Original post : December 10, 2013
worry, I'm not going to keep letting Nicki do all the talking here!
That would be a bit too "precious". Part of the point of starting this
page was to share Nicki's story and experiences in order to give a
window into what happens after you bring a rescued dog home. Of course
it's different for everyone, but we're sharing Nicki's story.
When Nicki first came to us she was extremely
submissive. LOTS of submissive urination. Lots of paper towels and
Febreeze. Because we can't explain what's going on, being rescued can
actually be pretty stressful for a dog (or any animal). They may be
coming out of abuse or neglect, but they don't know where they're going.
Or why. They're leaving familiarity and heading into the unknown.
We don't really get to meet our new family members until we've had some
time with them. Gradually, their stories reveal themselves a bit. The
window opens a little wider, and we can see who and what they have come
to fear. That sounds sad, but it's actually a tool that shows us how to
help them heal. This is a story from the first few weeks of Nicki's new
life with us:
Something happened with Nicki that I thought was
very telling. We went to my yoga studio to meet my teacher, who is a
HUGE animal lover. While there, another student came in. A gentleman of
slight build with long, grey hair tied back in a pony tail. I've met him
before. He is very mild mannered and kind. I'm certain Nicki was not
actually responding to him. Nonetheless, when she saw him, she got an
amazing look on her face as though she was thinking "No! Not here! It
can't be!" and she slowly backed all the way up the stairs, keeping her
eyes on the gentleman the entire time. He had not attempted to approach
Nicki. He had not even acknowledged her or looked at her as he was busy
speaking with our teacher. Nonetheless, she was obviously terrified of
him. I picked her up and held her in my arms so we could walk out of the
building without her getting any more upset. There was no submissive
behavior or urination - just backing away.... Wow. I had hoped the
jerk that had her had "merely" neglected her. Guess not.
other (GOOD) news, Nicki now greets my husband when he comes home with
lots of wiggling and wagging, but the urination has almost completely
stopped. She has also regained her house-training completely. On nicer
days, she'd rather sit out in the yard on her tie-out because I
obviously do not have my priorities straight and don't spend enough time
napping in the sun!