By Dido Panagiotopoulos
"I was a feral dog living in the veld and then under a grandstand at a school. I was under a year old when I was rescued by ARRF. I was put into Linber Kennels because I was a terrible escape artiste. I was at Linber Kennels from February till the end of August. My trust issues and fears could not be properly addressed, and I needed to be socialized and learn to be a part of a family, and the Pana pack decided to foster me... this lasted all of three days and then they put in a formal adoption request. I have so many issues and require loads of patience, systematic desensitization, exercise, consistent fair reinforcement, etc so that I can meet the world and learn to trust and understand her inhabitants and ways. I am quick to learn, eager to please and can't wait to be a balanced, relaxed member of the family. This is the story of my rehabilitation, as told by Dido, my forever mom:"
Browsing on Facebook I spotted a little guy who looked very much like my special CLAW rescue, Gumby, who went from township rescue to beloved Paws for People Therapy Dog. I then realized that even after several months this dog called Boo, hadn't been adopted and I thought I just have to network this guy and help him find a home. So I found out from AARF where he was, to go and take some new piccies of him... after all a picture speaks a thousand words, right? On Thursday the 25th of August I went through to the kennels in Krugersdorp where he was now living and met Boo. Read more...
Boo was very skittish... Gumby and I walked into the big central exercise pen, where Boo had been put... no touch, no talk, no eye contact. We just walked to a shady spot near a tree stump and sat down quietly. Boo yapped neurotically then ran up and down the fence a few times and finally circled closer and closer towards us. Finally, from the back he slipped his muzzle under my elbow against my side. I rewarded him with an oxtail chewy. He took this and headed off to munch away - this calmed him down immensely and I could start snapping pics.
When Gumby wanted to meet and greet him, he became quite cocky and aggressive (despite the fear and need to protect his chewy, he was still curious though... a good sign). Also it was great to meet a male dog who had no desire to hump Gumby (poor Gumby seems to exude some irresistible pheromone, even neutered males try to jump his bones at the first opportunity).
Boo was hyperactive and spent much time running up and down the fence and then lunging at a resident GSD on the other side of the fence. Living as a feral dog he clearly had learned to be independent and self-reliant. When he caught a big yellow stuffed toy bone I threw for him, he ran off throwing it for himself, "killing" it (violently shaking it), tearing around the perimeter of the enclosure with it, throwing it, dive bombing on top of it. It was joyful exuberant play... but not soliciting any kind of interaction either from me or Gumby.
Finally hot and exhausted, he came and settled nearby us and took a nap in the shade of the stump.
It was quite a mission to capture him to put him back in his kennel. In his personal kennel run, he would jump up on one side wall and bark at the the Corgi next door or the other side wall to bark at the two cocker-rottie pups on the other side... his energy seemed endless! Despite being borderline neurotic (actually looking at him, he probably is a borderline collie too) he also displayed a huge joie de vivre too.
Gumby and I went home to make him an advertorial website, emailer and put his pics up on Facebook... the introductory picture was the collar with this plea.
Clearly my good work hadn't been completed... I did not sleep a wink that night...
To be continued...