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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Life with an abused dog

Posted Sunday, May 27, 2012, at 12:57 PM

About four weeks ago, I adopted a dog from a local rescue.

This has been the most fulfilling and frustrating thing I've done yet.

Her name is Beanie. She's a three year old miniature dachshund.

It breaks my heart sometimes, because I can't pick her up easily. I have to slowly approach her, scratch her chest, and ease my arm around her and then hold her tight, because she'll try to jump/run away.

When she sleeps with me, I'm fairly certain the only reason she curls up behind my knees is because I'm warm.

If she jumps on to the couch (I try to help her, but she won't let me. I need to get her a little stool) she won't come sit by me. She sits in the opposite corner.

The worst part is when she falls asleep. She has nightmares a lot, and when I wake her up when she's yelping in her sleep (which is the only time she barks), she looks terrified of me..

But we're making progress- when I walk her around the apartment complex, I don't use a leash (Not that I could- she was never leash trained and freezes if I even put her collar on her) and she comes when she's called.

She'll eat treats out of my hand, where the first week or so I had to set them down near her and leave the area.

She eats her food when I'm home and awake now.

Ryan and I worry that she'll stay this reserved. I welcome any suggestions on how to help her open up.

I guess this is most frustrating because my first two dachshunds (the family's dogs) are very playful and noisy.

These are my first two dachshunds, Isabelle and Olivia, when I got to visit my family over Christmas break.

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Sounds like you're doing the right stuff, just keep on that track!

2 of my dogs (Rufus) & (Bailey) were pound puppies.... wonderful dogs

Good to hear from you!

-- Posted by jessiemiller on Mon, May 28, 2012, at 10:19 PM


Let her sleep...let her yelp...when she wakes up, all you have to do is be there. I think dogs are God's gift to people who want to be better people: if we watch them, we'll learn what unconditional love and loyalty looks like.. Let them sleep undisturbed; no matter how much they yelp...sometimes, they're just barking with excitement and joy because they're just a jaws snap away from rabbit or chicken on the run...doggie paradise.

Every day you care for any dog makes you a better person.

-- Posted by junkyard dog on Mon, May 28, 2012, at 9:24 PM

Time Melodie will make most of it better. Try not to raise your voice in front of her---it will scare her---even if you are just excited (as opposed to angry). Just love her. She will come around. As others have said, you have done a wonderful thing. Animals learn to forgive and trust again far easier than people. She will be a great pet as animals give unconditional love. If she did not want to be close to you, she would run/hide. She has already started to trust you on some level. Baby steps. The rewards are great as you know. Good luck. Please keep us posted. Very nice post as always. Thank you.

-- Posted by OpinionMissy on Mon, May 28, 2012, at 7:54 PM

We adopted a mini last August and she is finally getting comfortable with her surroundings. For months we had to keep the carpet cleaner close by. She also is terrified of men but is slowly getting better. It just takes time, love, and patience. We socialize her as much as possible and that seems to help build her confidence as well. I hope this gives you some hope that it will get better. :)

Good luck!

-- Posted by MargauxandSetiva on Sun, May 27, 2012, at 10:17 PM

We adopted a dog several years ago. She has been the most loving dog that we ever had.

Thunderstorms still terrify her and if she could melt into you, she would.

Dogs learn to trust more easily than humans. It will come back some time. Sadie used to run if you shook a trash bag. She doesn't do that anymore, We have had her since 2003. She was waiting for us at an animal shelter. No one else wanted her.

Thank you for sharing.

-- Posted by KH Gal on Sun, May 27, 2012, at 5:29 PM

Melodie Bless your heart for taking in a doggie that needs you. I have taken many abused dogs into our home and we still have 2. My Teeny a yorkie came from a very bad puppy mill. It took us 2 years to gain her trust. She wouldn't let us touch her, but she would always sit near me and sleep in bed with us. If I tried to pick her up she would run and go under the kitchen table and around and around we would go. Same with the bed, if I tried to pick her up round and round the bed until one of us would give up. We have had her 11 years now and time is running out on her. She has a brain tumor and hangs her head down to the left side and her front legs are now bowed and weak.

We also have a Chihuahua boy named Coco, he to was abused. His previous owner used a cattle prod on him to train him. When we got him he had burned marks on his face and body. He didn't take to long to trust us, about a year.

I would tell you to take it slow, and when approaching her go slowly and quietly and talk in a soft voice.

If you have other dogs she will watch and learn from them. As Roy said have a lot of patience, and accept her the way she is and she will eventually forget her past and love you right back. Abused dogs make wonderful pets, they return love over and over again.

You can also search the internet for a dog rescue group. They will give you some good advice.

Here's a group who I know and used to work with the founder when we were with another dog rescue group


-- Posted by MsMarylin on Sun, May 27, 2012, at 2:00 PM

Time, love and patience. And a strong belief that she will change.

-- Posted by royincaldwell on Sun, May 27, 2012, at 1:42 PM

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A Different Perspective
Melodie Lettkeman
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I'm a staff writer for the Tiger Tribune, and I have a lot to say! Music, books, movie reviews, my opinions and updates around the high school.
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