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The Ruff

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Danika's Journey

Danika is part of our Ruff Roamers club, we have many new members now so we thought we should recap on one of our most 'challenging' dogs to date.

Danika spent her life in the shelter staring at a wall inside a wooden box. When we were approached by another UK rescue to take her we knew she was going to be a dog who needed a lot of time to learn to trust humans again.

She arrived in May 2020 (with Lucy), she was covered in mange and had an injury to her eye. Danika was not ready to go inside a home yet and so she was kennelled to give her time to decompress, she was shut down, traumatised and untouchable.

Each goal we have celebrated, they may seem small to some people but to us and Danika they were huge- the first time she braved it to leave her kennel, the first time she took food from my hands, the first time she came out whilst I was out etc then when she finally came into the house each of these goals were celebrated again as although it was a big step forward, she found herself shut down again.

From then the steps got bigger, and each one the team all cried with happiness over; when i got a collar on her, when she first sat on the settee, introducing her to the harness, allowing me to stroke now, her first time on a walk!!

No step forward went unrecognised!! Yes, it has taken 8 months to get her out of the house, yes the sleepless nights have been hard but watching her trust and character unfold makes everything worth it.

Danika has not been taught sit, wait, leave etc...we are no where near that point yet, we are learning to live together and understand eachother.

After the first month or two I was terrified that this dog might never learn to trust, and that I'll never be able to get her out of a 'shut down state' but 9 months down the line I now have a dog who will cuddle me on the sofa, play with the other dogs and enjoy her walks. It was vital she trusted me before we even thought about leaving the house.

We still have a long way to go but this beautiful lady continues to surprise and teach me everyday.

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