Patience has never been one of my strong points. If I ask someone to do something and it is not done instantly, I do it myself. I know this is annoying so taking in dogs like Milo is the universe’s way of telling me to slow down and take my time. It is hard to do because the longer a dog stays with us, the harder it is to let go. But letting go is what we must do so that these dogs move on in their journey.
Milo was a holy mess when he came here. He is only 8 months old, and rambunctious. He was on tranquilizers because he was “losing it” in a small, overcrowded, understaffed shelter in Missouri. I wanted to kick myself every five minutes for caving and saying I would take him because we have far too many “tough cases” here and the winter is brutal out in the country which makes the integration process so much more difficult. I looked at him and said , “This is not going to be an easy fix.”
So he began his journey here. He came off the tranquilizers and acted crazy. When you put a leash on him, he turned and attacked the leash and jumped around like an idiot. He knocked me over several times which is not unusual for new dogs who have been locked up. We gave up on the leash idea and soon learned he would follow me in and out of his “place.” Water bowls were a no no…he tossed them around and made a racket. If you threw a ball he would and will run after it and bring it back til hell freezes over.
But the weeks went by and I watched him relax and change. There is something in his eyes…a certain hesitation, a desire to please, a meekness. When I see this in his eyes, I feel so much love for him and see how far he has already come.
Milo walks fine on a leash now….doesn’t act like a nut case anymore and has calmed down tremendously. He LOVES to play and would do best with one other, energetic dog.
When I would complain about my high school students, my mother reminded me that they (like our own children) were a work in progress. So are animals.
We who are involved in rescue must remember …give them time…give them time, give them the opportunity to show who they really are and what they can become.
Most large shelters cannot do this because they are just too full and too busy. That is why people have to see beyond what “is now” and look to “what will be.”
Milo has shown me he is ready to be a family dog…he is finally ready but it has taken time. And he is not done yet…he has a lot to learn but he is ready and willing.
Second Chance Animal Refuge Society