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Sebastian's Foster Journey - Adopted 4/4/04 - Rainbow Bridge 1/07

Post Adoption

Pertinent Information
5-6 yr. old Fawn Male
55 lb. Shelter Surrender
Natural Ears and Docked Tail
Neutered and UTD
Being Fostered in East Haddam, CT 
Adoption Donation $175

1/07 - Frodo succumbed to a variety of medical problems after going downhill for the past month.  He will be sorely missed.

10/6/04 - Frodo has been a wonderful dog since he arrived here at our home. He is well behaved, no accidents in the house (never since he arrived!), and real good company to my wife and I. Presently, Frodo and I are Bacheloring it, my wife is in Florida helping her mom get her house fixed up after Hurricane Francis and now Joanne. I'm at home, resting after some shoulder surgery and Frodo is sticking right by my side. He knows that something is different and does not want to be left behind. Frodo does not like being left alone, although we have repeatedly left him "home alone" with free run of the house and have had no problems. He would rather be in the back of the van sleeping. Now that Fall is here and the weather is cooler, we can include him in more car trips and not be worried of him overheating. He definitely is an air conditioning dog and does not tolerate the heat very well.
I never imagined that adopting a senior dog could be so enjoyable. It's as if they realize that they have finally reached their forever home and are grateful for the chance to finally have a peaceful and permanent home. We have no regrets in adopting Frodo, the payback has been immense. Joe & Dale

4/11/04 - Sebastian, now named Frodo, is doing very well. My wife, who has become a fan of the Lord of the Rings" movies, named him Frodo after the main character of the movie. It seems that Frodo in the movie carries a ring around with him, (his "precious" as it is called), all the time. Well, Sebastian found and began to carry the hot-dog squeaky toy around with him when we first fostered him. This toy used to belong to our past white boxer, Floyd. (Coincidentally, the hot-dog toy came from Sebastian Florida where Dale's mom now lives. Maybe our destiny was to adopt a dog named Sebastian.) Anyway, Sebastian never seemed to recognize the name he came with and quickly began responding to Frodo. So, Frodo it is.....
Frodo had terrible bad breath and lots of gas when we first fostered him. I took him to the vet and had his teeth cleaned and his back X-rayed to see what was going on in that area. The teeth cleaning revealed two infections and I treated it with 2 weeks of antibiotics. The teeth cleaning immediately cleared up his bad breath and, interestingly enough, most of his gas problem. He is still on the same food since we fostered him, so it was not because of a change in diet. He seems much happier now, evidently the tooth infections were bothering him. The back X-rays revealed several disks that have a problem and a spur that is probably arthritis. Nothing serious or unusual for a 6 year old dog. He probably will need some meds in the near future to help him along; right now he gets 50mg of Duramaxx anti-inflammatory when he seems to need it. This seems to be helping.
Frodo is now in great shape! He is happy, loves walks, eats well and is in very good health. Some of you may think that all the above is a lot of time and money to invest into an older dog. Let me tell you, it is well worth it!! He is really good company and is very appreciative of a good home with a good healthcare plan! I had my doubts about adopting him, but now I have none. I'd do it again.
Frodo has two issues that we need to work on. I took him to a friend of mine who is a dog behavioral therapist. The first issue is, when offering him a treat, he will stop a couple of feet away from you and wait for you to give him the treat. This appears to be a trust issue with humans. Sally showed me how to make Frodo come to me and take the treat. Her technique was very simple, straightforward, and Frodo enjoyed doing it.
The second issue is that Frodo does not get along with other dogs. We tested him with one of Sally's dogs that is very passive and non-aggressive and Frodo initiated a conflict. Not knowing the background of Frodo, it was difficult for Sally to determine why he did this, but her best evaluation is that Frodo was with a group of dogs at one time and was the lowest ranking dog. He struck out towards Sally's dog in fear of being attacked, the "fight of flee" concept. Maybe in his past he was in an enclosed area with other dogs and did not have the option to flee, so he has learned to fight as an answer to his fear. He does not appear to be an "alpha" dog, just a dog that is afraid and trying to survive.
The fear of other dogs is going to be a challenge to correct and, in fact, may not be able to be solved. Sally told me about "calming signals" that dogs give out to each other. I thought that this was a little crazy at first, but Sally gave me something to read. I found a copy of it at: You may want to read it. I've spent the past few days observing Frodo when we walk and when he hears/sees other dogs. The first thing that he does is whines. He does not bark or show any aggressiveness, just a quiet whine. One of the calming signals that dogs give is licking their nose. I never noticed this on Frodo, because he always walked in front of me on the leash. After careful observation and patience, I noticed that Frodo DOES lick his nose when he hears/sees other dogs! He also occasionally yawns and "shakes it off" which are two other calming signals. These are signals that Frodo is trying to give to other dogs signaling that they should stay calm. I'm getting very interested in this and now I need to find out how to apply these calming signals to Frodo, as he is the dog that really needs to be calmed. I guess I now need to take the information back to Sally and see what can be done.
There is another reference to calming signals at: and this whole subject is very interesting. I need to investigate it some more. Joe

4/4/04 - Frodo has been adopted by his foster family.  He certainly is a lucky dog!!

3/29/04 - Sebastian is pending adoption with his foster family who have this to say:  "Dale came back from Florida yesterday where she was visiting with her mother and today is our 35th wedding anniversary.  We have decided to adopt Sebastian, know known as Frodo.  After 35 years of marriage it is difficult to find something to give to each other.  A dog would be a wonderful gift."

3/7/04 - Sebastian continues to be a really well behaved visitor to our home.  He has not had single accident in the house, he does not chew up things and sleeps right through the night since he arrived here.  I really need to get a new photo of him on the "Available Boxers" web page because the present photo doesn't do him justice.  He is much more handsome then the photo.  His appetite is great and he reminds us when 7AM and 5PM rolls around by waiting in the kitchen for his food.

I took him over to one of the other Boxer Angels volunteer's house today to see how he would socialize with other dogs.  We kept the dogs separated by a fence.  He took a definite friendly interest to a boxer puppy and was wagging his tail and doing the "boxer wiggle" apparently wanting to play.  The next test was with an older female boxer.  He still appears to be just a little dominant towards the
older female.  Maybe in a month or two more and he will be better with older dogs after his hormone levels go down due to his neutering.  I still think that there is a chance that he would be OK with other dogs, but time will tell.  At this time, I have to say no.

If you're thinking of a mature dog to adopt, Sebastian would be an excellent choice.  He loves walks, rides in the car, playing with toys, eats well, completely house broken, and a very loving and appreciative dog.

Until then, Sebastian will be well taken care of, and enjoyed by us, while he waits for his new "forever home".

2/25/04 - How time flies. Sebastian has been with us for over two weeks and it's been a great experience having him with us. We had lost our white boxer, Floyd, last August so it's been a while since we have had a dog in the house. Sebastian is our first foster experience, I can't imagine it being any better. We'd do it again in a heartbeat.Sebastian is even a greater dog then we thought two weeks ago. The only concern is how he acts when he sees other dogs. He is not aggressive, but appears to be concerned about meeting other dogs. He must have had one or more bad experiences in his past with other dogs. He probably would do best as an only dog, but I would not rule out that he could be introduced to other animals carefully. He
absolutely loves people, no fear at all in meeting strangers. Sebastian does not appear to be an "alpha" dog, he obeys well and is very good on the leash.
My wife and I had some concerns about his health, so we took him to the local vet. Sebastian seemed to be in a little discomfort, but the vet thinks it is the effects of being neutered at an adult age. We got some anti-inflammatory pills to give him. One day of taking the pills and he was back to his normal self. A heartworm test came back negative, no problem there. He did have a trace of worms in his stools, so we are treating him and will be taking a stool sample back in a few days to be sure he is worm free. The worms may be why is still a little lean, although he is now 62 pounds, up from 55 pounds when he was rescued. The vet would like to see him at 70 pounds, so we are working on it. He eats well and is not a fussy eater, nor does he beg at the table.
Sebastian loves to ride in the car. All he has to do is see you put on a coat and jingle a set of car keys and he is at the door waiting. He sits in the back seat of our van and is not destructive when left alone. He is very calm, does not bark, and just naps in the back seat until you come out of the store. We haven't left him home alone in the house yet, that will be the next test. He will go in a crate, but is really not happy in it. We have probably spoiled him with total freedom of the house. My wife is retired and is with him all day. He only chews on his squeaky toys and is not a destructive dog, so he should be OK alone in the house.
If you are thinking of adopting Sebastian, please contact us soon. My wife and I have really grown fond of him and have considered adopting him for ourselves. Right now, we would like to see him go to the "right" home. Sebastian really deserves to find his "forever" home soon. Dale & Joe

2/9/04 - Well Sebastian finally got settled in last night.  I slept on the couch so I could keep an eye on him, and Sebastian was on a dog bed next to me.  He snores!  But it's not an annoying snore, just that boxer snore that tells you that your dog is content and comfortable.  I snore too, so it was a draw.
About 4:30AM I woke up and heard him tossing.  Time for a quick walk.  Sebastian has taken quickly to using the tie out.  He seems to be familiar with being tied up and quickly knew the limit of the overhead run, about 50 feet. He seems to be fully housebroken and pees in the snow, then runs back for the warmth of the house.
I heard his first bark.  I walked out to the get the newspaper without him, the driveway is all ice.  He lost site of me and began to bark a few times.  Sebastian seems to be a real "people" dog.
I decided to spend a little "floor time" with him, as he wanted to play with his squeaky toy at 4:45AM.  I'm an early riser, but my wife likes to sleep in.  Then it happened, that wonderful human-dog bonding that happens when you subject a dog to physical touch.  He fell asleep in my arms, snoring.
I have the feeling that Sebastian is going to be a difficult dog to see leave.

2/8/04 - Sebastian has been moved to a brand new foster home in CT.  He is a wonderful dog, but didn't get along with all the other dogs in his former foster home and had to be crated too much of the time.  So now he is in a home with no other animals.
From his new foster home:  Are you sure this guy is 6 years old?  He hasn't skipped a beat since he arrived here an hour ago.  Acts more like a 1 year old, I wish I had his energy! 
Sebastian is just full of happiness, took him out for 2 pees and poops already, so he has his spot in the backyard all marked.  Hopefully, he will be a good boy.  I think so.  Right now, he is happily playing with a squeaky toy on the floor.  He took right to me and he is warming up to my wife, offering her his squeaky toy to play with.
We lost a boxer to cancer last August, so we were a little hesitant to take a boxer foster.  I think this is going to be a good experience for both Sebastian and us.
I hope he sleeps tonight!

1/28/04 - Wow time flies by...sorry it has been so long for an update on this great 
boy. We took him in for his neuter and heartworm test and he came up positive for heartworm so he is having his treatment now. It will be a month or two before Sebastian is ready for his new home but please start thinking of him.
He is doing wonderful with my small shih tzu in the home...just takes slow introductions. I would have to safely say no cats.
He is a super boy who LOVES to play with the toys and cuddle with you...I would definitely have to put him more in the 5 year range then 6.
You will not be sorry to have a boy like this. He just loves for you to throw the ball 
so he can run and get it. He also loves his squeaky toys...he is so funny running around with them in his mouth squeaking them constantly.
If you have a home with no cats and have no dogs or the patience to go very slow with intros let us know...Sebastian will be forever grateful.

12/27/03 - Well it's time for another update on Sebastian...gotta tell you he is a 
wonderful boy. He spent most of Christmas day out and about with family coming 
and going...Everyone just loved this boy. He was soooo very well behaved. We 
had family sitting in the living room eating on the coffee table and he just laid on his 
pillow with all his toys around. No begging at all for this guy.He is so very sweet.
He sure does love his toys though. As quickly as you put them up, he is pulling 
them back out again...every last one!
This is one super duper boy and as soon as he is neutered and his lump removed, 
he will be ready to head to a new forever home.

12/21/03 - Well the newest guest here at the Guardian Angel Boxer Haven is now 
named Sebastian. This boy was found tied to a shelter in NJ who immediately called 
us to see if we could help. Sebastian is approx 6 years old and is very very thin. 
We are working hard to put some weight on this boy to get him into shape prior to 
being neutered. 
He is a gem when out by himself but not too keen on the kitties or other four legged 
doggies in the home as of yet. We will give him some more time before we label him 
as needing to be an only pet in the home.
I do think Sebastian will make some family very happy. I will do more write ups on 
him as the days go by and I get to know him better.