Jonah is an adorable cocker spaniel puppy who is barely a year old and weighs 28 pounds. He has the softest, silky coat with beautiful rich chocolate and creamy white coloring, and big round puppy-dog eyes that just make you smile. With that perfect older-puppy temperament where he’s still playful and loves to hang out with you, but also independent and smart, Jonah doesn’t need constant attention… he’s got things to do.
Little Jonah took it upon himself to escape from a very hard life. He was found running at large with a bark collar and part of a chain still attached to him. He was being kept outside and neglected; his coat was matted, he had cherry eye, and he had tested positive for heartworm. These issues, and the discomfort Jonah endured, could have been avoided if his owner had given him basic care and a monthly heartworm preventative. Fortunately these are all very treatable, especially in such a young, resilient pup like Jonah. Over the past two months, Jonah has completed his heartworm treatment, had surgery for his eye, got a haircut and thorough grooming, and now looks like the handsome pup he was born to be.
Jonah is being fostered in Alexandria by a new foster family and fellow Patch readers, Katy and Ali, who saw our November article about fostering and wanted to make a difference. They took Jonah into their home and have watched him blossom in a matter of weeks. When he first came into foster he was a little anxious, but now that he’s settled in, he’s quickly learning how to be part of a family. He loves going on walks and hanging out on the couch, and sits by the window during the day to keep an eye on the local squirrels that have invaded his neighborhood. Katy and Ali have been working with him on his basic commands like “sit,” “down,” and “stay,” and he’s doing so well with potty training that they trust him to have free roam of the house when they leave during the day.
Katy describes Jonah as “surprisingly calm for a puppy even though he’s active. He’s very sweet and affectionate and wants to be near his people, but he’s not clingy or pushy about attention.” Jonah will softly rub his head against Katy’s leg when he wants a belly rub, but also has his own interests and special projects. He loves to play fetch and run around the yard gathering sticks, sniffing the ground and sometimes digging for treasures. He always has his trusty heart-shaped squeaky toy with him, and uses it as a way to explore new things. When I arrived to meet Jonah, the first thing he did was to grab his heart toy and touch my leg with it to say hello. All Katy has to do to entertain him is put the heart toy on the ground and Jonah takes it from there, tossing it in the air, chasing it, and sometimes barking at it too. He’s fun to watch and passionate about his prized possession.
I took Jonah for a walk before doing his photo shoot, and he was very calm and on his best behavior. We went to a local park with lots of other dogs and people around. He greets people warmly, but can sometimes get excited when another dog gets close and will pull towards them. He likes other dogs, but is still trying to master walking on a leash and will benefit from some basic obedience training and practice. When good treats are involved, Jonah knows what to do: he sits on command like a soldier.
Jonah needs an active family who is committed to his daily walks and training, and a fenced backyard would be ideal for his off-leash exploring. Cocker spaniels have silky coats that need regular brushing and grooming, and can be kept short or long, but longer coats will require more attention. Jonah will also need daily lubricating eye drops for his eye.
Jonah is a very sweet, well-adjusted young pup who will make a great family dog.
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