This is Yote. He came to my attention through social media when a friend posted Yote's Craig's List ad, pleading for help. It was clear from the post that Yote's dad cared about him a lot and didn't want to have to rehome him. UTH reached out to him, offering a free behavioral consultation to see if we could help. He gladly took us up on it and Yote became the first member of our Keep Them Home program.
Yote's dad recently sent us this testimonial. I can't even begin to express how much this means to me and to everyone who worked with Yote:
My name is Christopher Scheidler and I met my dog, Yote, in December of 2015. He was a stray that showed up at my dad’s property. As soon as I saw him I couldn’t believe anyone could lose such a gorgeous dog. I managed to earn his trust enough to take him to the vet where I learned he had been a stray for roughly a year prior. He was microchipped but it turns out the number that was assigned belonged to people that sold him on Craigslist. They had no interest in taking him back, so I happily took him in.
He had a few issues that I wasn’t surprised to see: separation anxiety, fear of loud noises, resource guarding and a distrust of physical contact with strangers. Nothing one wouldn’t expect a stray to have. I worked with him and i had seemingly dissolved all of his fears and stresses.
I had him for two years without issue before we moved to Colorado. This was a big change for him and you could tell he felt uncomfortable again. I moved in with two roommates. One had a dog roughly yote’s size and the other had a husky as well as a small terrier of some sort.
Yote got along just fine with the larger dogs so there wasn’t much issue for almost a year. However the move was a big change for Yote. He wasn’t used to dealing with more people in the house nor a small dog that wasn’t capable of learning personal space. As much as he wanted attention from people, he had a limit to how much interaction from strangers he could handle.
Despite knowing this, the new roommates seemed intent on petting him and smothering him despite his growls and this got one of them bit. Apparently this was too much to tolerate or understand and Yote was made out to be “vicious dog”. This was clearly not the case but you can’t reason with emotional thinkers. If no one pet him, he’d be perfectly fine, but that wasn’t good enough. They were afraid.
I was used to handling dogs and understanding strays so this behavior didn’t surprise me and I knew how to approach it. However I couldn’t get any of the roommates to work with Yote to get him to a place of comfort. For them, it was 100% on me to make the problem go away. So I was given an ultimatum. Either correct “yote’s problem”, rehome him or move out. I didn’t know what to do as I was outnumbered. Yote needed more than the $120 one-hour training sessions I found and I couldn’t afford multiple sessions. I knew Yote was stressed in his situation so I caved to the idea that he’d be happier with a new home.
I wrote an ad on Craigslist being very specific about how this dog thinks and what any new owner would have to be prepared for. I couldn’t settle for just any new owner. what if they misunderstood him and put him down because they weren’t patient? I’d be devastated. I guess my ad was very telling at how much I didn’t want to get rid of him because I was shortly contacted by Jasmun Hendrick who informed me of “Until They’re Home!”
This was the miracle we needed. They were patient and generous with all the resources they could offer. Jasmun showed up the next week and evaluated the situation in person. Her and Molly provided helpful feedback, tips, and actively practiced working with Yote to learn how he thinks to provide better advice and fundamentally ease his stresses. The hope was that if he had a way to manage his stress he would be able to separate himself from the situations that overload him.
It took a couple weeks to make significant strides in Yote’s progress only because he was a curious case. On the surface he seemed like a happy dog who was comfortable with people. Any other trainer might have said there was nothing to fix and stopped trying to help. But Jasmun believed me and worked to understand the situation. I couldn’t believe I had found an organization more interested in helping the dogs than making money.
After a few weeks of making progress, the roommates were still under the impression that Yote was unpredictable and liable to bite without warning. Despite all the discoveries and training he’s been going through. They refused to work with him or try to understand his behaviors. It eventually led to pointing fingers again and we were given an ultimatum. Except training him was off the table now.
So I was forced to move out within a week before our lease renewed. The only place I could move into already had a dog that was actively aggressive towards other dogs and it wasn’t safe to leave Yote there unsupervised while I was at work. My situation was pretty bleak and time was not on my side.
By some divine grace, Jasmun was there to help again! She offered to foster Yote for as long as it took for me to change my living situation and gradually introduce Yote to the new surroundings. She took great care of him and provided even more advice on some of his behaviors.
Eventually I was able to take him back and get him acquainted with the new home. To this day I’m thankful for the Until They’re Home organization, because if it wasn’t for Jasmun and Molly’s help, Yote might have been put in a shelter or put down by someone that didn’t understand him.
Even though the problem with Yote was as simple as not wanting to be touched by strangers or annoying small dogs, the situation was amplified by my own living situation with roommates. And now he gets along with the dog in the new situation as well my girlfriend’s toddler. An unthinkable behavior for a “vicious dog” as my roommates described him.
Until They’re Home didn’t stop at helping Yote, they helped ME provide the right life for him. They’re more than just dog trainers!
Thank you for everything!
We had a lot of ups and downs with Yote, but he is a smart pup and trusts "his" people almost completely. I am so grateful that I got to work with Yote and that his family was willing to try some unconventional methods to keep Yote at home.
If you know of anyone who is struggling to keep their pet at home amd needs help, please have them fill out our Keep Them Home application