Our rat terrier Bonnie had been abused when we got her (around the age of one year). We've had her 7 years now and she still exhibits some bizarre behavior occasionally, but she's a total love sponge. I don't think they ever recover 100%, but they will eventually turn into the best friend you've ever had!
When we first got here we were told not to "coddle" her and feel sorry for her for the past abuse. It was hard to heed that advice, but I think it's for the best and will help your new friend recover faster.
A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving. ~ Lao Tzu
This is our rescue Jill (we've had her 2 years now) and she's 9.
While many rescues assume abuse when dogs show fearful behavior, it is not always the case. Also, the abuse can be other that physical trauma. Lack of training and exposure to different situations can result in a dog that lack confidence and the instinctive fear response becomes debilitating (also abuse by my definition). Regardless of the cause, giving the dog confidence through patient training and routine is the way to solve the issues. We needed to add anti-anxiety medication to try to break through the 7 years of neglect.
It's been an ongoing adventure with Jill. She still has her issues, but it's great to see her bounce and trot with her tail up like she's having fun.
Hope you enjoy Banjo.
Doug & Sandy
Jill (12yr old Golden) Charmin (at the bridge)
Henry our camping cat
2009 Honda CRV
I agree about making it so difficult to adopt a dog. I can understand that they don't want the dog to go through another bad experience, but geez, the dogs end up spending the rest of their lives in the shelter instead??? It doesnt make sense to me.
May I share my rescue story? It's lengthy, so if you're not interested, just skip this entry
After the death of our beloved Golden, Brandy, we decided after just one month that we couldn't stand coming home and not having something happy and slobbery there waiting for us. I knew I wanted another Golden, but didn't want one that looked too much like Brandy because my deep state of mourning couldn't take that. We looked on Petfinder and found a little Golden/Sheltie (we think!) mix at a local shelter. She was half the size of Brandy and looked nothing like her so we went to pick her up.
Upon arriving at the shelter we were informed that little Molly was 'unadoptable' and was slated for the gas chamber (!!!!) the next day. The reason? Cuz she's shy. I decided that shyness was a really lousy reason to kill a dog and enlisted the help of a rescue group to get her out.
The next several weeks showed us that Molly clearly had been abused. She was afraid of absolutely everything, was hand-shy, wouldn't take treats and didn't seem to even know what a toy was. It took a lot of patience and hard work over many weeks, but she eventually became bonded to me. It took longer for her to warm up to my hubby, but she got there eventually.
After having her for a coupla weeks, I became suspicious that she might be pregnant. She was being treated for an infection at the time but the vet, over several visits and several weeks, assured us she was spayed and definitely not pregnant. At one point, we had to kennel her while we were out of town on family business. 2 days before we got home, the kennel called. "ummm...you're dog is in labor" Seriously???
4 days later the babies were finally born in my kitchen. In the middle of the night, 17 degrees, and hubby was away on business. Throughout the birthing process we had to make 2 trips to the ER because Molly was having trouble birthing. The babies were HUGE. The last 2 pups had to be removed with forceps because she just couldn't get them out on her own. Ultimately, there were 6 boys and 2 girls. One of the little girls, the runt, didn't make it
We placed 2 pups locally, decided to keep 1, and the other 4 found homes clear across the country in CA where we used to live. We loaded up Mama and 5 pups and drove from NC to CA to get them to their new homes. Upon arriving, 2 adopters changed their minds. So we drove back to NC with Mama and 3 pups. What an ordeal.
When we got home, Molly suddenly was in extreme pain and lost the use of her back legs. It was horrible. MRI showed that she had blown a disc in her neck (how does that happen??) and needed immediate surgery. Recovery was long and even now she is on pain medication because her neck will always be delicate.
2 months after her spinal surgery, Molly was diagnosed with breast cancer. Another surgery. Both mammary chains were removed in their entirety and were found to be full of tumors. She bounced back from that remarkably well, needed no further treatment, and is now totally cancer free.
Molly had quite a year. Got adopted, had a litter, had 3 surgeries (including her spay) and is now residing with us happily along with the 3 pups we ended up keeping. She has come out of her shell now that she knows she's loved and even does well with visitors. The transformation has been amazing. BTW-Molly is about 45lbs and the pups have grown up to be 85lbs. Apparently daddy was a moose.
The year was tough for us too. Our only saving grace was that we had just purchased our first home and received the $8000 rebate from the government. Regardless of what your political stand may be on that issue, the fact is that the money saved Molly's life and kept hubby and I from going into insurmountable debt. Every penny of that money (and then some) went to Molly's vet bills throughout the year.
So our free unadoptable dog has been a lot of work and very expensive. But she has filled our house (boy did she fill it!) with love and is now a happy, sweet little girl.
Thanks for taking in a rescue...it will take time but before too long he will realize that love doesn't hurt !
I also was turned down by a rescue group...we had 8 acres of land...a large home...a fenced yard...have always had dogs...some big, some small...all died of old age or death was disease related ....but we were deemed unacceptable...since then I have taken in 3 special needs chihuahuas ( private adoptions ) and they are living the life of riley ( in my humble opinion )
Well, after we lost Sunshine to cancer we doubted having another dog but we just adopted another Golden Retriever from the Golden Beginnings Golden Retriever Rescue in Houston. His name is Banjo but DW likes Bange (Ban Gee) for short. He is 3 years old and was very abused. Right now his is DW's dog since is afraid of men but will come around. He is going to be the new travel partner.
When my last dog died I swore 'no more dogs'.....
I lasted a whole 3 weeks before getting another one!
Congrats on your new traveling partner to help you make 'new' camping memories.
"We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned,
so as to have the life that is waiting for us".
Definitely dogs can be fearful and act in ways that make you think they've been abused, when as Doug says, they've just not been exposed to anything so everything becomes scary.
But regardless of why, certain things will help. Structure, routine and actually training... as in obedience training... do a lot to build confidence. If he's afraid of Dad, then Dad should be feeding him and walking him. Tethering him to your hiney while you walk around the house can be useful if he's not so strong he's going to pull you off your feet. The tendency is to have the one the dog is more comfortable with do everything, but that only slows bonding with the other party and in some cases reinforces the fear.
I've had good results with pheremone collars with fearful dogs, and also L-tryptophan, as well as flower essences.
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a wabbit, Fuzzy Wuzzy had a dandelion habit! RIP little Wuz... don't go far.
Willow, my first rescue and first greyhound, was very shy and fearful after I brought her home from the shelter. She even growled at Max, my German Shepherd, a few times in the beginning and, every time she saw a broom, she would run for cover. There was a possibility she was abused, but more likely it was stress. Max and I both gave her the space to get used to us and her new surroundings,and she did come around. Max, who was extremely social and outgoing, soon got her following him. She eventually bonded to me, but she bonded to Max first, and Max was always her special friend. He showed her that there was nothing to fear and brought her out of her shell. When they were introduced to someone new, Max would always make the approach first, giving Willow the confidence to follow. Willow, in her turn, gave Max, a bored adolescent Shepherd with a penchant for trouble, a job and a companion. Together, they became inseparable and were the best two dogs anyone could possibly ask for, the perfect Heart Pair. Willow died at the age of 12 after almost 10 years with Max and me. Max grieved when she left us, but enjoyed the company of new greyhound Dot and puppy Dash before he joined his friend 10 months later.
Congratulations on the new dog in town. I'm sure you'll find that, once he settles in, he will be a great addition to your family.
Col. Dash - GSD, DOTL Rainbow Division, in my heart forever
Spc. Lily - 11-year-old Greyhound (Racing School drop-out)
Spc. Molly - 10-year-old GSD Mix (aka Honey Badger)
Shadow - 2-year-old Greyhound (aka Shadow Ninja) 2011 G'town 280DS Class A
I know the animal rescue groups are trying to protect the dogs but they make it almost impossible for rv'rs to adopt a dog. We went to a rescue event at Petco in Las Vegas last weekend. First they said two different dogs we were interested in would not be suitable for us. Next they said they could not place a dog without a home inspection and since we are from Oregon that would not be possible. In the last 30 years we have had 3 of the most spoiled dogs there ever were and now we can't even adopt one.
The rescue groups are always asking for donations but never want to let their animals go. They knew we lived on a ranch in rural Wyoming. When I wanted to look at an ACD they told me he was on his way to Cheyenne. I told them I would drive to Cheyenne to look at him. They then told me once that ACD gets to Cheyenne he will be moved to a foster pet care in Denver. Excuse me? Why didn't they just tell me I couldn't adopt the ACD? Our family pets also get pampered. They live in the house with us, not outside 24/7 like some pets I see.
We flew Jake, an ACD, into Billings, MT from a breeder in South Dakota. He is working out just fine for us. He had all of his shots but we took him to the vet and got his rattle snake shots and examination when he arrived. He has an electronic HOME AGAIN chip that is now registered.
We threw the crate away after Jake arrived. I don't crate my family pets. My dog goes where I go and lives in the house with us. Or working in the field when I am out there.