Today I've had my dog, Lotte, for one year.
One year ago today, I recieved a scared, scarred, sceptical, mistrusting, frightened, abused, skinny dog. She was delivered at my doorstep, came into my appartment, obviously awaiting another beating. My mom was here when she arrived, and had to hold her paw for her (the dog) to get some sleep, even though she was tired from travelling and shuffeling. When I came home that night, I let the dog sleep in my bed.
Before I got her, I was told that Lotte had been abused – when these nice people found her, she'd had a collar grown into her neck, been mistreated and abused, not fed properly and generally in a bad situation. Still, the girls at Budadogs saw there was something there worth rescuing, and they took care of her, gave her all the medical treatment she needed, vaccinations, spaying etc.
When she arrived, I continued showing her love and respect. I gave every male person I saw at cafes and bars treats, told them to give her a treat if she approaced them. Her fear of men went away, after much training, gods knows how many treats and even some cuddles when she felt safe enough to let them touch her.
The next step was to make her tolerate feet, without being scared of them. Same method, lots of patience, lots of treats. After a few months, she accepted playing with peoples' feet, as well as with men! How great….!
Obedience? If I told the dog "no" she cowered. Not a nice thing, it told me too much about her previos life… She was still more obedient than I could wish for, intelligent, problem solving and oh, so attached to me. She still follows me around like a shadow, sleeping outside the door when she's not allowed in, and she goes looking for me when I'm not there.
When I look back at all we've been through now, I feel quite satisfied. Fulfilled. I know that what I've done has given her a new life. Like she's won the lottery, as some people put it. I also get comments from others, how calm she's become, how good she looks.
She's got a completely different look in her eyes now. She holds herself in a different way, she looks proud. She's started marking her territory, digging and peeing around the block. She's made many friends, both humans and dogs. She's started "talking" more, making more sounds, growling, noices, than she did when she arrived – all quiet. Her fur is better, fuller. She's put on about 1.5 kg (about 3 pounds). And, maybe most important, she's won my heart. I knew she did from the start, but every day I feel more love, I feel more attached to the weird, furry, fluffy little thingy, that's turned my life upside down, When she arrived, she was only supposed to be in fostering with me, but the next day I asked to keep her. I've had my regrets in taking the dog, but never in giving her love, affection, care, whatever she needs.
This little dog has changed my life. Now, after a year, I feel like celebrating this, give her the credit she deserves, although she does not understand this.
I guess there will be a bun with a candle on for her tomorrow morning 🙂