We had our most recent BHRR 'EXPERIENCE' Mini Open House on Saturday April 21st.

When we hosted our first BHRR 'EXPERIENCE' Mini Open House after the FREEDOM DANES arrived – end of November; we let them stay in their crates as their 'safe' spot and they could come out(which none did) if they would like to. We asked all of our attendees to be understanding and not push them and get into their space.

When we hosted our second BHRR 'EXPERIENCE' Mini Open House after the FREEDOM DANES arrived – end of February; we let them once more do what they desired and they came in and out at will. BIG improvement! The girls wanted to spend most of the day outside in the sun yet came into the sunroom for bits of time and allowed some people to pet them. Once again, we asked all of our attendees to be understanding and not push them and get into their space.

When we hosted our third BHRR 'EXPERIENCE' Mini Open House at the FREEDOM DANES arrived – April 21st; we did not allow the Danes as part of our next stage of move forward social rehabiltiation; to go into crates. Both BHRR's Peanut and BHRR's Gretta did once and I removed them and shut the crate door. Someone had let BHRR's Riley out of his crate and had not closed it behind him. We asked our attendees, of which most were respectful; and we only had to say a few words to some; to be understanding and not push them and get into their space.

BHRR's Freedom ROCKED it! BHRR's Peanut did very well and BHRR's Gretta is still much further behind than all five of the FREEDOM DANES here.

They are each travelling their own journeys from hell in their own ways; yet; all are very slow with baby steps and we continue to work towards their social rehab success – AND to each of them, this could mean something different. These were Danes that were carried for the longest time. So many did not know them at the ES or when they first arrived to BHRR and they think that a quiet word and a treat(which they would not take from every stranger we observed) is going to make them 'all better'.

These are dogs that have major trust issues and lack social skills and communication and they are not 'won' over with words of praise.

They are 'won' over by time, patience, consistency, routine, structure, obedience and routine…..with positive reinforcement and all of this comes to mean stability in their worlds.

They are not to be pitied as so many were want to do at the Open House, they are not to be felt sorry for; FOR these dogs to have any chance at living any semblance of a normal life(and normal to them could well mean something differerent for each of them); they need to be given some 'tough' love here and there. Gently pushing the boundaries when they have demonstrated they are ready and two more of them are and this means going out into the big scary world now. If I felt sorry for them, I would keep them safely closeted at BHRR for their lives and carried them in and out all day long as needed. FOR to have felt sorry for them, would have meant that they never would have learnt to walk on their own, learnt to play, sleep without standing all the time, take a treat, not cower at the back of their crates when you went to feed them, never became housebroken etc.

BHRR's FREEDOM had his first social time outing with me on April 7th and I will update his blog and soon it is BHRR's Peanut's time.

A word to any home that adopts them for I remain very positive that they shall be placed up for adoption at some point; that is an X time determination though; those homes cannot set them up for failure which shall undo all the foundation laying and proper build-up of their characters plus personalities since the day they came into BHRR.

So, for the one that may think that the 'tough' love of not allowing them to hang out in crates when they had no need of those crates any longer; was not 'good; please understand the 'why' of this. So many of these FREEDOM dogs out there (627 total) have been adopted quickly and bounced back to whereever they were adopted from. They bounced back because they were NOT ready to be adopted and the homes were NOT really prepared/ready for all that these dogs still needed.

THIS is not the mandate for BHRR. Quick to adopt is not in our vocabulary yet; at the same time; we work towards a move forward rehabilitation approach designed specifcally for each dog under our care. These dogs will be placed up for adoption WHEN they are ready, not before and they TELL me when it is time for the next steps.

We want forever loving homes, not failures for home and our dogs.

Always forward…they are a product of their past, live in their present and we look towards their future.

Just some food for thought….. 😉