Tag Archive | abuse

Felicia

wp_20160811_005-1This is Felicia.
She is a black lab/border collie mix, about 13 months old now.

I adopted this little lady from the Humane Association’s animal shelter…
When I first met her, all she could do was cower.  Once she got through that, she became a bit aggressive, mostly from severe anxiety disorder.

Felicia has made good progress:  During her first month in my home, she was afraid of everything:  An unexpected noise, furniture, the kitchen garbage can…  Now she is much more relaxed in that regard.

She still has a number of challenges:  Separation and stranger anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, problems with aggression.  Her rehabilitation plan includes medication, behavior management, calming coats, essential oils, a lot of patience and love.  When she is behaving, Felicia is a nice little dog.  I say she’s like “the little girl who had a curl right in the middle of her forehead…”

When Felicia was still at the shelter, I was told that she was brought in by people who simply didn’t do anything with her siblings and her, so they are timid.  Hmmmmm, I don’t know that I buy the story.  Felicia cowers at any hand movement that could look like she might be hit.  She also freaks out if I try to dry her off with a towel and she is very protective of her hind quarters.

As for the separation anxiety, it turns out that shelter dogs often have this problem.  It makes sense:  Imagine that you are relaxing at home; then one day, you are taken to a strange place and put into a cage.  Nothing is familiar; no one comes back for you.
If I had known then what I do now, I’m not sure I would have adopted this little dynamo.  She truly is a handful.  It is something to consider when getting acquainted with a shelter dog.

Now that Felicia has been here for almost six months and I know her, I’m glad to keep her and do the work it takes for her to be well.  I really want Felicia to succeed.  None of the alternatives are all right with me:  Take her back to the shelter?  No.  She would be destroyed by that.  Euthanize her?  No.  She has too much promise for that… Besides, now that she has found a place in my heart, I would miss her.

I have been told that it takes several months to rehabilitate an animal that has been abandoned or abused.  I get encouragement from this:  There is hope for Felicia.