Love and Patience - A Success Story! Dan Seamo

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A dog can be an amazing companion, a loyal friend and can mould a family

together. But what about the dogs that aren't this fortunate and are forgotten

about? During my time volunteering at a rescue centre I came across this

gorgeous eight year old Husky cross Collie; a truly stunning dog with two Merle

eyes which melt through to your core. Unfortunately this poor boy had been dealt

a difficult start to his life. From a puppy he was tied by a chain to a tiny wooden

kennel at the bottom of a garden in all weathers receiving no socialisation, fun or

mental stimulation which for an active breed like a Husky collie cross made it even

more difficult for him.

After four years of this sad and lonely lifestyle his owner passed away, his family

were unable to handle him due to his difficult beginning therefore resulting in this

dog being brought into the rescue centre. However due to his rough beginning his

social skills had not been developed and couldn't interact with other dogs. He had

also been physically and mentally abused by his owner which had created a great

fear of strangers; which can come across as aggression. Making it hard for him to

be handled by many people meaning even more social anxiety, fear of the

unknown and creating what most people believed was a 'dangerous'

unrehomeable dog who flies up with teeth showing,willing to bite anyone he

doesn't know. This caused strangers to react in a negative manner,which the dog

picks up on, feeding his fear and anxiety even more - making an even bigger trust

issue with the 'unknown'.

Avoiding eye contact and slowly I approached his kennel for the first time;despite

him launching himself at the bars barking and snarling at me. I lowered myself

down and sat by his gate softly talking to him, ensuring I remained calm, and didn't

react to his reactivity. After a short period of time he calmed, laid against the bars,

allowing me to gently touch his side. After this I began to take him for walks,

around the sanctuary, building his trust with me and others around us, remaining

calm and rewarding his calmness too. Which in time I could expose him to more of

his mood triggers (Strangers, other dogs, cats, other animals, sign posts, gates)

shortening the distance he was comfortable with each time and always rewarding

positive behaviour.

This once fearful anxious un-socialised dog got his forever home with us! Bringing

him home he got the chance to play, learn and live a proper dogs life. A year on

from this he has learnt so much and loves to learn more each day, he lives with

two other dogs who he adores and loves to play in the garden with. His triggers

are now much more controllable and he will even approach a confident stranger

for a cuddle. He really craves for life now something at one point he never had a

chance to, and all it has taken is love and some patience. Most dogs can be an

amazing companion, a loyal friend and can mould a family together but a given up

on, forgotten rescue dog can be a dream come true!