Abuse is Abuse is Abuse

Within the last few months, we were gifted a male purebred Olde English Bulldogge (and, yes, I spelled that correctly!) They are not as squatty and wrinkly as Standard Bulldogs. He’s definitely a beauty! He’s got such a sweet disposition, and a wiggly butt. There’s a catch, however. He’s five years old and set in his ways, which is not a dealbreaker. Also, he’s also been kenneled most of his life and, very obviously, abused by a man. Abused, skittish, and unpredictable…

He can be most aggravating when he puts on the breaks, when you’re simply just trying to walk him down the street, OR when he seems to be barking at nothing, OR when you go to pet him and he cowers down or flinches, OR seemingly has never been played with, which is obvious when you squeak a squeaky toy and he jumps OR you throw a ball and he watches it hit him square in the forehead. *SMH*

And yet, I know to be gentle with him and patient, as I have loving people gentle and patient with me. I realize that EVERYTHING is a new experience to him. He loves walks, once he learned to not be afraid and not to pull my arm out of socket. He sits quietly for car rides, probably because he thinks he is getting passed to another person. He gets rewarded by going to DQ and getting a “treat cup [for dogs],” which is nothing more than non-dairy whipped cream in a small cup. When he goes to the vet, he gets a small, plain cheeseburger, afterwards, from McD’s and is always so delighted and surprised! Instead of towering over him, I’ve learned to stoop down to his level to pet him, I also started kissing him on the nose and scratching him behind the ears. Now I get barked at, if those aren’t given — I believe he’s realized he’s never had this and has decided that he likes this! We get barked at and “growl-talked” if he feels like he’s not getting enough attention. Before, he’d just sit and stare and zone out. We can see small changes…we are getting through, slowly…

I also realized that this dog and I are kindred spirits. We are BOTH a work in process, a LONG work in progress. While it would be easier on my significant other to be with a woman that wasn’t abused and has PTSD, he chooses to be patient and kind and love me through the crazy and the trauma; so must we do that for this dog. It would’ve been great to have a puppy to start from scratch with, but we are giving this dog a new life, a new start and not forsaking him because he’s “broken.” Love does heal, truly. He deserves to reclaim his lost puppyhood…now, if he’d just catch that dang ball…oy…

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