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Sweet’s Family

Do you remember the dog that knew nobody, Sweet? More than two months have passed since she and Blondie were rehomed. We’re always getting letters from the new owners. Seems like they’re enjoying going on walks and little by little getting adjusted to their new lives.

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Spice, Sugar and Saccharine, the other members of Sweet’s family, are also bit by bit starting to understand humans, especially those who are familiar with their specific personality type.

Before, whenever anyone would enter their kennel, they would quickly run away, or stiffen nervously, and stand back watching. But now with bright, eager eyes, they come running to us. I feel like their attitude has completely softened.

Every day, we have been casually applying a kind of rehabilitation that gets the dogs to think, “When a human comes by, something good will happen!” Specifically, when we’re around them, we give out treats but do nothing else. Just hang out and not force them to do anything. They’re all quite small in size, and would do quite well with an owner who lives in an apartment even, so we’re also helping them get used to being held.

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Nevertheless, we can only spend so much time with them during the day, so we always wonder if the rehabilitation is as effective as it could be. There’s still a bit of uneasiness that continues with these dogs.

They do have a really healthy appetite, so there’s always a balance between “I’m afraid!” and “I want to eat!” Even though they’re hesitant, in the end they always choose eating over anything else, so we exploit this fact to help them do more things. Step by step; no, by half steps, little baby steps, at a very relaxed pace.

To call Sweet and her family the “scared dogs” really doesn’t feel appropriate anymore. These days it seems they’re not afraid of people. It looks like they are interested in people, but they’re just not sure how to approach people and connect with them. When they sense that someone is around, they peek out and come up to the fence with deep interest, even if the person is standing right up close. And they don’t show that attitude just to the ARK staff they see every day, but to everyone, even first-time volunteers.

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Spice (male)
When we first rescued Spice, we would put him on a lead and try to go out for a walk – at which point he’d start creeping along the ground and trembling with fear. Now, even if people enter his dog house, he’ll lie down and relax beside them, and sometimes even let them rub his belly!

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Saccharine (female)
Saccharine has been observed basking in the sun, lying with her belly up. “I’m not afraid of anybody!” she says. She’s also started digging, which is another nice change. Every time I try to take a picture of her, she picks up on it so quickly, and I can’t really get a good shot, but anyway.

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Sugar (female)
When I remember the day we removed Sugar from those awful conditions, I never would have thought that the day would come when Sugar would smile like this.

Well, looks like a staff member is heading to your place already to hang out with you today.

| Dog | 15:30 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑

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