Meet Rain. Also known as Rainford Aussieman. In November of 2018, I was training a friend's mini Aussie puppy. I secretly confided in her that while I love puppies, I never wanted to own one again. Working with other people's puppies (O.P.P.🤣for those of you from my generation) is awesome but I had more than paid my dues with my Boston when she was a puppy 13 years ago. Anyway, 4 hours after our session, a neighbor texted saying they needed help catching a stray dog. I was able to leash up this poor, wet dog who we later figured out was abandoned in the rain (hence why my daughter named him "Rain"). He wasn't micro chipped, no tags or collar. I realized upon examination that he had all of his baby teeth. The universe had handed me a puppy🤣🤣🤣 a MINI AUSSIE PUPPY. ironic how the universe works, isn't it?!
I don't ever think it's ok to abandon a dog no matter the circumstances. However, I can see why someone couldn't handle him; he was a nervous by nature little guy. You look in his direction... back up and growl. You reach for him... back up and growl. Look at him? Yup. Back up. Growl. I decided that we would keep him because the majority of people would want to love him out of his fear and wouldn't respect that he needs space to feel safe. When he is ignored, he then feels safe to approach. Repeat this over time and he's your BFF. He'll allow you to reach for him when he tells you he's ready, but if you reach beforehand, you've violated his trust and it'll take that much longer to regain it.
The reason I'm posting is because over the past week, two big things have happened. 1. Rain moved TOWARDS the slip leash and into the loop when I went to put it over his head. While he trusts me implicitly, that was something he had a hard time with.
2. He has stopped growling when my husband enters a room. My husband has the most calm, soft energy of anyone I know so it has been a running joke that Rain reacts every single time for the last year. Dogs normally LOVE my husband and are naturally attracted to his energy, but not Rain. Until this past week. He's still uneasy with strangers especially those who try to be his friend.
My point is, be patient with your dog. They're all different. They're not robots; they're beings. We saw so much improvement over a short period of time but a few things took much longer. Will he always be a quirky dude? Most likely that's what his genetics dictate, but we need to honor that and respect what he is and one day out of the blue we will get tiny victories that are actually giant wins. He may have been someone's throw away but he's become a fun addition to our family.
P.S. my daughter has an Instagram page for him if you care to follow