This handsome boy is Falkor!
Falkor is a 7 year old Havanese weighing just under 10lbs. He has a soft creamy coat and the most beautiful brown eyes. The moment I saw him he reminded me of Falkor the Luck Dragon, the beloved character from “The Neverending Story” and his soft nature made the decision easy!
Now I know some of you are already filling out your application for Falkor but please read this bio first as we are looking for a very special family for Falkor. Our sweet boy was discarded from a large scale breeding organization after 7 years and he has been slow to adapt to the world outside that facility. 7 years without love or socialization have put some hurdles up for Falkor but like his namesake says, “Never give up and good luck will find you” and good luck found Falkor when Pound Dog Rescue decided to pull him into their care and give him a chance. Now he needs one more dose of good luck to help him find the family who can support him through the rest of his life. If you cannot handle a dog that is afraid of you to start and does not want to be touched then Falkor will not be a good match for you. I know when we find his family that they will get to see him transform over the next few years but please be honest about what you can handle and what you are looking for. Falkor is safe and loved in his foster home and we will take as long as we need to find the right forever home for him.
Falkor has taken many huge steps during his time in foster care but he still has a journey ahead of him. He is looking for a family with experience dealing with timid dogs, shut down dogs and/or dogs retired from large scale breeding operations. He needs a home that is quiet and patient where he can be given the time and space he needs to get comfortable. Falkor’s family needs to have experience balancing this space with encouragement forward. We don’t want him to become stagnant so he needs to be shown the way forward on a daily basis. It is easy to want to coddle and protect him but this will not help him adapt or evolve.
Outside of these needs, Falkor is a sweet and easy dog to have around. In the home he is crate trained and his crate is where he feels safest. He’ll often rest in there even when the crate door is open and that’s where he retreats if he feels frightened. Recently he has been making the decision to rest in a dog bed outside of his crate, happily napping or chewing on a nylabone. He will venture out to check on one of his foster siblings or run a patrol around the house but then he hurries back to his crate or his bed to watch everything from safety. During the day when I am at work he is calm in his crate. He struggled a bit with some separation anxiety at night so he sleeps in a crate in my bedroom and we have a peaceful night. When he first came to live with me he had a very strict internal clock that told him 3am was wake up time! We’ve managed to move that forward all the way to 5am and he is generally quiet until then. After that he will start quietly whining. It doesn’t seem to be about having to go outside, just having a strict schedule for many years I suppose. Over time his new family can continue to adjust this alarm clock.
Falkor LOVES to chew and as he can be quite the little thief it will be up to his new family to ensure there is nothing left lying around for Falkor to steal and chew. His favourite has been my slippers although he tried very hard to shred a few different blankets. Thankfully he also enjoys dog appropriate chews such as nylabones so he can be distracted with those safer toys.
He lives with several other dogs right now and gets along with everyone although there is not much interaction. He would be fine with another dog in the home as long as they were calm and quiet and did not pester him to socialize or play. I think he finds some comfort in the presence of the other dogs so another appropriate dog in the home would be helpful. I also think he would be fine with cats as he has shown little to no prey drive.
Falkor has learned the routine of our home and he seems to find comfort in the schedule. He will come to the kitchen with the other dogs to see about dinner, although he is quick to run back to his crate once I notice him. It still makes me smile because this is relatively new behavior and signals real change in his confidence. He will gather with the other dogs when it’s time to receive some treats and now confidently takes the treats from my hand.
Falkor loves his walks and it is the only place I see him truly playful. He will run and jump, play bowing to me as we go. Occasionally he wants me to interact but other times it frightens him so I just let him have his fun, encouraging him and bursting with pride. Neighbours walking by will say “what a happy dog!” and I could just cry! Even when he’s not in that playful mood he is a wonderful walking companion. He trots along beside me, looking up for approval or treats. When it’s time to go for a walk he will come out of the crate far enough for me to attach his leash and then we are off! His confidence is more pronounced out on a walk and he will even venture out front at times, tail held high. He’s happy to walk wherever I lead, for as long as I lead and pays little attention to anything else. He is not bothered by other dogs passing or loud streets although he would prefer to NOT have a stranger get too close or pass behind him. Its on our walks that Falkor seems to enjoy receiving some affection so I spend a lot of time petting him at every pause. At the best of times Falkor remains a flight risk so he wears a martingale collar at all times and his new family must be ready to adhere to this same rule. When we get home he can climb back up the steps and into the home where this task used to take up to 5 minutes.
Falkor can do the full flight of stairs up and down now, with encouragement. He would be fine in almost any home although because he has had some separation anxiety in the past his family should live somewhere where an occasional barking dog is not an issue. He can also have a bit of FOMO (fear or missing out) which causes him to bark some complaints if I take another dog out before or without him! A yard is not mandatory as long as there is an appropriate place for him to do his business. Falkor is completely house trained at this point although he does not know how to signal he has to go out. He has the benefit of living with a senior foster dog who dictates the bathroom schedule around here so there are always ample opportunities to relive himself outside.
He loves to get treats for his good behaviour and I can pet him a bit in the house as long as he sees it coming. But Falkor is not a dog who seeks out affection at this point. If I touch him without him seeing me coming he will flinch and even run. When it comes to other things in life, Falkor handles them as we would expect from a terrified dog. He is cooperative at the vet and the groomer because he is scared and shuts down so he needs a family who will understand this and advocate for him in these areas. He has a coat that requires regular grooming so his new family must be ready to commit to an appropriate grooming schedule. He is starting to get used to the car but still finds it scary so he needs to be secured in either a seat with a leash or a crate for everyone’s safety.
Falkor has a healthy dose of ‘stranger danger’ so care must be taken when unknown people are around to give him a chance to adapt. Again, we don’t want to keep him away from everything new but we do want to be respectful of his fear so he can learn to handle new experiences with confidence. And that’s really what it comes down to – confidence. Falkor needs a family committed to helping him find his. Falkor will do best in an adult only home as the action and noise of children will be too much for this sensitive boy. A home with teenage children would be considered.
Falkor was neutered when he came into foster care and is up to date on his vaccines. He was microchipped and also had a dental where he had 11 teeth extracted. What is left is clean and up to the daily task of a chewer like Falkie!
The growth I have seen in Falkor in the time he has been with me makes me incredibly proud and I can’t wait to see how far he goes. The right family for Falkor has experience dealing with frightened dogs and understands the need to support him while encouraging him through the scary things. They have a quiet, adult only home that is full of love and patience for this sweet boy. His family needs to be committed to investing in his future even if it takes time to see the results. At the same time his new family needs to love accept him for the dog that he is today. He is a sweet, sensitive boy who deserves this next chapter of his life to be full of patience, love and support. If you think you could give our little luck dragon what he needs to be successful and confident then please fill out an application and I’d love to talk to you about him.