Last night I got a little upset. Ok. A lot upset.
I was having some one on one time with Wheaton, as I do a few times every day, and he was scuttling and cowering and tensing up as usual. I make sure to come to him low, with a quiet soothing voice, slowly approaching, using all the calm gentle tactics. There is no argument that he is tons better and not as scared…but…we’re coming up to a year and he’s still basically terrified to some degree. He realizes, once I have him in my arms, that he’s safe, and he settles, but every approach is still met with fear. Every movement I make towards him, around him, in his general vicinity puts him “on guard”. I hate that he is scared of ME. I am doing everything I can to be non-threatening…to calm him…to show him I’m safe, he’s safe and, most importantly, that I am his protector.
It just really upset me last night. I want him to be better. My heart hurts for him. Actually, I just want to fly down to Missouri, find that effin breeder and beat the sh*t out of them!!!!!!! I want THEM to cower every time a person moves around them. I want THEM to fear EVERY thing around them….when they are laying in their warm cozy bed, thinking they are SAFE…I want THEM to jump up in a panic at the slightest movement for fear someone is going to hit them!!!
Too harsh? I don’t think so. This “breeder” abused Wheaton for 4 years. They scarred him for life. They forever took away a piece of him. They beat a fear into him that is probably going to stay for years to come…maybe even the rest of his life. They neglected his health so much that he was in a terrible amount of pain for those 4 years and that’s probably another reason he cowers to touch – all touch hurt. He has no peace of mind because of these monsters.
Who HURT you so badly?
Why would they do this to you?
How could they do this to you?
WHY is my love NOT enough to fix this??????
I’ve been seeing a fair amount of social media posts about rescued dogs and abandoned dogs and some of them come around so quickly. Truthfully, I’m a bit jealous. I saw a post yesterday and this poor dog had a rough beginning, spent years in a mill cage, a matted, dirty, infected mess…they cleaned him all up and he was getting pats and belly rubs and cuddles soon after. He was wagging his tail and accepting loves with a happy smiley face! This made me super happy for the little fellow….yay for him! This is great! A rescue success story with a very happy ending.
But….why can’t my Wheatie breakthrough this barrier? It’s almost a year. He has received more love & focus than I can even put into words. Everything a dog could ever need or want and beyond! Day in day out attention, they even get to spend all day chilling at work with me. In fact, my dogs are hardly ever left on their own for a whole day. We go for 3 walks a day (trainers say the walk is bonding time). In Daisy, he has a dog companion who shows him the ropes & loves to play with him. They get the best food, the best treats. All the comforts. Never mind all the snuggles & cuddles & pats. I make sure they socialize with other dogs, to play and sniff around. I’m doing my best to create well balanced dogs. The only thing I haven’t done is one on one training with a professional, I’ve looked at classes but, given his on-leash behaviour around other dogs; he would not do well in a group class.
I know I’m NOT failing him. I do see he is way better. I do see the progress. I do see him finding some confidence and security in his surroundings. It’s just that last night it hit me that this may be it for him….this may be as good as it gets.
Sometimes it just breaks my heart that I can’t fix his brokenness.
Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you~ Coldplay “Fix You”