I was shocked to see that it has been three months since I updated you on our foster fail, Ace. The good news is that he has made huge progress in that time. He was always a very nice dog, but he was scared of so many things when he arrived in May. Feet. hands, leashes, loud noises…Ace was on alert all the time. He practically lived in his open crate, his safe space.

He is such a different dog now. Our wonderful vet, who was fabulous with this scared pup, put him on some Prozac and it did wonders for him. Took the anxiety level down enough that I could really start to work with him on de-sensitizing him to the things that were so scary. If I so much as crossed my legs when Ace was near, at the beginning, he would scream and back up. Today, it is no big deal. He loves walks, but was very concerned about hands coming toward his collar and putting on the dreaded leash. This is a short video I made of him early on, when he had already improved a bit on leashes, but you can see that my getting the leash out still made him very nervous.

Today he no longer fusses about the leash, and he still adores his walks. Since Bodhi passed Marley has been walking him, and Marley tends to like loooonnnng walks, which suits Ace perfectly.

Ace no longer jumps at every little thing and he no longer lives in his crate non-stop. He’s out and hanging with Gracie often, and has even decided he is okay with sleeping on our bed. His fear of feet coming near him stopped him for awhile, but now he is quite happy to climb on the bed for the night. He has become a happy dog, which is such a joy to see.

We have been working with my favorite canine behaviorist, now that his anxiety level is lower, and the combination of working on exercises to help desensitize him to various triggers and the meds has helped Ace make wonderful progress. We still have work to do. He isn’t fond of nail trims, and that’s a work in progress right now. And he’s pretty scared at the vet’s office, so that’s on the agenda soon. Luckily I have a vet who is amazing with him when he is scared and I know we can make vet visits less stressful for him with a little work.

Ace does not care for the camera at all, but I was able to get a few decent shots of him today.

His crate is still a favorite place.
But he’s out in the living spaces much of the time now too.
Stuffies and squeakers are his absolute favorites, and he’s even learning to fetch them. But getting him to look right at the camera lens…not gonna happen soon!

That’s the updated Ace report. He’s a fabulous little dog, and we’re so glad we kept him instead of looking for another home for him.

Gracie, however, was not pleased that Ace was getting all the camera action this afternoon, so she insisted on a photo as well. What can I say? She’s a demanding little thing! I’m just glad that she and Ace seem to be friends. Not besties, but quite comfortable in each other’s company. They will even share our bed without fuss. What more could I ask?

19 thoughts on “The Ace Chronicles: Happy Dog

  1. How nice to hear about Ace…….you have helped the little guy become the happy boy we all hoped he would be when you first introduced him. From afraid of almost everything to loving his life was a long journey but it sounds like he’s “there”. Lots of work on your part but it has to be super rewarding for BOTH of you!! He’s such a cutie………….

    Hugs, Pam

    1. Only a guess, but maybe he was in a home with kids who weren’t taught proper manners with dogs, but we’ll never know for sure. We know he was surrendered so he had a home at one point.

  2. Your gentle way with Ace is wonderful to watch. That is probably what he needed–a gentle person with patience. Such a sweetie.
    Gracie–you are still adorable!

    1. Ace just needed lots of reassurance and to know that life wasn’t as unpredictable and scary as he thought, and he responded so well. And Gracie, unfortunately, knows quite well how adorable she is!!

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