Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Changing One Being's World

When you rescue a dog, you’re not changing the world, but you are changing that dog’s world. So true. We have three Maltese. Two were from an outstanding breeder who showered them with love. They are the friendliest four-legged persons you will ever meet. And yes, because they have strong personalities—that makes them, in my mind, persons.

And then, there’s our third, youngest person. Whose origins we shall not discuss, save to say he’s incredibly athletic and extremely intelligent. But. . . the fact that he was never socialized is the least of his issues.
He’s been a trial. He bit us; he bit other dogs; he bit other people. If you touched him and woke him when he was sleeping he’d come up biting. But we stuck with him—-had him for two years now. He’s loving, totally affectionate, wants to be in our laps, or curled up at our feet, cuddles up next to the two older dogs (with whom he fought when he first arrived), dances for joy and rolls on his back to have his belly rubbed when I come downstairs in the morning, loves to go for runs in the woods, has learned to obey (most) voice commands, all good things.
He still has a terrible fear of other humans and other dogs, both of whom he attacks, and will bite—--hard enough to draw blood and leave puncture wounds. He’s a Maltese, a ratter by his genetics, is lightning fast and can jump as high as a man’s belt, so even though he weighs six pounds and stands seven inches at the shoulder, he has to be confined when someone comes into the house, and then gradually introduced into their company with a harness and leash to compensate for his hair-trigger attack response if a sudden move is made.
But his world has changed, and continues to change.

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