Traumatized Dogs have Flashbacks

I try not to live in the past, but I have been hurt by people I trusted. I have needed help and no one came. I tried to protect myself but that didn’t work out so well. “Bad dog,” they said. “Lock him up.”

I still get scared when something reminds me of the past. I forget where I am right now.  I only know those bad things might happen again.

My Flashback

I see a dog that might hurt me. I want to run away because if I fight, I will be punished again. If I don’t  run, I will get hurt. I can’t get away fast enough. I pull on the leash and I pull and pull.

My new human touches me then. She puts her hand on my side. I think she might have been calling me, but I was too scared to hear her. She says my name - the one I have now. She says it gently. And it reminds me I am here with her now.

Not back there.

Not back then.

My Protector

 My human tries to keep other dogs away from me. The scary ones anyway.  Sometimes we are walking and if there is a dog crossing our path, we stop and wait for it to pass. Sometimes we take a different route to avoid it. That makes me feel safe.

My human says it helps her keep her arm in its socket. I have no idea what that means.

Making Friends with Other Dogs

I want to make friends with other dogs. Sometimes. I used to have a dog friend but that was a long time ago.

I like dogs like me that are older and just want to hang out together. I made friends with a dog named Bella. She was an old dog like me. We exchanged sniffs and then we each found a nice spot on the grass to lie down - close but not too close. I like Bella.  

Dogs that Jump

I do  not like dogs that want to jump and wrestle. It scares me. That is how the trouble started for me last time.  Play wasn’t fun. It hurt. But when I objected, I was the bad dog.

We met a dog in the park that wanted to wrestle. I tried to make friends but she wouldn’t stop jumping at me and I was scared. I snapped and growled at her. I didn’t bite her, but I could have.  Instead I warned her to leave me alone. She still didn’t stop jumping at me.

I was very scared then but my human wasn’t angry with me! She said we didn’t have to stay by the jumpy dog and we walked the other way. I was glad to get away.

My Happy Space

I was even happier when we left the park and went back home. I feel safe there. There are no other dogs there. My human sits with me in the living room and pets me. When I am tired, I can curl up in the back bedroom and no one bothers me while I sleep.  

I shared this story with you because sometimes a dog that growls and snaps is really a dog that is afraid.  Give me some space.

Please, if I see you in the park and your jumpy dog wants to be friends, let him find another jumpy dog to be friends.

I'm going to hang out with Bella

See how calm and sweet she it. Yup, I really like Bella.

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The Holidays Part 3

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Storm Safety Huff - Part 3

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