Life After The Puppy Farm - Holly's Story!
“It’s three am in our house and Holly has woken me three times already. She has managed to get all the blankets off her bed and is trying to scrape them back on. It sounds like she’s trying to scrape her way straight off the planet. Before that she decided she wanted to play with a peacefully sleeping Chips, who growls like a grizzly bear when asking to be left alone, which she blatantly ignores, waggling her tiny body at him anyway. Now she’s on the sofa in my office, snoring like a train.
Holly’s communication is now built in confidence – at home at least. She’s still scared outdoors and likely always will be. Yet Holly at home is a miniature ruler and a formidable dictator – far from the dog she once was. She demand barks, pushes the other dogs around, and generally tells us all what to do.
Communication with a dog who has escaped from trauma takes a specific path. Imagine that the state of emotional learned helplessness is a suitcase, packed up tight and the zip pulled around it. It’s been packed up for so long that even if we unzip the case, the contents don’t move, so we have to gently tease them out, one at a time. This is similar to the way a dog with learned helplessness begins to communicate.”