Red Rover Deweese

Red Rover's Story

The amazing Red Rover Deweese started his journey at the Southside Animal Shelter in Indianapolis and now lives with his favorite human, Lisa Deweese.

Red Rover Deweese moved in with me from the Southside Animal Shelter in May of 2007 at nine months old. He's not a purebred dog; he's probably a mix of Doberman, German Shepherd Dog and some kind of Northern breed. He has proved to be the most amazing dog, good with adults, children, other dogs and even cats. He is very well behaved and gets to go with me almost everywhere. He's a very happy, friendly dog who is not overly assertive but not fearful either (except when it comes to firecrackers and thunder and his "Anxiety Wrap" helps with that)!

Read the story of Red's first two days with me...

Great Dogs Don't Happen by Accident

Red Rover didn't get to be the dog he is in a vacuum. Your dog needs your help to become a great dog.

Red is a great dog. Everyone who meets him is impressed by his friendly nature and his good behavior. This didn't just happen. Dogs need the focused attention of their person, they need structure in their lives, they need training, and they need to be allowed to do dog things.

Red got a good start at the Southside Animal Shelter. Since he was brought to the shelter when he was a tiny puppy he was well cared for from the start. The wonderful people there made sure he wasn't hungry or thirsty, they made sure he had appropriate veterinary care. They sent him to a foster home so he could get used to being in a house with people and other animals.

When Red came to live with Lisa he spent the first week leashed to her the entire time he was awake. Lisa took the week off work to help him get oriented to his new life. Lisa was his focus and security when she was home, his crate was his secure place when she left. Rituals were established for starting the day, for meal times, for walking on the leash or going in the car, for going outside and going to bed. Red quickly learned what to expect, and this made him feel secure. He was rewarded for all good behavior. Bad behavior resulted in no attention and removing him from the situation. Red wasn't yelled at or scared in any way. But he was constantly rewarded for every little good thing he did.

Within a short time Lisa and Red started obeidience training. They have gone to classes on and off their entire time together. Red loves class! He feels like a superstar because he receives tons of positive reinforcement and praise. Finding a class with a good instructor and attending regularly is the greatest thing you can do with your dog.

Red is allowed to be a dog. He goes to the dog park so he can play with other dogs. He goes to dog daycare once a week for the same reason. He gets bones to chew and toys to play with. He has dog friends in the neighborhood to sniff and greet. He goes on two walks with Lisa or his dog walker Sarah most days.

The point is that Red is a great dog because Lisa works hard to make sure he is getting his needs met. Red feels content and secure in his life, and because of this he doesn't feel any need to act out or misbehave.

Remembering Bear

For three years Red Rover's constant dog companion was Marg's dog Bear. She was his Nana dog and his playmate. Bear died in June of 2011.

The day Red Rover came home from the Southside Animal Shelter he was confused and scared. Marg's dog Bear came over to Lisa's house to make him feel more at home. Bear and Red Rover had met the weekend before and gotten along well. After his big day Red Rover finally cuddled up to Bear on the couch and slept. We never saw Bear let Red or any other animal cuddle up to her before or after, she wasn't that kind of dog. But that night she knew Red needed it.

They had three years of being each other's constant companion. But Bear was already 12 years old when she and Red Rover met and all too soon her hip problems and old age caught up with her.

Red Rover has been sad since Bear died, but maybe soon he'll be the greeter dog, and help us welcome another four legged friend into our pack.