For Love of a Dog


I recently rescued a shorkie (Shih Tzu plus Yorkie), who I call Pookie. Well, actually, it’s not been so recent now. We adopted/rescued him on September 29th of last year.

There has never been a more beloved dog. When he feels safe enough to come near, he is showered in hugs and kisses. The only way I can get him to come to me freely, is when I first come in the house from being gone, or when  I lure him with a treat. When he finally comes, I tell him (even though all he understands is my reassuring tone), “Pookie, Mamusha (Polish for Mom) would never hurt you. I love you  so much.”

I don’t know if you can tell by this picture, but the dog, besides cowering, has one paw lifted. Pookie does the same thing, only when he raises his paw it’s more in a sitting position, and his paw goes forward, sort of covering his mouth and submitting at the same time.

This upsets me so much. I don’t know what to do. If I go to pick him up, he runs behind the chair, and then behind the couch, where he’s virtually unreasonable. I started crying yesterday, telling him I didn’t know what to do, and he jumped up next to me, licking my tears away.

Lately, like when I go to put his leash on, I approach him very slowly, and he stands still instead of running around the room until he’s out of energy. Also recently, I have told him when I’m with him, “You can go anywhere you want. You can go in Pookie’s bed, or Pookie’s chair, or “Pookie’s” couch .” And if he’s cuddling next to me, I always tell him he can leave whenever he wants, or stay just as long as he wants. “You can go whenever you want to. You don’t have to stay. You’re a good boy.”

Me? As for me, I feel like the world’s worst dog owner. Any hints? At this point, I’m starting to believe he would be better off away from me, in another home. Yeah, as hard as it would be, I’ve seriously been contemplating it.

6 thoughts on “For Love of a Dog

  1. First of all, bless you for taking in a rescue dog.

    It sounds like Pookie has been through some really rough times. The problem with taking in a rescue animal is that we don’t always know what their stories are. You’re doing the best thing for Pookie possible: providing a safe, loving home for him. It will take time for him to feel comfortable around you and to trust you. You’re paying attention to his needs and it shows. He may never be the bravest or most affectionate of dogs, but you’re giving him a loving and trusting home, and that’s exactly what he needs.

    We have a rescue cat. She dotes on Jennifer but for some reason in her past, she will never quite trust me. It’s okay. I love Ruby and will always make sure she has a safe place to be.

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  2. Rescues have usually experienced trauma and need time to feel safe. My friend’s dog still gets skittish and he’s an old man dog now. It sounds like Pookie is learning to trust you. Hang in there.

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  3. No, Chris, do not give up on him! And you’re not a bad dog owner. He has obviously had some difficult times in the past, before you got him. My dog was and sometimes is the same way–she doesn’t show affection much and is shy and timid. Do you have a Petco or somewhere else nearby that offers training? Or look up some online resources that give advice to new dog owners. It will probably take him a while to really get used to you. I know it’s hard when you want to be loving with him all the time, but take it in his time, not yours. It hasn’t been that long yet. Be patient with him, keep offering him love and gentleness. It may just be nature to be standoffish, or he just may need more time to feel safe. It isn’t you. If you gave him away now it would the worst thing for him–he needs to know that he has stability with you. He is beginning to make advances toward you–it’s a good sign that he wanted to comfort you! Hang in there–he needs you and your love, even if it’s hard for him to show it right now.

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Lay it on me!

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