He’s only asking directions
After 10 months with us, most of the time these days, Susie-Belle seems to be happy and confident and her interaction with us is healthily relaxed. When we’re out and about in our regular haunts she’s usually content to hang out with the dogs we meet, and whilst she doesn’t exactly play, she’s clearly pretty chilled in their presence.
But then, just when I’m settling into a fine feeling of satisfaction that her traumatic past has all but worked its way well and truly out of her system, she’ll have a little moment that tells me that the damage done to these dogs is so ingrained that she will probably never 100% let it go.
Earlier today we did a regular early morning walk round the town; I mix up our walks so that both her and Renae get plenty of exposure to different noises, traffic challenges and good lead walking practice as well as lots of fun off-lead park and field walks.
Susie-Belle was doing well, I wasn’t paying all that much attention to be honest as she seemed to be fine, but then just as we came to the high street, the traffic build-up was pretty intense and a noisy motorbike whizzed past quite close which startled her. She started to feel agitated, walked tight on the lead, jumped to the side, but nothing too concerning, then just as we were about to continue walking, a chap came up to me to ask for directions and Susie-Belle decided to leap about on the end of her lead. She was clearly in a heightened state of edginess from the traffic noise and the stranger approaching her from behind was a touch too much for her nerves.
It wasn’t a serious reaction, and a few seconds later she was walking along fine again, but it did remind me that below the surface, there traumas still there and sadly that may never fully disappear. Over time, I hope it will stop rearing up and affecting Susie-Belle but meanwhile we’ll keep giving her all the love and attention we can so she keeps moving forward to full happiness. They say dogs live in the moment, we’ll just have to make many millions of happy moments for her.
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