No Hurries, No Worries.

It’s been a loooooong time coming. Three years, to be exact.

Border Collie

Graidy loves to run — lives to run. And, for years, was happy doing laps around our fenced three acres. But, recently, he’s been interested in expanding his horizons, and has acquired a new favorite running buddy — Andrew. (I’m too slow for him. But with Kiera getting older, I’m just right for her. We’re bringing up the rear.) As you can see, Graidy is still learning how to stay inside the white line. That’ll come with time.

Way back when, Graidy came with the usual rescue baggage. One of his issues was that he couldn’t leave the property by car or on foot without having major panic attacks. You know the kind — instant spewing from both ends, as his body emptied itself in it’s fight or flight panic response.

I outlined the procedure for acclimating him to riding in the car here. He’s a real trooper now. Getting him to be able to walk off our property and away down the road has taken longer, but was essentially the same process.

The key to success with both endeavors was to progress in tiny increments — in other words, at a pace Graidy was comfortable with. And it was important to make sure I listened to him when he told me he’d had enough for that session, for that day. Even if him telling me he’d had enough came a few minutes into whatever we were doing. I believe it was that combination of time and patience that allowed Graidy to build a rock solid trust in us. A trust that now allows him to go anywhere and do anything.

If you were to meet him today, you’d find no signs of the scared, worried dog who arrived here that first day. All it took was a little love and good communication.

14 thoughts on “No Hurries, No Worries.”

  1. Caffienated Cowgirl

    It’s so great to read about animals that get a second chance. Graidy is one lucky pup. Looks like he’s happy with his new found life and running partner :)

  2. How lucky Graidy is to have a family with so much love and patience. With more heros like you, this world would certainly be a far better place.

  3. “All it took was a little love and good communication.” that is advice that could be applied to nearly any situation.

  4. Congratulations! I know how hard it can be to take those baby steps, but the payoff can be huge.

    We’ve had Lola over a year now. And while she still has issues with other dogs while on leash, she has come a long, long way. We’re doing agility with her now, and she loves it.

    In fact, not too long ago one of the people in the class said to me, “oh, your dog has problems with other dogs?”. Boy, did that make me feel good!

    She still has a long way to go (one of the instructors nicknamed her growly one week), but she’s made a lot of progress. Agility actually helped her a lot. She is an interesting mix of confident & fearful.

  5. How wonderful that Grady found humans so knowledgeable and patient. We would wish that for every dog that didn’t get a good start in life.

  6. Teetotaled, what a lucky Husky to have landed at your mom’s. Some rescue dogs come with more needs that have to be dealt with than others. One of the reasons I picked Graidy was because I knew there was no abuse in his background, so deep-seated fear and/or aggression weren’t going to be issues I’d be helping him with.

    Jan, thanks for the kind words.

  7. My mother’s huskey was a rescue as well. She has come a long way although she is still (and probably always will be) a nervous nelly with a heart of gold.
    It is really uplifting to hear stories like this!

  8. Joni, yes, definitely, rescue dogs aren’t for everyone. You have to have the time and energy for them. Glad you’re enjoying Pandora!

    Martina, how cool for Gordy and you! That is really wonderful to hear.

  9. Interesting. It is definitely something to keep in mind when looking at rescue dogs. Not everyone has that kind of time! BTW I love Pandora!! Thanks for sharing the link.

  10. there are few things in life that can make the heart sing like watching a rescue dog come out of its’ shell. Gordy spent his first two months here hiding under the dining table-now he wants to get up on the sofa. The first time he held his tail up made me want to jump for joy. It had taken three months.

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