Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Fear Learned

Other than new born puppies, all the dogs that come through our home are scared. Each of them has had some bad experience that they did not deserve. Skittles is our latest foster. We received her on Thursday, August 26th. She is a Chihuahua, Short Coat/Mix, under 4 months old. She was surrendered by her owners with a severely broken leg. Which now has a splint. After reading her paper work and I could feel her pain.

Skittles was placed into my arms and immediately began kissing my face. She stayed in my arms till we were home. Slowly, she left my arms and proceeded to explore the backyard. She peed and pooped, several times. Then back to my arms. She spent most of the day in our arms or laps. We tried to put her into a pen with bed, water and toys. The pen had everything but us. She wanted no part of it and cried.

Skittles slept with me the first night. The next day she was introduced to Missy and Buster (our dogs). She fell in love with Missy. Buster seemed to scare her a bit. He is a very large dog. Sitting outside, she watched both of the dogs run around the yard and disappear behind a bush. She was then startled when Buster ran past her. She let out a scream that sounded like she broke another leg. But, it was only Buster and he was more than 15 feet away from her. She has let out this scream several times, each time she was not in contact with anything. This little girl has learned fear.

Skittles is the only dog that will sit and sleep in my lap without wanting to explore the room. At night, she crawls under the covers and cuddles up next to me. She sleeps all night. Over the last few days, Skittles has become comfortable with her surroundings and now happily plays with Buster. He holds a stuffed toy in his mouth and she jumps up trying to take it away. She has even taken to barking at the neighbors to protect us. As I type this she has just curled up with Missy. She is learning how to work with her fear. Amazingly, the splint has not slowed her down. She just needs to know she is safe and loved.

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