All dog stories are unique...
... however some journeys are extra special. Dogs that have had to overcome tremendous obstacles such as abuse or neglect hold a special place in our hearts when they triumph over adversity. Dogs that have severe behavioral issues also present a unique challenge, as without intervention, their behavior would preclude them from finding an adoptive home. In any case, when a dog beats the odds, makes it into a family, and then thrives, it always makes for a heart-warming story worth sharing...
Jillian was one of the very first dogs that was turned around through our program. She was reactive to dogs, difficult to manage on leash even in calm environments, and generally didn't socially connect with people. She was in danger of being put down as her behavior was starting to deteriorate in the shelter. She really loved to run, so she was given two short bike rides a day. After just a few days, she began to calm down, and soon after made friends with all of the dogs in our pack. She was adopted a short time later into a lovely home.
Nikki was the very first pitbull that we took in for behavioral rehabilitation. She was very sweet, but had likely been abused. If she heard the slightest noise, she would take off in a state of panic. The rescue was concerned she might never be adopted due to her skittish nature and flighty tendencies when out on leash.
Swim therapy was surprisingly the most helpful intervention for her. She would proudly wear her life jacket in the pool, and nothing would faze her. She built up her confidence quickly, and was soon adopted by a nice young couple that fell in love with her.
Liam was an active puppy with a surprise-- he didn't tolerate being touched or held. He would growl and lash out if he was petted or picked up, especially if he was busy sleeping. It wasn't fear, he just dictated who could and couldn't touch him. With some work and patience, he learned that handling wasn't something to get that upset over, and he even came to enjoy it. He continued to improve, and soon joined his litter-mates on the "I've been adopted!" list.