‘She was shut down to human interaction’

Born in a Romanian dog shelter, terrified pup Eden spent her days hiding between a pallet and kennel wall, facing away from the horrors and appalling conditions that she was exposed to on a daily basis.

Whatever happened inside that pound in Eastern Europe has had a profound impact on the stricken 18-month-old pooch, who had never been taken outside and was robbed of all confidence and trust in humanity.

A warm embrace. Stephen Wylie gives Eden a loving hug.

A warm embrace. Stephen Wylie gives Eden a loving hug.

Starved of love and care, this little crossbreed endured a grim existence and was facing an even bleaker future.

Thankfully, she was saved from the depths of despair and has now been offered a road to recovery and a chance to live a happy life, after Alnwick-based dog sanctuary SHAK stepped in to help.

But, as the charity’s founder Stephen Wylie admits, it will be a long journey, describing Eden as ‘potentially one of our biggest rescues ever’.

Since arriving in Northumberland from Romania at the end of last month, Eden has made progress; positive steps which might seem small on the surface, but are huge for a dog like her, having endured such a horrific start to life.

Eden the dog.

Eden the dog.

Shaking in fear and mentally-scarred at first, it took days for Stephen and his team to get close enough to put a lead on her, or simply give her a cuddle.

Slowly but surely though, Eden is coming round, learning to trust and learning to be loved.

Just the other day, she let the guardian angels at SHAK wrap their arms around her in a warm embrace and place a collar around her neck.

She even managed to move away from her corner – which she had clung to since arriving in Alnwick – to greet Stephen at the entrance of her kennel.

It was a huge moment, marking a major breakthrough and significant change in her emotional state. It’s still early days, but Stephen is delighted with her progress and is confident that a bright future lies ahead for this recovering pooch.

He said: “Eden, as I decided to call her, is an amazing girl and it was a rescue that took weeks to finalise. Her mother was taken to a ‘kill’ shelter in Romania when she was pregnant.

“We don’t know what happened to her or the rest of the litter, but for about a year, Eden did nothing in the shelter but hide between her pallet and kennel wall, facing away from everything.

“Eventually, she was moved to somewhere else where some work was done with her and I was asked if we could help.

“When we first got her, she was almost shut down to human interaction and her mental state made me think it would take weeks to get close to her and put a lead on her.

“She was quite simply feral. She had never been touched, on a lead or outside. She completely freaked out when I tried to put the lead on her the first time, so to get a collar on her in about three days was amazing.

“We are taking things day by day and hopefully she will learn by being around my guys on a daily basis. The time she approached me at the kennel door was an incredible moment.”

Eden’s recovery is typical of SHAK’s work. Based at Greenwell Road, this sanctuary for abused, neglected and mistreated dogs has provided a life-saving haven for hundreds of animals over the last decade.

SHAK has 74 dogs in its care. For it to survive, it needs funds. To help, visit www.shak.org.uk