Most foster dogs have been through a lot. They may have been passed around, lost an owner they loved, or been abused either mentally or physically. Either way, any of this emotional or physical trauma would be enough to drive a human crazy. Yet, dogs endure. They can go through unspeakable things and yet still look at the next human that comes into their life as a possible friend. Dogs are unconditional, be nice to me and I'll be nice to you. If you ever meet a bad dog, it's just his reaction to the last bad human he met. He wants to trust and love. Its his nature. But sometimes, when trust is lost, the next human in line has to give a little to rebuilt it.
Corona came to my house last January as a foster. She was afraid of everything, the household humans, the cat, the other dog, company, going outside, and ...well, everything. She sat in her crate for about a week, door open, and watched us. One day she came out to explore but ran right back to the crate when anyone made the slightest move. It was hard work getting her to take a treat. Mostly I ignored her and let her find her way over to me. She did so in her own time, slowly, fearfully.
Corona came from a hoarding situation and never in her 9 years had she seen the outside. She was kept in a barn having puppies. Her whole life was a fight for food, space, and survival. Hoarders bred her over and over again for 9 years and took her puppies too soon. When they did have contact with her, it wasn't in a good way. Most of the others that came up in her rescue transport were just like her; too thin, infected mouths/spay incisions, and afraid of everything. Some in the transport reacted by cowering and trembling. Corona went from retreating and shaking to charging and shaking. She was, what I'd call; un-adoptable. I knew her type of fear would escalate so I called in a professional trainer who worked in the "Positively" type of training.
It was slow, but over the months Corona came around. When I used to put the harness on her she'd run and hide. Take her out on a leash and she'd freeze and refuse to move. It was like standing on the front lawn with a little Chihuahua statue. Now, after lots of patient practice, when I pull out the leash she jumps up and down and runs to the front door. She loves walks! She's cuddly and sweet and loves belly rubs. She's a new dog from the one who had to be carried into my home a year ago. Now I'd call her adoptable.
A year. Corona has been by my side for a year. She lost her fear here, learned to love here, and ...somewhere along the line, she stole the heart of this seasoned foster mama.
Introducing the newest addition to our household; Gambit! (formerly Corona) She found her furever home in our hearts.
If you want to know where the name "Gambit" came from look here.