We acquired Mozart from the SD Humane Society at age one. He has grown with our three children (currently ages 12, 10, 4). We recently moved from a home into a small apartment where my 10-year old developed severe allergies, to the extent that he experiences asthma symptoms. His allergy tests show a significant sensitivity to dog dander, along with other allergens. We love love love Mozart, but he and my son cannot co-exist in our smaller place where separation/isolation is not feasible.
Mozart is extremely smart and loyal. I have not known a better dog than he. He has never soiled the house indoors and he has never mouthed, taken, or mistreated anything that wasn't his. He is a "working" dog, very trainable, and quick to understand human intentions. He loves to play ball and has acclimated to the water at the dog beach (but will not swim). The pictures show him growing up with my youngest daughter, with whom he is most attached (besides myself). He is submissive to all the children and will "herd" them when we are out and about. For the one he has identified as his "person", he will walk dutifully on the leash, and does very well off the leash. The kids walk him, but after ball and poop, he will pull to rush back home to me.
We suspect he was mistreated before arriving at the humane society because he consistently shows a lot of wariness towards older men. However, he does well with my husband at home because Mozart recognizes him as leader of the "pack". At dog parks, he tends not to want to play with others and wants others to mind his and his "person's" space. He uses appropriate dog communication tools to tell others that he is not happy: bares teeth, growls, but has never bitten (dog nor human). He knows who are the friendly dogs and will bark at those he sees as posing a threat to us. He will bark at strangers walking by the house, but since we've been in an apartment, has learned to restrain the barking more. He is very responsive to my commands, but still needs continued help tolerating strangers to enter his home as he is very protective of the family. We don't have enough guests to give him enough regular practice.
About 1.5 years ago, he developed allergies to what the vet think might be the proteins in his dog kibble. He takes Apoquel at a very low dose. The vet recommended 1.5 pills every day, but I have found that one pill every 2-3 days plus Zyrtec (4-5 pills/day when he doesn't get the Apoquel) will manage his symptoms. Symptoms include excessive scratching and licking, vomiting of food and diarrhea. We have also found that washing his bedding more is a great help. Because of his "allergy" to kibble, I give only half his recommended serving and provide human food for the other half. These foods include: potatoes, yams, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, eggs, beans, peanut butter, bananas, apples. He can probably tolerate many other varieties of fruits, vegetables, and legumes. We get much of his produce from the food pantry in our neighborhood so it is not that big of a financial strain to feed him. I suspect he is allergic to beef, chicken, pork, and rice. Sometimes I will treat him to those but only after he has received his Apoquel.
Thank you for your attention to Mozart's profile. We pray he will find a new family who will love him as much as we have loved him.
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