Some rescue stories get their happy end once the dogs are healed and recovered, and some others have a long way to go before they reach a happy end. Before – after can be awe-inspiring and amazing, but sometimes, behind the incredible photos and the “I can’t believe it’s the same dog photos” there’s a lot more than just the rescue dog’s appearance that needed time and effort improve.
Healing the wounds of the body is the easiest task – it may sound as an exaggeration when dealing with dogs like Petri or Billy, but it is true. And while the appearance is what gets all the attention, the likes, shares and “God bless you” comments, following medical treatments, giving shots and changing dippers is a rescuer’s easiest job. The hardest thing to handle and treat are the behavioral problems of some rescue dogs – it’s a job that requires a lot of work, knowledge and patience, it is time consuming and – at times- nerve racking and it never gets the attention and the acknowledgement deserved. However, it is one of the most important things when preparing a dog for adoption – what’s the point on looking for a home for your rescue when it doesn’t walk on a leash, it fears people, it is not social with other dogs, it is not house trained etc etc.
Like Petra, who recovered from her medical issues quite fast and then needed special training, consistency, and patience to become a mentally healthy dog, Petri has recovered physically but needs training to recover mentally. You might be wondering why he still has behavioral issues after all the love and attention he has been receiving for the past month. The thing about dogs is that love and attention can have the exact opposite results when applied in the wrong way. Rescuers tend to humanize animals and this is one of the biggest mistakes ever. Some believe that tones of hugs and kisses to a fearful dog will simply make him overcome his fear and wake up one day loving people and life, but actually this can backfire and have the exact opposite results.
Petri was born on a mountain by a stray mum who had never been in contact with humans ever. The life of those stray dogs roaming the mountains is the life of a wild animal. Yes, they are dogs, they are man’s best friends, but they don’t know it and trying to force them to realize who they are by smothering them will result to having a sad, frightened animal not knowing why it is there, what all this attention means and what its purpose in life could possibly be. If Petri is treated the wrong way, he might be facing a life of misery and constant fear of everything. Don’t blame him. He’s afraid of everything because he has know nothing so far, and he needs to be introduced to the world again, from the beginning and in the right way.
Petri’s new journey begins today. He will be leaving the clinic all healthy and fluffy but scared and confused. An excellent foster home is waiting for him where he will be taught how to be a pet dog and not just a wild animal waiting to be loose in the mountain again. And he will thrive, I’m sure of that. SPAZ is working with an excellent dog trainer and Petri’s foster mum will do her best to have Petri ready for his forever family soon. Working on a dog’s behavioral problems never gets the attention deserved – once a dog recovers from its horrible injuries or diseases, likes and shares start diminishing, but making Petri trust again and love life is the best thing that will ever happen to him.