Rescue Journal

more worries

Carol  ·  Sep. 30, 2016

i am a bit worried about daisy over the weekend because i am working. she is not fond of strangers and i won't be here to give my stamp of approval. because of this, we have implemented some fairly stiff rules around her..not just to protect others but mostly to protect her. because here is the thing..we are the ones who put daisy at risk. i say... don't look at her, turn your back on her, stay away from the fence...and the reason i say these things is because those are the things that trigger her and it is imperative we don't pull her triggers.
here is the thing about daisy...she is poorly socialized, fearful and very distrustful of humans and she has bitten people she is nervous around or doesn't know very well. she so far doesn't do any real damage, they are currently aggressive nips, not breaking the skin. but the more she bites, the easier it becomes, the easier it is, the harder the bites will become. learning to bite humans is usually progressive. it starts out small but can escalate if allowed to continue. every time she gets stimulated into a negative behavior..running up/jumping up and nipping, barking, throwing herself at folks thru the fence..we are programing those behaviors to continue.

daisy is on the cusp...she has the potential, the possibility to become a more trustworthy dog. she will learn to trust quicker if we humans can hold our own animal loving needs in check, not to try to force our friendship on her. we cannot force daisy to trust people. what we can do tho is to allow her to learn that she doesn't have to aggressively react to people, that she can make other choices. and we can let her decide when we are safe enough to make friends with. this is what we did with both june and luna..the highlites of everyone's experience here is when june and luna offer up their sweet selves for a new friends cuddling.

understand this..daisy already loves me but she does not trust me...i see it in her eyes. if i make the wrong move with her i will destroy the tenuous relationship we are starting to have.
if daisy requires the most delicate handling and interactions with the person with whom she shares a bed, her relationship with others will be even more tenuous.
i am determined not to fuck this dog up even more than life has already fucked her up. and life has not been easy for her..born a stray, running as a semi feral pup, growing up isolated from the world in rescue, adopted out to the very wrong home, returned to rescue isolation and still out of necessity... in rescue isolation here, until we can help her be a "safer" dog.
last weekend i found that if i sanctioned each individual person, she did ok. and being out with us, feeling safe because i said each person was ok, is positive interactions for her. the sanctioning itself is probably currently only good for that particular day. but the plan is to build on each positive day until they outnumber her past negatives days.
daisy has 4 or 5 years of unlearning to do, it will not happen over night. but it will happen more easily if we are careful not to rev her anxiety based aggression up.

i don't want to have to kill daisy because we are stupid. we know she has some problems and we believe that with time, patience, understanding and mindfullness of her issues, we can help her progress beyond being a sketchy biting dog. maybe her distrust will forever be a part of her but the goal is to get her to be as safe as june and luna which means they remove themselves when they are afraid instead of confronting their fears face onwards.
right now daisy is manageable IF we don't screw up.
we can't screw up, her life depends on it.

please ensure daisy is not put at risk. one day hopefully she will be ready to make new friends...just not yet.

so the plan for the weekend with me not here...
no one enters my room except andrea..the door will be locked. andrea will get her out for a pee first thing in the morning and then let her loose around 12 or 1 pm with the other dogs once everyone is gone.
there are no exceptions to this rule, please ensure that those who do not read the blog are fully aware of the rules around daisy too.


alyson nerker

Thanks for the update. I'll make sure to pass this along tomorrow. Alyson


I agree with Shelagh.....neon flashing lights around the sign on the door if necessary...anything to ensure you get attention..and to keep Daisy safe.....thanks for this important post...hope all read it and obey...

shelagh f

I am sure you already did, but notes on the door, since some
people come early and may not know. I would rather say
something stupid, than let something bad happen.( We, as
nurses always plan for worst case scenario )