Monday, March 8, 2010

If only we could read his mind

I'm sure you've heard me comment about how friendly this dog is on many occasions. I've talked about his eating habits, learning to sit, escape artistry, behavior on the leash, etc. One thing that I haven't mentioned is how he acts when he gets scared.

I have only seen him scared twice so far. The first time was when my friend Bert came over. Bert is a big dude... probably 6'3" and 250lbs. He was not really even paying much attention to Skeletor when we went out back to meet him. For no apparent reason, Skelly started acting really strange.

He cowered next to a shrub as though he was trying to make himself disappear. Bert pet him a little to put him at ease. He seemed ok, but still a little timid. We went back inside and let Skelly in to hang for a bit. Even though Bert made nice with Skelly, he was still visibly shaken. He walked into the corner behind some furniture, trying to disappear just as he had done before.

After some more affection and about 10 minutes, he finally started acting like his chipper self again.

It's really strange how, though completely unprovoked, he got so petrified. Perhaps Bert looks like his former "owner?" I'm not sure.

The other time he was scared was when Ian was playing with this toy that launches a paper ring that flies kinda like a paper airplane. Skeletor did the same thing... he was shaken up for at least 15-20 minutes. Scared of Ian, scared of the living room, just really scared in general. He cowered in his kennel and stayed out of sight until we were able to sufficiently reassure him that it was ok.

I hope that with time, we can restore Skelly's dignity, spirit and confidence. Somebody at some point has broken him.  It's a miracle that he is so friendly towards people.

It makes me wonder what horrors this poor dog has been through. But to be honest, I'm not sure that I'd want to know. I really wish that justice could somehow be served to the monsters that did this to him. I hope that they are not doing the same to his brothers or sisters.

How somebody could do something like this is beyond me. I'm just glad that with your help, we are able to give a second chance to this wonderful pup.


  1. It breaks your heart. You guys are the best!

  2. He may be scared of things or people due to outright abuse, but it may also be a reaction to new things. he may just be under exposed to the world in general. Which would suggest neglect (as does the rest of his awful state). Every new and positive experience he has will help teach him that he is safe and no one will hurt him.

    In any event, I am so very heartened to know that there are people in the world that care enough to save him. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much.

  3. My little chihuahua came from a puppy mill where he was only let out of his cage to go potty and to get busy with the ladies. He received little to no human affection for the first year of his life. I suspect his second owner kept him outside or in a cold garage a lot to keep him away from their baby. He's three now and I'm his third owner. You'd never know what a rough start he had early in life if you spent any time with him now.

    I'm a firm believer that Skeletor will be the same way under your care and guidance!

  4. Oh Skelly - what an utter sweetie!

    I think that he's still finding his confidence after the trauma he must have suffered before you wonderful people found him. I know he will reach his inner doggy-ness with a lot of encouragement and love.

    Take care

  5. Oh poor Skelly! It really is horrible what he must have gone through to have been scared like that! But we know that with all the patience and love he is getting he will be able to get past his terrible past and have a wonderful future!!

  6. I just wanted you to know that I was scared of lots of stuffs when I came to live with my mom and dad. I don't think anybody had hurt me but I was left out in the backyard without any food or water or attention. So living in a house was real scary.

    I've been with my mom and dad almost a year, and with lots of love and patience (and CHEESE!), I have come a really, really long way.

    I am sure Mr. Skelly will too!

    Wiggles & Wags,

  7. oh skelly , you are just so vewy brave and we love you so much more for your courageousness
    we send you EXTRA sugary pibble kisses for being YOU
    the houston pittie pack

  8. Oh, that's so sad. I wonder if his former owner did look like your friend. Miss M. gives us a lot of details about her life. She is actually terrified of men of a certain race that own German Shepherds. It happened 3 times where she was ok with the race, but when I asked the guys they confessed they had German Shepherds at home. Kind of strange.

  9. I hope that the people who hurt him get raging diarrhea and shit out their intestinal mucosa until they die.

  10. Dogs, like humans, never forget pain or sorrow or the person who has hurt them. But also like humans, dogs never, ever, ever, forget real love. And whether or not Skelly makes his forever home with you, he will never, ever forget the love you have given him.

  11. Then again, I don't think I would want to know what has happened - I don't think our souls could handle it.

  12. I am so very glad to see Skeletor's amazing progress. I was worried that he had been traumatized so badly that he'd be protective of his toys and food. Not that that's breed specific but due to the degree of his starvation.

    So far though he has excellent indoor and social manners so I'm not worried about his adoptive possibilities. I do think that he'll need some work with big males though. Apparently there was some bad experiences from the way he reacted.

    Still though, I am so thrilled that skeletor found you and vice-versa.

  13. There should be a special place in hell for people who abuse animals!
    You are doing a fantastic job with Skeletor, he looks 100% better already.


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