Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Working with Porter

The following account was written by one of our volunteers, Sheila Mullis.

"Porter was rescued from a puppy mill where he had spent his entire life.  Porter was never socialized or loved, and he is an insecure, timid dog, who bites.  Porter is in the Rehab Program, and he is my assigned dog.  Our session started with carefully putting a leash on him... a task, since he wouldn't let me touch him without trying to bite.  He leads very well for a pup new to the whole idea.  I lead him out of the kennel and began by walking him to a secure outdoor area.  This was the first time he had been outside since his arrival... maybe in his whole life!  We would walk a bit, then I would stand beside him, bend down, say 'touch' and starting at his back pet him, working forward. I started using the word 'touch' so he knows what to expect.  By the end of the hour, we had been all around out front and into the socialization area, where we took a break to relax on the couch. He also let me pick him up, which is a huge show of trust for him.  To end the session, I lead him back into the kennel and rubbed his shoulders while removing the leash.  We ended on a positive note.   Before leaving for the day, I visited him and got a nose touch on my hand... I think he likes me!"

Not only does Sheila work on the rehab team, she is also a docent, fosters dogs, manages our Available Dogs facebook page, and is one of our amazing photographers.  We're hoping she'll provide us another update about Porter the next time she works with him.  Click here to follow Sheila's blog.

13 comments:

  1. You are a wonderful person Sheila. Keep up the good work!!!!! These babies need you :)

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    1. she really seems like a unique person who does her job wonderfully..

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  2. Way to go Porter...and Sheila, bless you for your patience with Porter! We too have a puppy mill survivor who was unsure of humans and how to accept love. When he eventually DID come around, he turned out to be the BEST dog ever and gives us tenfold the love in return. He is still cautious with strangers but looks to us for guidance. When we say "o.k. Luckie" he knows that he is free to shower the stranger with love...and boy does he have a lot to go around.

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  3. that would take lots of courage and a love of animals I like you Sheila

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  4. What a sweet but sad story....I'm glad you are making progress with Porter. He looks like he wants to be loved and give love back but it will take time.

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  5. Reading this, I can see how some people might think this is just the simplest thing... he's a small dog, just take him out for a walk...BUT until you work one on one, face to face with a dog that has so much fear that they will bite - ONLY THEN do you realize how calm, brave and strong a person must be to handle a poor baby like this. NMDogs like Porter are well on their way to having the life they deserve because of the risks each rescuer takes with them.

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  6. wow a kind heart is what all these poor little furbabies need.. These stories remind me that there is kind and caring in this harsh world we live in.. re-establishes my faith in humanity..

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  7. Sheila, you are my hero

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  8. Thank you so much Sheila <3

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  9. Porter is a very lucky dog - twice at least - to be rescued and then to have you as a teacher

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  10. very nice post
    two thumb up for you ^___^

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