A particular example came to my attention a few years ago. A couple living in rural Sussex decided to adopt a rescue collie they called Storm. They knew he would need a lot of love because he was a very nervous person, and needed to build up his confidence.
But after just a few days in his new home, as he and his new owner were setting out on a walk, something startled him and he pulled her clean over, and was loose in the countryside. He was missing for some time, and on his return he was completely crippled by his fears.
He took to living in his owner’s office, too fearful even to step outside for the toilet. They elected to create a partition along its length to manage the situation. On his side he toileted, ate and slept, on the other they ran the business and presumably put up with the smell.
Very gradually and slowly, his owners allowed him the time and love that he needed to overcome his fears. They took advice from a Behaviourist, who was wonderful with him, and I went to his home to give him his vaccine, as there was no chance of getting him into the car, let alone to the Clinic.
On the Behaviourist’s advice we used a special medication known to help super-anxious pets overcome their fears. Imagine my surprise and elation when I met them in the car park of a popular dog walking site. It was his first trip out, so I did not approach him. They were just allowing him to look out from the boot of the car. This was six months after he ran away.
Nowadays he behaves like any other dog, going for lovely walks, and visiting the Clinic for his healthcare. I am convinced in my own mind that only this couple could have achieved this outcome for him. They are truly special people, and are a remarkable example of what perseverance and love can achieve.