This is Sammy. He is about six years old. He was rescued. He can be so aggressive that his people are nervous about having people over to the house because of his behavior.
I am going to post most of what he said so you witness him trying to work out his past and his present life,
He says, “I need to share that my new family has already helped me heal. My mom is very concerned about me. She kisses me before we venture out. I don’t want to hurt anyone. I don’t want to be protective. I am just doing my job. When I see a man, I feel like I will poop. I get sick to my stomach. Before I knew these lovely ladies, I lived in a home with a battered woman.
A man beat these people I knew. They were my old mom and kids. He would attack them and do terrible things to them. I would try to get them safe but not because I wanted to fight him. I didn’t. I wanted him to go away. He would come into the room. I want to say that I am not scared of all men. I have some nice men friends. When I see men, I don’t know who is friendly and who isn’t. I have never bit.
I can have an anxiety attack and not be able to breathe.
I like my walks. I can be confused. I love this home, and I wonder how long we will stay here? Is my mom thinking about moving me?
I like to have treats in pockets. Yeah, and when we are walking, and my mom says, ‘treat treat treat’ that helps me.
I have a special life now, and they want me to be happy. I never want to be aggressive with anxiety.”
I explained to him that this was his chance to be truly happy and leave his old life and anxiety in the past. He said, “I love to think about this because if I get to be happy all the time, then happiness becomes me. I know that feeling. I know that feeling. I have run alongside a bicycle before. I liked doing that. When I had a guy friend, he used to blow air on my stomach. He said, ‘handsome, I have to leave you,’ and then he cried more than a baby does. I am going to tell you something else. Late at night, my sister and I sneak out of the house and go to her friend’s house. I am happy here. I want to know more commands. I breathe better right now.”
We see Sammy talk about the horrors of his past, his post-traumatic stress, confusion on when to protect and when not to protect. He also talks about things he loved about his history and happy memories. Also, he loves his people now and feels safe with them but is unsure he is staying with them and talks about what helps him feel safe and secure. With dogs like this, they need a lot of routine and training. The training helps build confidence and a routine he can fall into when he gets stressed. I am sure Sammy will come along quickly. If you have a dog like this, it is essential to get training help ASAP. The average person does not have the tools to offer guidance to Sammy. A few training lessons can go a long way. It is also important to keep reminding him/her what you want their life to look like. They need to know what they are striving towards.