This is Beau the Golden Retriever who arrived into rescue in August 2013.
Beau’s appeal went out as he was sitting waiting to die through lethal injection.
His owners had him since a puppy and claimed that he had always been a difficult dog. They then had a baby and gave him to their parents who kept him for a short while. They then decided that they didn’t want him and handed him over to breed rescue. Breed rescue put him in a crate for 24 hours (the worst place you can put Beau because he always guards if he is behind fencing) and called in a professional behaviourist for a visit. She said that he was best put to sleep. The vet was the one saved his life because he said that he was a mixed up dog, but could be bought round if someone had the patience. He agreed to put him to sleep if the rescue could not find another rescue space who would deal with his issues. They put him in a temporary foster home, but the man who was looking after him requested him moved asap as he didn’t feel safe with him there. The appeal went out and nobody offered! So we did!
I don’t know what happened to him between the age of 12 weeks and 22 months, but whatever it was, was very bad. He was literally scared of every single thing that ever happened in the world around him. People were his main fear and if in a room with them, then he would guard the door. This was misconstrued as him guarding the room but it didn’t take long to realise that he was actually guarding the space around him and trying to keep people as far away from him as possible.
If you showed him a brush he would go into a frenzy of barking, snarling, lunging, drooling and snapping and he would do the same if you gently showed him your hand just for a sniff. He was petrified of people and if he kept them away he was safe (in his head).
It took him 6 months to accept a brush being swept over his back without him lunging at the person holding the brush. After two years in rescue he finally enjoyed grooming day and now picks up a brush and brings it to me with his tail wagging and likes the whole of him to be brushed out.
Fussing was a real issue to him for about a year and a half. He was so scared of hands and nobody could get near to him for more than a couple of minutes without him turning into a mess of snarls and saliva.
It took 18 months for him to seek me out for a fuss.
I decided that there was no point in rushing anything. He would come to me when he was ready and until then I would just use voice tone to assure him. This worked because now he is very happy and ready for strokes, fusses and recently, kisses too. Just the other day, for the first time, he gave me a cheeky lick on the face which is a huge step for him.
For walks he has had to be on lead and muzzled since he arrived. He had taken him this long to get used to me, so strangers had no chance. About four months ago, he began to relax walking past people. His body language went from stock still and ready to defend himself to relaxed and choosing to ignore them rather than watch them to see what they were up to.
Recently he went for his first beach walk and managed the whole walk without a muzzle on (still on lead of course and muzzle in my hand just in case) but there was not a hint of any bad manners towards either person or another dog.
We still have a long way to go with him, but he shows progress every week that he is in rescue and maybe one day he will be ready for a home.
Beau is part of our Sanctuary Animals scheme, in which we look after animals that cannot be rehomed due to medical or behavioural issues. If you would like to contribute to the welfare of the animals in this scheme, we are appealing for people to contribute £2 a month via (or whatever you can afford) via Standing Order, to ensure these animals are safe and well looked after for their rest of their lives.
If you would like to donate, our bank details are;
Account name: Furry Friends Animal Rescue
Account number: 30083214
Account Sort Code: 60-06-14
You can also donate via Paypal to; Adrs@aol.com Thank you.