For anyone out there feeling sorry for my poor, long suffering Mum, don’t. Luckily for me, she has a sense of humour. She had me, after all, that must mean she has a sense of humour! On with Litchi’s story. So, my “special needs” creature entered my life and all things normal immediately changed. It became immediately apparent that leaving her alone was something I simply couldn’t afford. Everything I owned became fair game. I lost couches, chairs, beds, table legs and all manner of other items to her extremely strong set of teeth. If I wasn’t watching her, a mere matter of seconds would spell disaster for some or other inanimate object. For that matter, even when I was watching her, the teeth moved at such speed that items were forever lost to her stomach before I could cross the room to stop her. Pure self preservation led to me taking her to work, where she found a whole new variety of delicious treats in the form of desks, chairs, carpets and any other manner of unsuitable dog food. While Litchi and I entered a battling of the wills, I was also battling with my parents, who found themselves mildly terrified of this new being. She had a nasty habit of whipping around, teeth gnashing and snarling furiously when taken by surprise by a touch. This was especially true if she was sleeping. Even the sound of movement, whilst sleeping, was enough to get the same response. My parents became quieter and quieter whenever I visited; sitting stock still in fear of making any sound or motion that might set her off. Needless to say, they thought I was mad. My mother began calling me “special” on a more frequent basis. They really couldn’t understand why I wanted Litchi so badly. The truth is that I was more than aware that, if I didn’t take her, the chances of her finding a home were close to zero. I was her last chance and I had no intention of giving up on her. Anyone who knows her now, will well understand how important it is to give these animals a second chance, as she truly is a fantastic, friendly and delightful dog now. At this point, my friend Joanne and her children Kerry-Leigh and Catia deserve a special mention. I doubt Litchi had ever come across children before and she was particularly unpredictable with them. Joanne was kind and brave enough to let me “use” her kids to help socialise Litchi. Children have a completely different energy to adults. They sound different, move differently and react differently. Specific socialisation with them is critical for any dog owner. Anyway, before long and with some closely supervised session, the girls had Litchi dressed up as a bride, calmly walking around with a long train of cloth following her. Well done to them for being calm, patient and truly wonderful with my dog. Hats off especially to Joanne who was brave enough to allow this to happen. Just a quick point or two for anyone else out there battling with behavioural issues. The first thing to look for is any health related issue. In Litchi’s case, it turned out that she had a serious knee problem, which, even after operating, still hurts her. Many of her “aggressive” reactions were based on a fear of pain. This leads to the second point, which is fear. 90% of problems stem from fear. If the dog is fearful and people do not recognise this, continuing to pursue the actions creating fear, the dogs last resort to communicate with you will, often times, result in what we perceive to be aggression. If you learn to recognise the fear and treat it as such, you too could land up with a friend like Litchi, who now helps me teach large classes of children about safety around dogs and animal body language. She does this with absolute delight and allows groups of 30 plus children to descend upon her with nothing but a friendly wag of the tail. Love, patience and the knowledge that dogs do not want to be aggressive could help hundreds of animals survive the ultimate fate suffered by so many that are perceived to be aggressive. More on how to help animals will pop up during the course of following blogs. Stay tuned – you never know what you might learn along the way.
Litchi’s next installment
Filed under Litchi's Story
14 responses to “Litchi’s next installment”
Good for you for sticking with her
It has been so worth it. I couldn’t hope for a better friend in life.
What an inspiring story! Litchi is such a lucky dog!
Still not half as lucky as I am to have her. I wouldn’t know a portion of what I do now if it weren’t for her. Nor would I have made my life changing career move to helping shelter animals. I figure the world is a better place due to her.
Litchie’s story – AND yours too – are a testament to the power of love. I think your efforts to help cats and dogs in “all ways” are wonderful and wish you tons of luck in every direction. I quite enjoyed reading up to this point and hope to continue with it – originally stopped by to thank you for visiting Sammy’s blog but stayed for the stories!
As Sam always closes his comments…..”Kitty Hugs, Sammy” and a human hug from his Mom (Pam) for all you do on behalf of animals 😀
Thanks for the fantastic comments. Sam is just tooo cute for words. Stories of my kitty rescues will be following, so hopefully Sam will approve. We’ll also be visiting numerous animal shelters to give Sam updates on the work being done there.
Wonderful! Sam and I will look forward to future blogs…..He said to thank you for the comment on his cuteness – he’s quite full of himself so telling him that made his day! 😀
Pam (with Sam on my lap)
It’s great to hear that she’s improving.
Not just improving – she’s made it from the “unadoptable” list to a brilliant family member, who has a natural ability to help teach children. I really am proud of her achievements.
You have every right to be proud of yourself as well – for helping her so much!
You are wonderful for giving her that chance she needed. I am so happy that you and Litchi found each other, wishing you many many more happy years together!
Thanks so much. There are quite a few other furry creatures that I’ve helped, each of whom will feature on the blog, inbetween write-ups on the antics happening at the shelters here in South Africa.
She’s a beautiful dog. I’m so happy adoption is working for both of you, and am looking forward to many stories and posts about you, Litchi, and Jangles
Thanks. Obviously I agree that she is beautiful (doesn’t every Mom think her kids are the best). Love your Poppy too. Looking forward to seeing how she grows up. Jangles will get her pic up as soon as her Mom figures out why her picture isn’t loading. There are many other four-legged children to take up the spot light as well.