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Griswold appears to be a Rat Terrier. I named him after the Griswold family in the movie, National Lampoon's Vacation. I thought it was appropriate considering our frequent and comical roadtrip adventures. Griz is about three years old and is the youngest member of my pack. I adopted him in 2013. He was found as a stray on the Pacific Electric Trail in Rancho Cucamonga, CA and taken to a shelter there. He was then fostered at the Medfly Brigrade Basenji Rescue organization in Acton, CA. I saw him on and fell instantly in love with his good looks.

Griz came into my life with worms and skin problems. Those were fully resolved after a month or two. It was assumed that he had been neutered. However, that proved not to be true when some almond shaped lumps near his belly developed and had to be removed (undescended testicles). His initial housebreaking skills were terrible but he's perfect now. When I first adopted him, he was afraid of lots of things: ants, waves, bare feet, Nik's barking, plastic bags, people carrying things, etc. He's overcome these things but he will probably always have a cautious personality. He's also a bit clumsy and comical. Griz loves children and must have had them in his previous home. I've taught him lots of tricks (begging, spinning, rolling, retrieving, etc.) which have boosted his confidence and the bond between us. At first, he turned down cheese and other treats. But now, he'll eat anything. He worships and adores Grem and loves to play with her.

Griz has issues with other dogs. Although he gets along fine with my dogs, he will chase and bite other dogs. His "reactivity" is worse with big dogs and running dogs. He can also get overstimulated by small dogs which can escalate into bullying and nipping. Fear, curiosity, and Terrier can be a bad combination! Especially when you spend a lot of time off-leash in areas where you are likely to run into other dogs. We have both come a long way after a couple of years of managing the problem. At this point, he knows when other dogs are in the area, the best place to be is right at my ankles where he gets bombarded with tasty treats. He has learned that he is safe there even when curious giants come right up to me hoping to score some treats of their own. Gradually, he is becoming more relaxed after thousands and thousands of good experiences. However, I will probably always need to be diligent to make sure that he makes the right choice by staying with me. He used to lose his mind when other dogs, even just walking, were within 200 feet. Now, he's comfortable with them walking at about 15 feet although he can't help but bark at them a bit. Running dogs are fine within about 30 feet if Griz's brain is on me. He's a work in progress but we have made great strides.

at Bates Beach in Carpinteria, CA
[photos thanks Geoff Minger]

keeping an eye on me in Seattle in Kingman, AZ

at Bear Lake in Garden City, UT

My Dogs Home Page Roadside Architecture Section

Why buy or breed when you can RESCUE?!