Honey is a beautiful female dog, about 3.5 years old, and likely a mix of Rhodesian Ridgeback, Shepard and Pit Bull. She’s taken residency at our house — sometimes referred to as the Doggie Ashram — to receive behavioral rehabilitation.
I thought I’d share her story casually via this Spiritual Dogster blog for anyone who may be interested to follow along and give her energetic support. We don’t underestimate the power of our collective intentions – and every one is appreciated. There’s so much to learn from trial and error in working with rebalancing body and mind, so sharing our stories help to heal others too.
Sadly, Honey was badly abused before the age of 8 months old. So her formative years, as we can say with dogs too, were horrible and shrouded in fear. The other sad reality is that many dogs have an abusive past, yet are able to let go of those terribly memories and move on with emotional freedom. However, some dogs, like Honey, are not able to do that as easily or well. Her loving family – a newly married couple – have given SO much already to help move Honey beyond her fears, hypersensitivity and reactivity. However, essentially, nothing has worked. Especially around the man/dogdad, and despite him being a loving guy with good dog energy, Honey will not learn to trust him. She’s aways on edge around him and gets defensive/protective of her dogmom, especially when the dogdad comes approaching.
This young family, after giving it all they’ve got for 2+ years, felt at a total loss when we met them. We were connected via her skilled dog trainer, Zoe of Zoe’s Dog training in San Diego. Honey is a very intelligent and sensitive dog, so she’s actually been trained very well on all the standards. She wants to listen and she wants to be good. She simply CANNOT let go or ease up her stress response. Her intensity level was beyond anyone’s comfortable range. She’s reactive and unpredictable. So much so that she’d been put on prescription anti-anxiety/anti-aggression meds.
Currently, Honey has been with us for just over two weeks. And I have to say, so far so good. We quickly came to see the range and swings of her behaviors and her loss of self-control. All I could think when I was around her was, “too much.” It was as if she was going to pop.
So, our initial approach has been simply to decompress her. To clear the slate. Restart.
Honey needs a control-alt-delete. (haha. I’m aging myself.)
She spends almost all of her time in a quiet room with calm music playing at all times. She’s got cozy bedding on the floor as she’s not allowed up on anything or anyone. She gets an early morning and late afternoon very long walk and a couple hours per day of playing with toys in the living room. She’s separated from our other dogs and we aren’t overly affectionate to her either. At this point, that just adds more clouds. She’s living a very simple, predictable, structured, clean, routine life. Just as dogs like it :)
A whole team of devoted practitioners have come forward to support us with Honey. One of these special healers has given so much of herself and her time already, I want to thank her formally. I highly recommend this amazing woman, Kate Doyle. She’s a gifted animal communicator and healers of animals.
We’re all committed to Honey’s evolution, and we tell her that often. SHE IS WORTHY of every ounce of effort that Team Honey, and all those before, have given to her. It’s so important that she knows that. Her poor little broke spirit needs to know and feel comfort and safety, first and foremost. Otherwise, the foundation is far too shaky and nothing can be rebuilt.
It’s an honor to know and work with this special dog; I see her beauty outside and in. I look forward to seeing her shine brightly and live comfortably with her family again.
Thank you for your prayers of support and love for Honey 2.0 ;)
To be continued....