She sat in the corner of her dog run staring at the wall for the first four to five days. She would relieve herself right where she laid and wouldn’t touch the food we placed next to her. She simply would not move at all. Today’s Pet Column tells a story that is unfolding here at the Second Chance Shelter about a traumatized little dog named Leena. It is a story that is needed right now, as it gives us all hope in the power of love and resiliency of the soul.
Leena came to our shelter in early July abused, broken and covered in ticks and fleas. It was absolutely heart wrenching to see an innocent and gentle dog in that condition. We were determined to show her a different life than she had known and to slowly and gently help her to heal.
The shelter staff and volunteers started very slowly introducing themselves by sitting in the run with her. No eye contact, no talking, no moving. Just sitting. They wanted her to know that their presence was not a threat. Next, while sitting near her they read her stories and showed her pictures of other animals being loved on by humans. She started to become more comfortable during these visits.
Several weeks after her arrival she made a small step that was so huge for this damaged little girl. Of her own will she went through the doggie door of her run to the outdoor run to potty outside. Later that day, she went back out on her own and lay down to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. These were celebrated milestones as they were both her decisions, on her time (a little turkey in the outside run may have helped too…).
Giving Leena this time to heal and to trust on her terms is very critical to her recovery. She was clearly pushed and damaged in ways that we don’t even like to think about but she is showing us that she has the resiliency and courage required to pull through her trauma and bond with people again.
As Leena is slowly starting to trust and get more comfortable with our staff and volunteers she rewards their patience by eating high value treats from their hand. A few days ago a staff member was gifted with a little tail wag when passing by her outside run!
We have high hopes for Leena’s healing to continue. We know this girl has so much to teach others and that her story will continue to transform and inspire us. We are so thankful to our community that supports our work and allows dogs like Leena a second chance. Stay tuned for updates…
It will be some time before Leena is ready to be adopted so this week’s dog of the week is Peter Pan (or Petey for short) who is more than ready for his new forever home. Petey is a two year young social and loving Bull mix. His leash manners are improving daily but will still need some work. Petey has a ton of energy so a very active family would be best for him. He is not a fan of cats and, although he can be particular about who his buddies are, enjoys playing with other dogs. Call today for an appointment to meet Peter Pan!
Second Chance Humane Society’s Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops have been servicing San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties for over 26 years. Call 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about our Emergency Response, Community Medical, Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, or other services. View our shelter pets and services online: www.adoptmountainpets.org.