APPROX 5 YEARS
Priscilla has been with us for a while now however we have been doing a tremendous amount of work with her to get her to the point she is today and ready for adoption. Priscilla has come in to us via another rescue before heartbreakingly being spayed mid-pregnancy, as you can imagine the effect of this on Priscilla was enormous added to that she had to endure a traumatic journey to us so upon arrival 'shut down' was an understatement.
After being set down in her kennel it was clear that the toll her experiences had taken on her were great, she just lay exactly where she was placed and made no attempt to move, run, hide or even look around, she just lay there. All of our hearts broke knowing what she had to endure and that there was nothing we could do to help her other then start the slow journey to build a bond with her and show her that life can be good.
After the first night with us we had hoped she had even slightly acclimatised but our hearts again broke looking in at her seemingly in the same place as she was set down, her bed was still made and her kennel was as we had left it.
It was three days before anyone witnessed her stand up, we were sending every moment we could with her, dropping in on the way past so she could just feel us close and know that a touch on her head wasn't going to hurt. The improvements we were holding on to were watching her eyes look around, seeing her actually eating and drinking albeit lay down but we knew she was starting to respond.
The next steps were to get her out of the four walls of her kennel so she could feel the grass on her paws and sun on her back, we picked her up and took her on to the field, whilst she remained stationary we were so happy to see her out, looking around and taking it all in, it was all baby steps.
The next big step was introducing her to Beth, another of our dogs also up for rehoming, Beth and Priscilla seemed to take solace in each other, both being from a shakey start their relationship blossomed and it was the first time we had see Priscilla walk, run and begin to play!
Our biggest challenge was then the lead, even though she was becoming happier to see us, increasingly if not only by a fraction confident and spending more time on four legs moving about then laying down, she struggled every time the lead was attached resuming her shut down position. We started by cutting a bit off a lead and attaching it to her collar, long enough to feel and have a bit of weight from it but short enough so as not to trip her up, we put it on every time she was going out to the playpen. Once she was used to this we made progress using alternate leads like long lines and retractable until we finally managed to get her on a normal lead! She still at times needs coaxing on but the slightest most minute amount of pressure on the lead and she continues along side you.
We are starting to discover the true, cheeky and fun Priscilla, we were outstanded the first time we heard her bark in excitement to go to the playpen, she's now wagging her tail and up on all fours when you enter, excited for her walks and most importantly she is putting her trust in us.
We can appreciate that Priscilla does have a long way to go as we are sure that settling in to a home environment, new routine and unfamiliar people will set her back slightly but given the remarkable progress she has made with us here we do think she will get there and make an incrdibly loyal, resiliant and loving addition.
We will be looking for a special home for out special girl, she would benefit from a quieter home, potentially with another dog but one where she can continue to grow in confidence.
No young children and not cat tested.