Remember Alex? the little guy abandoned in a California mega shelter, shipped up to BC, adopted out quickly at a pet store adoption event, placed into a home unprepared for his emotional needs who re-directed and went biting kung foo mighty up and down the arms of his brand new mom during a stressful situation??
Poor Alex, set up to fail right from the very beginning.
So...Alex came to SAINTS stressed, anxious, over reactive and desperately unhappy with a pretty nasty biting history.
We set up some simple rules...don't pick him up, don't react to his over reactiveness...basically be respectful, give him space, be really nice and kind to him and let him unknot his knickers himself.
And he did.
I adore this little dog...loyal as loyal can be. He is very cooperative, very loving, he truly wants to please.
He gets a bit wound up and noisy when playing with the other dogs but they don't seem to mind.
I took him up to my cabin for a quiet overnight. What a pleasure he was to hang out with..peaceful, quiet, affectionate and listened really well to any request I made (like come here, stay put, lets have a cuddle, here, let me lift you up to the bed, and please don't chase the squirrels!) He is a dog who looks to you for direction, for support, for reassurance that he truly is a very good dog.
I am not saying that if ever again placed in highly stressful situations that Alex might not react and bite again. But the point is..no dog should ever be forced to endure more than he or she can handle. Our job as guardians is to ensure we keep them safe and that means protecting them from being tossed off an emotional cliff.
Alex is a great little dog who has been to hell and back. So what if he fell off the edge for a bit and lost his little mind? Under the same absolutely powerless and terrifying circumstances, I might have done the same.
But I think we can forgive Alex for losing his mind and foundering around for a bit in dark terror if Alex can forgive we humans for tossing him into the abyss. Alex has forgiven us.
And what really matters is this...Alex has been able to re-find himself and his happy light....good job buddy, love you to the moon and all the way back again!
Welcome to a kinder, more considerate life.