Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Success!!

My foster dog Bunny is a Bichon Frise who spent the first five years of her life as a breeding dog in a "commercial breeding facility".  When she came to us she was a mess, both physically and emotionally.  She had seven teeth removed, received medical care, grooming and good nutrition for the first time in her life, and learned what it was like for the first time to have someone who loved her.  She doesn't know how to play with toys.  She doesn't know how to enjoy being petted.  She gets scared and runs away when someone even looks at her.

Bunny has been working very hard to be a normal dog.  She has learned to enjoy treats.  She will approach me and occasionally lick my hand, although she still runs if I try to pet her.  She's even learned to bark at Merlin, my cat, when he walks by.  This is not something I wanted her to learn, but I guess it's good she's feeling safe enough here to interact with the cat, if not with me.  But the best news of all, is Bunny has learned to go outside.  She's wanted to go outside, but she was always afraid to take a step out onto the deck.  She'd stand on a dog bed in the open doorway (because she was afraid to walk on the bare floor) and watch the other dogs outside.

Sometimes she'd get really brave and step out onto the deck with her front feet - but she'd never let her back feet leave the safety of the house.

Even when I took her crate outside, she'd do the same thing and only go as far as she could while leaving at least one foot touching the safety of her crate.  It didn't matter if the crate was placed on the deck or on the grass - she'd walk out as far as she could while still touching the crate.

Until last week, when she had a breakthrough.  I had taken her in her crate and set her on the deck right by the door, and she did her customary stand and watch while the other dogs played.  I was taking pictures of Gizmo when I noticed that she had finally left her crate and was walking around the deck!  Next thing I knew, she was running around the yard like she'd been doing it all her life.

Now she goes in and out the door with the other dogs with no hesitation.  It sounds like a small thing, but for Bunny it is a great success.

20 comments:

Diane said...

YEA BUNNY!!! That is HUGE! We are all proud of her and you for giving her the love and support and confidence to make that stride on her own. The damage these breeders do to this poor dogs breaks my heart. And it kills me to think of those still living in those conditions who will never get to know what you have offered Bunny. It's not an easy job helping a dog like Bunny as EVERY little thing is so hard for them as a caregiver it's can be frustrating and dishearting. Thank you for being there for her!!!
Diane

Kolchak & Jodi said...

That is HUGE! So amazingly HUGE! WAY TO GO BUNNY! Paws up to you for letting her come to the world on her own terms. She is clearly feeling a bit more confident!

24 Paws of Love said...

Agreed! HUGE!! Go, Bunny Go!! Wow! I don't even know what to say, except what a great success and it looks like she is really enjoying herself. :)

Ashtonk said...

This makes me want to cry! ( in a good way ofcourse) this is huge! I'm so glad she can finally enjoy the glories of the outdoors!!! It's so sad that this is the first time she's able to enjoy this after living 5 years. Thank you for not giving up on her! We need more people in the world like you.

Jess and Glacier said...

Oh my goodness! So exciting! :)

Cupcake said...

I'm SO happy for Bunny!! It is so wonderful to see these babies blossom.

Frankie Furter said...

Not THAT is a HUGE thingy fur Bunny!! GRRRREAT!

Hanna at Dog Products said...

I have recently, 9 days ago, adopted a 3 year old Shih Tzu boy from a rescue organization but unlike your fostered Bichon Frise, he is fearless. As a matter of fact, he feels so confident in his new surroundings and his own skin that he utterly intimidates my first Shih Tzu boy whom I’ve had since birth.

However, there is painful evidence of utter neglect. Shih Tzus need to be groomed daily or their long hair mats irreparably. We had to shave this little guy completely bold. His breath was so rancid that it made my eyes water and so we had his teeth scaled. And the saddest of all, he doesn’t recognize his own name nor does he understands any commends.

So, we’ve got a huge job on our hands but will take it on with lots of love and patience because every dog deserves to live up to his or her potential.

Bailey said...

I love hearing these success stories. Bailey was so fearless when we got him from rescue we had no idea how challenging it could be with another. However, it is rewarding, too. Each time Katy has overcome a fear it has made us so proud of her and thrilled to see her next accomplishment.

Stefanie said...

Yeah Bunny! For her - this was a really big step! Your patience in letting her step outside of her comfort zone on her own terms is appreciated. What a great payoff for you and especially for Bunny!

brooke said...

Aww poor Bunny! But a great step foward!

Kari in WeHo said...

way to go bunny!

Kari
http://dogisgodinreverse.com

Erin and Co. said...

Yay Bunny!!!

Macho (And Nicole!) said...

That's a big step! Go Bunny! I'm hoping once we have a fenced in yard that Macho will be the same way. He likes to be outside but it would be nice to see him playing in the yard without a leash!

Nicole

Cyndi and Stumpy said...

I remember, so well, how I cried the first time Stumpy went outside on her own and started leaving her crate without being bribed.

Congratulations, Bunny! The world is yours! Enjoy!!!

Happy, Waggin' Tails, FUREVER!
Stumpy and me

mayziegal said...

Ohmidogness! My momma got all leaky at this and I wiggled and wagged all over the place. Believes me - we know this is a BIG HUGE deal! Congratulations, Bunny! And congratulations, Dog Foster Mom for helping Bunny take her first steps into the big, wide, wonderful world.

Wiggles & Wags,
Mayzie

Bev said...

Yeaaaa for Bunny! You are doing so much better!!!

jen said...

YAY BUNNY!!!

Anonymous said...

Im happy to hear bunnys success, i to am working with my rescue..Maxwell...he is a sheltie and was used for breeding only...

Shuma said...

Laurie, this brought tears to me eyes. YEAH for Bunny!!!