16.11.2014. – Szonja is on trial adoption 🙂
Szonja, the three-year-old Dalmatian lady was the last in our care from the Kaba rescue that happened almost a year ago. This exceptional beauty probably recieved most of the beating, kicking among the Dalmatians who lived in the puppy mill. Her behaviour and habits proved that she was the one trying to defend the others and her puppies, the ones she was held to “mass produce” in the piggery. She was terribly mistrustful from the beginning, despite their starvation her trust could not be gained even with the most delicious treats. She didn’t let us touch her let alone approach her. She protected herself vigorously. She’d lived the first years of her life in stress and fear in that place so her behaviour was absolutely understandable. We decided to separate her from the others from the very first minute, in order to work with her in a calm environment. So she soon moved to a dog pension into the hands of an expert trainer where her rehabilitation could begin, so she could once be rehomed.
We are past 11 months of work during which Szonja learned to play, go on a walk, cheer like a real Dalmatian because she did not even know how to do all these. She ran away not only from people but from toys, balls, etc. We were there when she made her first fumbling-tumbling attempts to be at ease, we watched her learn the basic commands and perform some tricks with her caregiver who walked her daily, paid attention to her and helped us to take the dog to the vet when needed and on weekends she regularly took Szonja on a hike with her own dogs, teaching this previously unlucky Dalmatian lady the bright side of life. We are infinitely grateful for her work.
Szonja is more relaxed now but there is still a huge amount of insecurity, mistrust and fear in her so we’ve known that finding the right owner for her wouldn’t be an easy task. She is still very shy with strangers, she is prone to freeze or panic in new situations that are frightening for her and this has to be dealt with accordingly. There were applicants but let’s face it: there are easier cases than a timid and unpredictable dog. So we waited for the right person who wanted Szonja even with all the difficulties that awaited. Almost a year passed when Szonja finally had her chance, we recieved a call, a glint of hope: experienced Dalmatian owners who previously owned an abused, shy dog and they wanted Szonja specifically. We arranged some meetings knowing that more meetings will be necessary in her case. The dog’s reaction was great even in the beginning and vice versa there was understanding and patience. After multiple meetings the determination and the infinite patience needed for gaining such a shy dog’s trust was still the same. The family visit also went well so last weekend Szonja finally moved to her new home. We have to admit that we were extremely worried. When will they call they have a problem? When do we need to go for the panicking dog no one can touch (which unfortunately happened before when we wanted to move her to a fosterhome)?
The calls and the text messages arrived each day but only with positive news. Szonja has been living with her candidates for a week now and they already managed to overcome numerous major obstacles. She let them put her on leash the first days (alright, we helped on the very first occasion), they go on long walks, made some new pet-friends who play together in the huge garden. Today Szonja was watching TV with her new family, they pet her, surround her with love and try to give her everything a Dalmatian, especially Szonja deserves!
With a smile on our faces we are now happily waiting for Szonja’s news, keeping our fingers crossed that everything will continue to go fine so that we can sign the adoption contract this year which would mean a happy life in a forever family for Szonja!