Huckleberry’s Story – from Puppy Mill to Community Dog

WEEK 5
“Huck’s week with me was wonderful. He’s learning a lot of things this week. He is fetching and bobbing for treats in water. He still has problems with staying and down. But with Huck, it’s a trust issue. But all in all, he’s a great puppy. He will get better in time. Huck is very smart and he’s treat motivated so that’s a good thing.”

GOLD STARS:

  • Bobbing for treats
  • Fetching

NEEDS TO WORK ON:

  • Trust

WEEK 4 
“Huck has been doing well from week to week. I have rebuilt Huck’s trust a little in dealing with people. Huck’s self-confidence has been great. He is just a loving, adorable puppy!!! I’ve been working with him with the walker to get him ready for the senior living home he’s going to. He went out on Thursday with his adopter. They said he was great, but a little shy. Huck is a wonderful puppy. He is a very high energy that loves playing and getting into everything. He takes my socks, towel, etc. into his crate with him. He just loves my things.”  

GOLD STARS:

  • Walking side by side with the walker.

NEEDS TO WORK ON:

  • Trust

WEEK 3
“Huck is doing well…he has adapted to his surroundings. He loves playing all the time with the other dogs!!! The other dogs all understand that Huck is a puppy:) So they put up with a lot of his games. Huck is a high energy dog that needs a lot of free time to play. Huck is a people dog but at times he still gets scared. He has a lot of confidence. He keeps his tail up at all times. He has come a long way in two weeks. All the other inmates and everybody enjoy Huck.”

GOLD STARS: 

  • Huck plays fetch

NEEDS TO WORK ON:

  • He still has a problem with “down” on command. Other than that, he’s great! 


Week 2
“Huck is doing well in the HOPE Program. His confidence is real high. He walks with his head and tail high. He’s doing very well with the other dogs and handlers!!! Huck doesn’t like any conflict whatsoever. He loves getting into everything in the cell. He steals my clothes and takes them in his crate. Wherever he goes, they will love him. Huck loves running around and playing. He listens to commands and also watches me. Everywhere I walk, he follows me. He loves jumping on my bed.”

GOLD STARS

  • He walks up and down the stairs now.
  • He can jump on my bed.

NEEDS TO WORK ON

  • His focus – I need to call him more than once

Week 1
“The first two days with Huck were touch and go!!! He wouldn’t let anyone touch him or feed him with their hands. He also wouldn’t walk on a leash, but now he does. He comes on command. He’s eating puppy food and he’s also housebroken. No more doing his business on the inside. His times are 3:30 a.m., 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 or 5:00 p.m. (also before bedtime). He will let you know by putting his head on your legs and walking back and forth. All the other handlers have been helping out also. It really has been a very intriguing week with the Huck. He follows me everywhere. I believe Huck is younger than nine months. I think he’s between six and seven months. He also has a trust problem. If you are standing up, he will not come to anyone right away, but if you bend down, he will come right to anyone:) Also, Huck likes getting into everything. He takes my socks and chews them, paper, toys, etc.”

GOLD STARS:

  • House trained
  • Walking on a leash

NEEDS TO WORK ON:

  • Barking when he hears key in cell door

Updated May 9, 2013 -

OnMay 9, 2013, nine-month old Huckleberry’s journey started when he was rescued from a puppy mill in Christiana, PA. Huck spent the first eight months of his life in a wire hutch, behind hay bales in a dark barn. Many of the other dogs there were kept for years in the same filthy conditions and used as breeding machines. He and 23 others were removed from this horrible place. His coat was dirty and matted and he had received no vet care.

Huck and the others were taken in by A Tail to Tell, Inc. Baths and brushing and lots of loving were on the agenda that day. After a visit to the vet for a check-up, vaccines and neutering, Huckleberry was set to move on. Despite his horrendous beginnings, he was a happy, outgoing little guy.

As luck would have it, at this same time, a senior living center had been searching for the right dog to live with them as their community dog (they had recently lost their beloved dog). When they saw Huck’s picture and read his story, they knew he was the dog for them. At the center, Huck will be doing bed bound or room bound one to one visits each week. He will be playing catch regularly in the courtyard and he will be a couch buddy for movie nights and coffee socials. He will be walked daily by his new mom (who works at the center) and pet lover residents, who are again VERY excited to return back to pet caring folks like they once were. Huck will not realize how much his peppy personality will lift these residents. He will make our folks smile and feel just as peppy. It’s proven…happy is contagious!  He will be loved by over 50 people a day, not just are the residents excited to have him but the staff are just busting with anticipation.

But before heading to the senior center, Huck is going to make a six-week stop at the Roxbury prison in Hagerstown, MD. He isn’t being punished, but rather he is going in for basic obedience training under the Hounds of Prison Education (HOPE) program. He will be housetrained, crate trained, socialized with people and other dogs and be loved more than anyone could imagine.