Editors Note: We recently received an update about Micah, now Harvey, a shy Labrador Retriever mix adopted in January of 2014 by the Humke family. We are thrilled not only to hear that Harvey has fit in well with his family, but that he has found an unlikely best friend. The following was contributed by Harvey's adopter, Melissa Humke.
The family puppy belongs to the toddler, Iris. Crazy right? This was not my intention. We adopted Harvey, previously Micah, a year ago. He was supposed to guard the house and vacuum the toddler food off the floor. This job was previously held by my dog that we lost to cancer a few months prior. I thought that a medium mixed breed Terrier would be nice, we brought home a large Retriever mix that was growing.
Why? Because he was licking everything at the shelter. How do you leave a dog behind that is licking your stroller and baby?
Iris was his solace. He would lay close to her when he could and nothing bothered him. Even when she played in the Johnny Jump Up, he liked it when she bounced off of him. I would move him and he would crawl back to her, so I gave in. I installed a baby gate to separate them. I was worried about safety. He laid on the gate while she played with him through it. I was again vetoed.
Now that she is running around, they run together and play crazy hard. He never invades her space and if he does she screams at him and he backs up and then they continue. He has only knocked her down once with his tail- she was fine, he was traumatized. It hasn't happened again.
When we are outside, he he sticks to Iris like glue. If she decides to not follow me, then I get ditched by both of them. I'm outnumbered and they are so cute to chase!
He is incredibly smart and has shown us new ways to shape behavior. His training is completely positive reinforcement, if not he shuts down. He can't be yelled at by anyone but the baby.
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