How Storm Made Himself at Home

Nov 21, 2022

“He came into our house like he lived here,”

Gloria said of Storm, the 7-year-old Catahoula leopard dog mix she and her family started fostering for Anderson Humane in early 2022. In fact, when her husband, Rick, sat down in his favorite chair that first day to watch TV and put the recliner’s foot rest up, Storm jumped up in his lap and proceeded to nap for an hour and a half.

“Storm was a local surrender,” Gloria said, adding he’d been living in a home that could no longer keep him. “Clearly he was doing this in his previous home.” As they sat together on that first day, Storm and Rick immediately bonded.

At that point, Gloria, Rick, and their adult son Dave, who lives with them, had been fostering for two and a half years. In the years prior, they’d lost their three dogs one by one. When Gloria retired, she started volunteering at Anderson Humane to “get her dog fix,” and soon settled into fostering adult dogs.

Storm loved to run in their yard, chasing squirrels, and was also fond of tug-of-war and his squeaky toys. “Then it would be time for him to lay down and nap,” Gloria said. “He was very lovable, often following us around. A people dog who loved company.”

When Storm had been with them about three months, he got adopted. “But for various reasons, they had to return him,” Gloria said. Anderson Humane staff began additional training with Storm, who could be reactive to other dogs and had high anxiety about vet visits and nail trims. They asked Gloria to foster Storm again during this process, and she happily agreed. “He knew the routine and was right back at home,” she said.

During this intensive time of training, they learned that Storm had been picked on by another dog in his last household. To calm him down when another dog approaches, Gloria and her family worked with Storm on sitting and watching them until the other dog passes. They also started taking Storm to a nearby veterinarian’s office during slow times to let him sniff around and get used to the place, as well as simulating nail trims at home, all to decrease Storm’s anxiety about these activities. “He’s improving a lot,” Gloria said. “The training and behavior team have been very helpful.”

When Storm was scheduled to be part of our Road Home Mega Adoption Event at Brilliance Subaru of Elgin in September, Rick told Gloria he wanted to keep his recliner buddy. Gloria and Dave quickly agreed. They commemorated the adoption with a special photo at their mantle and celebrated his birthday soon after with cupcakes and a birthday hat for Storm.

“After fostering Storm twice, we’d all gotten attached to this smart boy,” Gloria said, adding that older dogs touch her heart. “He gets us out on at least two walks a day and brings us lot of togetherness and common purpose. We’re so glad he’s now a permanent part of our family.”

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