outside, or when visitors come etc. So I'm trying to avoid those situations and keep him as calm as possible. The vet tried to get a urine sample but was unable to, so she has put him on a course of antibiotics to rule out a UTI (remember there was mention of this on his previous vet records, but it seems that he was never actually treated for a UTI). The other vet had treated him with an incontinence drug, which would not have had any effect in this situation. As he's still young there is a good chance we will be able to overcome it. I am ordering some homeopathic drops to see if that helps too.

Attach some pictures - will send some more later.

Best rgds,