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It has been said that a beautiful hound will steal just about anyone’s heart, and our sweet Donovan is no exception! While Donovan only joined our great big Save Me Family less than two short weeks ago, he seems to already have everyone wrapped around his spotty, freckled paw.

You see, Donovan has become one of our family members overnight with unwavering loyalty. Our boy exudes an amazing zest for life that has obviously not been hampered by the rough hardships that plagued his past. He has recently travelled a very long way to be with us, and he is just as happy exploring his new surroundings as we are to have him join our rescue. (Which can only be described as very!) His tail wags so quickly you’ll find yourself wondering if he even has one at all!

As any incredibly intelligent young man does, Donovan needs constant stimulation otherwise his propensity for chewing manifests itself if he finds himself bored. A chew toy that’s durable and tasty will keep this lovable guy occupied for hours, and a Kong filled with peanut butter is a plus! A home with other furry friends is rather important to Donovan and will make his adoption that much smoother. A friend in need is a friend indeed, and keeping Donovan happy and engaged is the secret to his, and his family’s happiness!

Donovan is perfectly house trained which is a great feat for a hound! That being said, as hounds are typically bred as hunting dogs, Donovan has been blessed with a nose worthy of his ancestors and is therefore able to smell food from a mile away! While definitely impressive, unfortunately it is not only limited to dog food, so counters must be under watchful eye when Donovan is in the kitchen unless food is put away where it belongs. This however won’t be a difficult task as Donovan is really only in the kitchen when his family is.

That’s right! Though he does love his food, our boy requires that his people sit down with him for a family dinner otherwise he simply does not want to eat, and will leave his food in the bowl. What can we say, he is a tried and true family man! Donovan is learning that human food is not for him but it can just be sooo hard for him with so many amazing smells wafting in and out of the kitchen! He would therefore be an excellent ego-booster for someone who isn’t great in the kitchen as he thinks everything smells delicious! 😉

Another thing Donovan finds appealing is more of a who than a what. You guessed it, it’s you! Quoted as saying “Phooey to personal space!” as he gets up in your face, Donovan will always opt to push his head into your chest for that one extra hug any time it’s time to say hello, goodbye or just what’s up? But one look into his soulful eyes and suddenly everyone has an extra five minutes to spend cuddling our big guy, as he makes it very clear that he so wants to be loved. “Just a little more time, pleaaassee?” he says as he tricks you into an hour long cuddle session easily translates into an “I love you, thank you for rescuing me” for our sweet boy.

We have no doubt in our minds the kind of potential Donovan has to become a wonderful family dog. With patience, basic training and a home with other pets that will instil a love of learning for both self-control and pack-behaviour, Donovan will flourish in the comfort of his forever home. He will need a family who can also acknowledge his supreme potential and are committed to working with him to unlock it. A family with a love of love, the outdoors, good food and fun are also ideal. Lots of adventures, time spent experiencing new things and cuddling on the couch as a tight knit unit will help Donovan to identify that love and respect go both ways.

One area in which Donovan will need the help of an understanding and dedicated family is his confidence. Our sweetheart has been abandoned so many times in his short life, that he cannot help but feel as though it will happen again with his new family, whom he adores. This worry displays itself as a mild form of separation anxiety but will get better in time with the proper training. For the time being, Donovan will need to be crated until he feels comfortable enough to realize that his family will always come home for him.

At this time, we are seeing progression towards acceptance of his crate at night, so we know that he is feeling more secure in himself and his new life by the day. More like a curious child than a dog, Donovan needs supervision in the home for his sake. We know he’s feeling a little bewildered while settling in to his new home and we are confident that his wild-child behaviour will settle down too. He has gone through a lot during the past few months and it is enough to put anyone out of sorts. His behaviour might change from day to day but once a solid routine is established he will be good as gold! For example, Donovan is currently going through a book phase – in that that he will pull them right out of your book shelf and chew the covers!

So far, Donovan has what we’d like to call a “take it or leave it” attitude with basic training. We are absolutely positive that he has the capability to understand and apply what we are teaching him; he just refuses to for now because he isn’t sure what is expected of him or who to listen to! We think it comes from his stint in the shelter where the rules are more relaxed and most anything goes. Donovan’s foster family is working on positive reinforcement training and have found that he responds immediately to a high value treat!  They have also come to the conclusion that as a hound, he is very food-motivated and have put that knowledge in their arsenal.

Donovan is an extremely lovable dog. He is very polite on a leash and would be a great candidate at the dog park and obedience classes. We think he would even master agility! Donovan’s recall is awesome and unlike a typical hound. he does not seem to want to wander very far from his parent’s side. This is because for what is probably the first time in his life, Donovan has found love. He has found acceptance, and trust and where else is there to turn when everything you need is standing right in front of you?


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