Hi - my name is London and I am an English Setter. No one knows exactly how old I am or what I did for the first several years of my life except me and I’m not talking (the vet thinks I‘m between 2-4 yrs old but my mom and dad say I act too much like a puppy so they are thinking I am closer to 2 yrs old). You see, I was homeless and wandering from place to place in Kentucky just living day to day and trying to make ends meet when a wonderful organization named the Ohio English Setter Rescue (OESR; www.ohioenglishsetterrescue.org) found me and put me in a great foster home in Columbus, OH. I was very sick and my foster dad nursed me back to health and the OESR put me up for adoption. My mom and dad adopted me from OESR in October 2010 and brought me to Erie to live with them.
Things I Learned From Humans: I’ve learned a lot from humans. Most of all I guess, I’ve learned to have faith in humans, to trust them, and to expect the best from them. I’ve learned that while some people can be very cruel, most are very compassionate, caring, and loving. I’ve also learned that you can never ever give up - even in your darkest moment. Even when things look their bleakest, if you are patient, persevere, stay positive and work hard, things get better and you can be successful.
Things My Owner(s) Learned From Me: My mom is pretty perfect so I haven’t really had to teach her anything but my dad can be impatient and critical sometimes so I’ve had to teach him patience and to be more positive about things. You see, he wants me to learn some skills and tricks and so I’ve used this to motivate him to learn patience and to be more positive. For example, when he says “sit”, sometimes I won’t sit and if he gets frustrated with me or keeps saying “sit, sit, sit, sit” and raises his voice and yells “No, No”, I’ll just close my eyes and ignore him. Then, when he calms down - and says “sit” - only once - and calmly - and if he is patient and waits a bit - I’ll sit for him. If he tells me “good boy” after I sit for him, I’ll sit more frequently for him when he requests it. It has worked like a charm. I’ve used this training technique with him each time he tries to teach me a new skill or trick - and as a result - he is learning patience and to be positive - and we are learning to work pretty well together. Take walking as another example. I LOVE birds and squirrels so sometimes when I see them I get excited and I will pull on the leash when we take our walks. When he yells at me and pulls back on the leash, I ignore him and keep right on pulling. But when he is calm and positive and says “London, good walk”, I’ll sometimes stop pulling, and walk with a loose leash like a show dog for him which is my version of “good walk“. He likes this so much, he even gives me a treat. The more he says “good walk” the better I walk for him. So, not only have I used this technique to teach him to be patient and more positive, I’ve used it to teach him to give me treats!
Favorite Trick: My favorite trick right now is rolling over on my back. But, that is just a trick to get belly rubs - so while I’ll do it when asked, I’ll do it anytime I want a belly rub. My mom and dad can’t seem to resist petting my belly when I roll over. But my dad wants to teach me some new tricks so I’m not sure what my fav will be in the future.
Favorite Treat: No question - Bil Jac Liver treats are right up there with Beggin Strips and Denta Bones - but I probably like pets, hugs, and kisses best.
Make No Bones About It…I Make A Great Therapy Dog Because….Well, since I just got certified as a therapy dog, it is a bit premature for me to answer this question. And I don’t know if I will ever be a great therapy dog - after all - I’m only beginning my career and only time will tell. And in the end, this will be for others to judge. But I THINK I will make a good therapy dog because I am motivated to work hard to be one. You see, I would not be where I am today if it were not for some wonderful, compassionate and caring humans who rescued me from homelessness, nurtured me back to health, found me a loving fur-ever home, and taught me some much needed skills. In fact, if not for some of them, I am not sure I would even be alive today let alone a certified therapy dog. So, I feel pretty indebted to you humans for all that you have done for me and I want to “pay it forward” so to speak. So I hope I can do for others what others have done for me - give them hope and love - and to teach them that even in their darkest moment - if you stay patient, positive and persevere, good things happen and you can be successful.
My Favorite Places to Visit is still to be determined! My volunteer handler is named Ed.