I know! Lots of posts flying today!!
This is my last post of my night and what a great post to end a magnificent sunny spring day….the last we are to see again for some time with yet more rain heading our way.
Many may remember the photo of a terrified Great Dane, that I posted March 9th. A picture of a Dane completely overcome with fear….here are some of the words from that post….words sent our way when we were asked to help her. They could not even get a leash on her.
‘This stunning girl is absolutely and extremely terrified plus severely anxious….to the point that she cannot be properly handled, she cannot be examined and is very defensive plus protective of her space. The Dane is so fearful to the point of being assessed by the shelter as being aggressive.’
We were asked to assist her as it is our mandate to be here for dogs like her. We focus on behaviours such as this and I am going to quote what Steve Frost, an Animal Enrichment & Behaviour Manager in Chicago stated best. For, he sums up well what we knew BHRR’s Black Diamond was demonstrating, she was being reactive.
You see, many people will label a dog as aggressive when in fact, they are actually ‘reactive’. There is a difference.
Bear with me….as this is a Gwennie Novel!
Per Steve, ‘A dog displaying reactive behaviours isn’t giving us a hard time; he’s letting us know he’s having a hard time.’
He goes on to add that he ’empathises that the goal is not to stigmatise, label or oversimplify. In the average animal shelter, in fact, reactive signs are on display almost daily.’
Many dogs are under extreme stress in shelters and it can cause them to ‘cross over’ from acceptable to unacceptable behaviours aka thresholds.
So, all of this to say that, we ‘understood’ BHRR’s Black Diamond and we needed to make sure we provided a stable, safe, consistent, positive, structured environment; one that included so much time, patience and obedience also.
Fast forward to exactly 8 weeks later – she arrived to BHRR March 12th – to tonight at Kanata Animal Hospital and look at her now?!
She has become a true goober at our home….she plays and she asks for affection, she leans on you, sits on you, more than once she has put her front legs on my shoulders to look me in the eye….yup, she will look into our eyes now and I have to say ‘off my shoulders!’ LOL
She grinds her head into you, she is so excited every morning when I say ‘Good Morning’ to her for she is ready to take on the day and what adventures that day shall bring!
Does she still have a long way to go….yes, in some ways she does and she shall always be a product of her genetics plus past and our roles are to help her become the best dog she can be and man, she is fabu!
Was she nervous getting into the car tonight, yes. We also had BHRR’s Sambuca so that made her more comfortable. I asked Sean to come with me so she had two humans and BHRR’s Sambuca – a truly solid dog, surrounding her with support to set her up for success.
She was weighed – 37.8 kgs – 83.16 pounds. She will never be a ‘Giant Dane’ in size but she is Giant in heart plus personality! When she is done maturing and eats even better, she ‘may’ make 90-95 pounds yet any more than that and she would be fat.
To those with Danes 120 pounds, that is not small…..and it is never about the actual number, it is about their health and what is the ideal for them.
BHRR’s Black Diamond did SO well at KAH. We did her bloodwork for Heartworm plus Tickborne diseases. We microchipped her. She had her heart, lungs, eyes, ears looked at and a thumbs up given! She had her vaccines and took treats from both the Vet and other Staff.
She even voluntarily went up to one of the staff and accepted some pats.
Huge huge huge progress made!!
Leashes still scare her and so, we will keep working on that.
This is such a wonderful BBBBB and her Vet found her to be lean, smart, loved her coat and in great health. She said she was a pretty little thing and quite nice.
BHRR’s Black Diamond, our journey together is going to take a different path shortly……for soon you shall go to another for almost 6 weeks to be temp fostered plus to help us bring you to the next stage of your rehab journey! From there we will re-evaluate and go forward….
Proud of you….love you! You are one of the bravest dogs ever and we knew you were not a wallflower for you had to have had backbone somewhere in you to have not given up.
You came back to the land of the living….you gave humans another chance to do right by you as you were failed in your past….you trusted again….and our promise remains to you that we will not see you failed….we will see you flourish and blossom and become the best dog you can be and we know that you are already one incredible girl!
From our home to all of our friends, family and supporters and on behalf of BHRR’s Diamond, Good- Night!