Joey, the Golden Retriever

Susan DelPonte and Carole Pearce
State College, PA 

Joey was approximately 9 months old when he was found running on South Atherton Street. We took him in and tried to find his owners. Long story short, his owner no longer wanted him. When Joey joined our family we had a 5-year-old yellow Lab mix, Gloria, and they got along famously. Lizzie, our 2-year-old Golden, came on the scene in 2009. Then, at 13, Gloria had to be put down due to illness. So Joey had lived with two other dogs and did well with both. Recently, however, Joey had started to become aggressive with other dogs - dogs he saw, dogs that came close, etc. At first it was a growl and a stiff stance, then it grew into a scream and an attempt to attack any other, smaller dog. No harm was done, but I knew that I couldn't have this dog and didn't want him to be "that dog."

With a little community research, Dr. Megan Maxwell came highly recommended. Within days of contacting Megan we were able to meet and draw up a plan for Joey. We contracted with Megan for an 8-week treatment package, which included instructions on how to walk Joey, when to call him, and how to use commands. (And homework! LOL.) Several times I took Joey to a place where there were many people walking their dogs, and was able to use their presence as practice for Joey. With all of this at our disposal, Joey has learned to almost completely ignore other dogs and focus on me and we both have a much better time outside. Thanks Dr. Maxwell!!!!