Special case adoption!
Anatolia and Jack came to NCAR from Romania. Both arrived in a very stressed state, Anatolia had shut down and Jack was showing high levels of fear-based aggression. They had been through some traumatic experiences in Romania which had affected them in a major way. It was very quickly clear they didn’t trust people, hated being confined and were very scared. Both were not comfortable being on lead and Jack had a habit of biting through them in an attempt to flee. We realised rehabilitating these two was going to be a slower process than usual.
After the 3 month rehabilitation programme Jack and Anatolia have really made impressive progress. They now enjoy walks onlead, are comfortable in close quarters with people and being stoked by people they trust, are happy to take treats and are relaxed in the company of other polite dogs.
The behavioural team now believe they are able to be re-homed to a family who are willing to continue their rehabilitation from the rescue centre environment into a home environment. They have spent a short period out on foster which went well; they were good during the car journey and settled into the home quickly. Although they mostly kept to themselves initially, both dogs began to show positive signs of their ability to adapt and progress into home lives. Both Anatolia and Jack now show curiosity in their environment and a desire to explore which gives any potential owner a great opportunity to help guide them, bond with them and ultimately give them the confidence they need to just relax and enjoy life.
They will be looking for a home where they will be given the time and space to enable them to begin to trust the new people in their lives. Attempting to bond with this pair by encroaching on their space and attempting to make contact (stroking etc) causes the opposite result. Once they feel comfortable enough they will approach you (probably for a treat first) then you know you are beginning to earn their hard won trust. Working with cases such as this has very little reward for a lot of effort initially, but winning the trust of dogs who have been through the traumatic experiences these two have is one of the most gratifying achievements in canine rescue work. A secure home and garden is a must as Jack will look to flee if he is stressed, this urge will of course reduce as his confidence and education grows, but will remain a risk long after his adoption. Allowing these dogs offlead will also be very dependant on how stronger relationship can be formed with these two, but assuming neither will be allowed offlead due to their flight risk is a sensible approach.
At this point we can’t consider re-homing these two separately as they rely heavily on each other, Jack especially struggles when Anatolia isn’t close at hand. We are working on building their confidence as individuals at NCAR but this is proving a difficult challenge in the rescue centre environment.
If you would like an insight into their journey since arriving at NCAR then please watch the four part video diary of their progression under our care;
Part 1; earning trust.
Part 2; lead walking.
Part 3; social mix.
Part 4; meeting strangers.
Here is a video of a big socialisation session which Ana and Jack were involved in;