Rebuilding trust: O’s rehabilitation story

by | Campaigns Happy Tails |

When we met O, we quickly discovered a deep-rooted fear of new environments. She would enter a flight or fight survival mode, either trying to run away, or growling to protect herself from the perceived threat. Loud noises made her jump, being leashed led to “alligator rolls” in an attempt to escape, and even treats were looked at with distrust.

O suffered from such severe separation anxiety that she wouldn’t let those people she trusted out of her sight. She would often refuse to go back in her kennel at the animal centre after outside playtime, or would block her caretaker from leaving the room for fear of being left alone. To add to her behavioural challenges, she became reactive to dogs, including her sister. They were originally in our care together, as friends, but were no longer safe to be together.

Introducing experiences

As a Northern dog in need of a home, many of the experiences O was being introduced to may have been completely new to her, further adding to her anxiety and fear. Months were spent slowly introducing her to new experiences, and new people. She learned that the clatter of dishes in the animal centre kitchen wouldn’t harm her, and that her human friends would return when she was left alone.

Finding a forever loving home

Finally, it was time for O to find a loving home. Modifying behavioural challenges isn’t an overnight process. Follow up calls with O’s adopter continued after she left the centre to ensure she continues on the path to success in her new home. Now, she’s confidently going on adventures to her adopter’s cabin in the woods. Being safe, comfortable and loved is the life that every underdog deserves.

You can help change the lives of dogs like O. Help us make the Provincial Dog Rehabilitation Centre a reality.