Dog rescue is incredibly rewarding, but you probably already know that. If you have ever rescued a dog, you definitely know that.
For me, the best thing about adopting an old dog was watching him come back to life.
Huff went from this:
When he first arrived, Huff was closed off. Physically he kept his distance. Emotionally, he revealed nothing.
He was obedient, but not expressive.
He was hyper vigilant, always waiting for my next instruction.
He shrank in fear if I was upset or angry.
My emotions didn’t have to be directed at him. I am pretty sure he was not responsible for the weird updates on my computer, but my frustration sent him cowering into the corner.
I tried to keep my normal emotional expressiveness in check but: technology! At the time, I worried I would forever scar him. Looking back, I don't think that was all bad. Huff saw that I was angry. He also saw that I did not hit or break things when I was angry.
I could be angry and he was still safe.
In an odd backdoor way, I earned his trust.
In a few months, he was a different dog. A dog rescue wonder!
He came back to life.
His coat was shiny. That could be attributed to the bath he tolerated but did not enjoy. It could be the daily scrambled egg breakfast. He needed the calories and the dense nutrition. And he liked them. And I'm a softy.
No, he was not spoiled, much.
A big part of this dog rescue miracle is Huff himself. He was herding dog stoic about his awful situation. He practiced the wisdom of acceptance. Ultimately, his intelligence, his gentle nature, and the kindness of a few people was enough to set him free.
His eyes showed emotions.
He was willing to express his displeasure with me - which was delightful.
I was still in charge but we were a team and he felt safe enough to offer his input.
If you live with a herding dog, you should expect that.
Huff's thoughts about my taking him to the dentist are pretty clear in this photo.
A family member who hadn’t seen Huff in a while commented, “He looks brighter.” And he does.
Dog rescue works!
It’s not just the bath or the nutritious food. I think it is hope. Maybe even love.
© Copyright Suzanne Grosser