My husband and I rescued our older dog Sidney. He was from a hoarding type situation, and came with a lot of emotional problems. My experience with dogs up to that point had been very easy. I had a few when I was growing up, and always got them as a puppy. So they were always out going, happy, and radiated so much joy! This is what dogs should always be like! The beacon of light in every bad day, and the laughter in every good one. If brought up with love, dogs will be this way. But if brought up in an abusive relationship with their owner, dogs will become scared and reserved in the best of cases and hostile in the worst. But either way this was the first time I had a dog that did not trust me.
The first day we brought him home he wouldn’t approach me or my husband. He stayed in the kennel we had bought him with the door open and just watched us. This happened for the first two days! I was so disappointed! I wanted to pet him, to play with him the way I wanted to. But I quickly and depressingly learned that he did not trust me yet. I had to go at his pace.
We spent the next week keeping a calm environment for Sidney, and allowed him to acclimate himself to us. Any time he would come out of his kennel we wouldn’t put up a big fuss. We just let him be. I will never forget the first time he climbed up on my lap for snuggles! It was one of the most exciting and heartbreaking moments I can remember.
My husband was at work at the time, and Sidney was feeling comfortable enough to sit on the couch beside me. It was so hard for me not to reach out and try to pet him! But I just focused on the T.V. and let him come to me. By that time I had almost forgotten he was there, and when he first snuggled up to my side I was startled. But then I got excited! He came over to me! Then he crawled about one quarter of the way on to my lap and just paused. I could feel the tension in his body. After a minute or two he took a deep breath and relaxed. More time passes and he crawls halfway onto my lap, tenses, and then relaxes after a minute. I was so excited! Then he finally just climbed all the way on!! Once he relaxed I started to pet him. Initially he tensed again but I stayed relaxed and calm. Then after a minute he relaxed and after five minutes he fell asleep. I will remember how this made me feel to the end of my days. It was such a crazy mix of emotions. I was so proud that he took a chance on trusting me, I was angry at the person who abused his trust, and just wanted to make all the pain he had been through go way! My heart was bleeding for this cute little puppy!
From then on Sidney got better faster. We did everything we could to make him feel like he can trust us with anything. No matter how many accidents he had in the house lol! Pretty soon he was crawling all over us. I can literally say without a doubt that getting Sidney changed my life for the better. He still has things that he is not sure of but now he will look to me when he needs reassurance. I gave him that person he can lean on just by treating him with the love that he should have always had. So the next time your thinking about getting a puppy. Look into rescuing one. It can be one of the most rewarding things you will ever do!