It is so easy to forget that this dog was a stray, the epitome of ‘street dog’. Rough around the edges with rotten teeth and a huge bad attitude. He mistrusted his own shadow and was ready to fight his way out of any corner. He had given up on love, instead opting to isolate himself as a form of self preservation.
It is easy not only to forget how hard his journey was but also how many people were part of his story. How many people believed in giving him a chance (a last chance.)
It is easy to overlook that clean, fat, happy dog as a survivor. To just see that happy dog but for dogs it is that simple, they are blessed to just being able to live in the moment – to let go (with the right conditions.)
But there still are signs of that previous life, broken and missing teeth, deformed ribs, bent back legs are some of the physical signs but the physical eventually heals. So what about the emotional?
Emotionally we see a happy dog at home, we see he has coping mechanisms (chewing and suckling) and we have chose not to correct this as it works for him and there is the worry if we correct it, it will be replaced by something less appropriate. We see it out and about as he refuses to take treats from strangers and hangs back when saying hello. Overall with us he does cope though.
We suspect this is not always the case when he is left though (not that we leave him often) but little sentences and phrases often pop into conversations like “he wouldn’t let me trim his ears” at the groomers or “he wouldn’t let me past” if we are in another room – nothing major but snippets. Willie is comfortable with us, confident even but he still feels he needs to be in control with other people. This dog is a survivor and has fit in beautifully here and we are his forever home because I don’t think he would cope anywhere else – cheeky boy…