Patience pays off as Bruno starts to feel trust again

The latest instalment in our weekly series dedicated to dog rescue charity SHAK.

Friday, 31st May 2019, 1:00 pm
Bruno out for a walk on his rigid lead.

In the 13 years we’ve been doing this, the one thing we’ve always prided ourselves on is the fact that we are always there when a dog is at its most desperate.

It means we have had to distance our operation from the normal rehoming side of things, whilst we’ve also had to pull away from dealing with the public as the demand is just to great.

However, it does mean that the dogs that really do have nowhere to go, such as the ones in the pound, have a lifeline.

One such dog arrived with us recently. Advertised on line for sale just a few days before ending up found unwanted as a stray, Bruno struggled to adapt to his new surroundings.

Placed in a pound in the south of England, the environment was completely alien to him and very quickly an even bigger fear began to surface.

Bruno was terrified of going back into his kennel, or perhaps even sadder was the fact he was terrified going through doors on the way back in. We don’t know why that was or what he had been through. Maybe he was locked in a room or a shed, or even a crate?

He fought against his fear with the only method he could, for which he almost paid the biggest price, there was no consideration for the reasons or events that led him to be like this.

Clearly Bruno could not go into a home, being in a rehoming environment meant that this was a huge issue. He was written off and was listed to be destroyed.

That’s when I got the call.

He arrived very stressed and frightened. He hadn’t been out of his kennel in the previous place for over two weeks. We had a challenge, that’s for sure.

I’d like to place on record my gratitude to my assistant Rich for having the faith that we could help Bruno, and for the hours he and Gary put in trying to think of ways to make things as less stressful as possible for a terrified dog. Also to the rest of the team who stood behind us and helped in any way they were asked. Without the support of these people we couldn’t go on.

Eventually we came up with a plan that involved what I call a rigid lead. Basically the same appliance that you associate with wicked dog catchers in Disney films, we don’t drag dogs around on it, we use it as we would a normal lead, only with this you have the protection of being able to distance yourself. It works both ways of course, and the dog can also relax more knowing that you are far enough away.

It has worked brilliantly with Bruno and after only three weeks we are now at the stage where he goes through doors without any issue at all. In fact he can’t wait to get back to his kennel and find the treats left waiting for him as a reward.

He had come on so much and been so brave. It’s an amazing achievement by everyone involved.