Foster Dog: Comet/Bruno
Foster Dog Location (city):  Virginia Beach
Gender: male
Age:  Estimated 3/4years
Spayed/Neutered: Neutered
Health concerns: None known
General Activity Level:  Medium  
Interaction with dogs: Initial meet and greets, he may do some growling.  Once he knows he will be spending time with a dog and the pecking order has been established, he has gotten along fine with two other males and a female.
Interaction with cats: Unknown – none in foster home
Interaction with children:  Is nervous and reactive around young children who do unpredictable things.  Teens who are dog savvy seem fine.   
Physical fence required?  Possibly.  Seems to stick close to his people, so if family were outside with him, it might not be needed,  Further training would be needed to guarantee 100% reliability
Suitable for an invisible fence?  Possibly.  See above.
How many hours are they able to be left alone?  7-8
Able to climb stairs? We are on a 3-4 stair rise.  No problems with those stairs, but has not attempted a second story staircase yet.
In need of obedience training? Recommended to solidify parent/dog bond, but not required.  
Personality and additional information:  To start, he arrived from Istanbul to Dulles Airport with the name Comet, but the moment we brought him to the house we knew that name was never going to stick, at least with us. Somewhere the name Bruno was mentioned, and that’s been our name for him ever since. His overall health has improved markedly since arriving. He is no longer emaciated, and his light blonde coat is getting healthier every week. He arrived with an ear infection, which has cleared with antibiotics, but weekly ear washes are recommended. He actually likes the ear wash! He is reluctant with baths and with nail trimming, but he’s pretty stoic once you get started – just watch for the calm before the shake!
He’s frequently looking for any opportunity to get attention. He wants so badly to be petted that he’ll hold totally still with his head on your lap as long as you are using even one fingertip to rub the top of his head. He’ll stay just like that as long as there is any physical contact between you and him. He’s not at all shy about asking for that attention, putting his chin on your knee and looking at you with puppy eyes. But he will go sit if you tell him you’re busy right now.
Breakfast and dinner are the happy, happy, joy, joy times, quickly tempered by, “Shoot. I’ve gotta sit and wait nicely before he says okay.” Bruno does this very well. His eating is very frantic though, and we have had to start feeding him with a slow-down bowl so he doesn’t gulp his food. He takes treats like a champ, very soft mouth, but he sometimes jumps at hands when he think there might be a treat or toy in the hand.
Toys: He loves the femur bone. Bruno will spend an hour or so just wearing one down as much as he can. He will chase a ball, but is only somewhat successful in actual retrieving. We’re taking the rope toys away from him because he likes to just shred them and sometimes eat the threads. The other dogs in our house are his toys too, and he can roughhouse with any of them. He’s not especially GOOD at it, but everybody has fun. We were initially considering that maybe he should be an only dog, but we now believe Bruno could do well with others as long as the other dog or dogs don’t have any significant alpha tendencies. He does warm up to other dogs slowly, though – so it may take more than one meet and greet to get that he’s going to have to put up with the new guy. Once he knows he is supposed to be buddies, he gets along great and isn’t even territorial about toys.
Bruno enjoys walks, and enjoys meeting other people. He had a blast the other day at Home Depot, meeting everybody and telling them about SEVA GRREAT. He’s pretty decent on the leash, especially once the initial block or so of excitement is behind him. It’s about a 50/50 shot meeting other dogs for the first time while out for walks. Sometimes he’s fine, then others he will growl to warn them away, and we haven’t been able to find the pattern yet. Car rides? Not his favorite thing. We’ve had to push him into the backseat nearly every time, and he just hunkers down and endures. No signs of car sickness, just no love for the cars!
This Golden seems to have a very loyal, very dedicated-to-his-people personality. He’s glad to follow the adults anywhere, and he will engage the kids if he’s not getting enough attention from the adults. He definitely has good learning potential, though currently he is still working on sit, stay, down commands. With the right amount of treats he’s very attentive. Bruno certainly understands “No” means right now, and he will immediately come over to you to say he’s sorry when he has messed up. He has countersurfed a couple of times, and once took food off the table, but that hasn’t occurred in the last few weeks, even though he has had plenty of opportunity. He comes pretty well to his name, and we recently have been giving him a little more off-leash time. He tends to stay with his dog-buddies and not run off, so we believe he might be able to be trained to go completely off-leash eventually.
We have had two behavioral incidents that concerned us, one at two days after arrival when he was suffering from an ear infection and undoubtedly in pain. The other incident, about four weeks later, was when my son startled Bruno very badly, for which he jumped away and growled. We had him evaluated by a professional K9 handler/ dog trainer, who tells us that Bruno is still a very good candidate for adoption, but should likely go to a very experienced dog home, with no small children.
Overall, Bruno/Comet has come a long way since living on the streets of Istanbul. He may always carry some baggage from his days on the streets, but he is a good boy who will adore his people. Time, love and patience will make this handsome guy a perfect addition to a Golden-loving family!
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