|Barked: Fri Jan 17, '14 11:08pm PST |
|Don't give up!
Noel has been a monster in a half. I work at a shelter, and I clearly remember Noel as a puppy...she was the shy one of her litter. Since she was a cute little puppy though, she got adopted very fast. Fast forward a year later, and she found herself being dumped back at the shelter because her owner was "moving". The guy said she was great with everyone...people, kids, dogs, etc. but in the shelter she was VERY nasty and aggressive. She had to be put in a quarantine room because she was a safety concern for volunteers, adopters, and even staff.
When I heard about Noel, I decided to foster her. I thought she was just scared in the shelter, and I assumed she would become a totally normal dog once back in a home environment considering the owner said all good things about her. Well, turns out he lied. Noel definitely got no socialization, and because of that, she has severe fear aggression. She had accidents for the first couple of months. She attacked the blowdryer and vacuum. It took her a month to get used to my father. She is also SEVERELY reactive to cars, dogs, and even people when out on a walk. She will literally try to lunge and attack a stranger or dog. I couldn't safely have people over, because when I did bring friends over, she bit them. I got to a point where I told the shelter that I could no longer foster her and she needed to be put to sleep. She had such a plethora of issues, and I felt totally unequipped to handle them. She could never be safely adopted out.
However, on the day she was supposed to be euthanized, it turns out that the appointment was never even made. When I called and found out, I decided to keep Noel. I realized she needed a chance, and I realized I was attached to her. Although Noel has many flaws, she has always been perfect at giving unconditional love. On some of my darkest and loneliest days, she just "knew" and would come lie with me all day in bed. She is the most affectionate and cuddly dog you could imagine. She is so intelligent and so happy. Seeing her run around our yard, go for a swim, etc. makes me so happy, knowing I am responsible for that happiness. She could be long gone by now, but I gave her a chance at a home and did not give up on her even though i've had my fair share of frustrating days with her. She still has problems, but some things have gotten better. She LOVES my dad now. She does not try to attack the blowdryer anymore, and when the vacuum comes out, she runs to her "room" and stays in there while I vacuum. There are days where I can walk her and she only shows minimal reactivity (this improved greatly once I got her a doggy backpack).
Through owning Noel, i've learned to appreciate the small things, and i've realized what unconditional love is really about. Do not give up! The work and time you put in will be returned to you ten fold.
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