I would like to tell her…I really would!

She has worried a lot about where I came from and what happened to me and I don’t suppose I blame her.

She thinks if she knows where I came from and what happened to me then she will be able to fix me.  I’m not convinced, but I can’t tell her anyway because we don’t speak the same language.

She has had so much worry since I arrived, I have been worried myself that she would send me back to whence I came. Which I suppose would be rescue in the South of England, or maybe back to Ireland. Who knows, but I reckon that if I went back there I wouldn’t stand much of a chance of finding a new forever home.

If I wasn’t so terrified I suppose it would have been kind of amusing to watch her receive deliveries of books from training specialists and sit on her temporary chair in the dining room reading them from cover to cover searching for the answers.  I thought humans did fun things over Christmas but no – she was either reading a book or tapping away on her laptop trying to find the answers.

Some of the conversations she has had with people either in person or on something stuck to her ear, have been more than revealing about how she worried and found herself having to defend herself.

Fancy people suggesting I am lazy. If they knew how many miles I roamed in Ireland across the countryside without any food to nourish me nor any shelter from the bad weather after I had been abandoned, they wouldn’t say that.

Crikey, don’t they know how much energy I expended just avoiding being captured by that man who took me to the rescue centre.

I tell you, I was absolutely exhausted, worn out, past caring really when I got into rescue.

She has tried to work out what happened to me before that man saw me and then spent a few weeks trying to trap me.  I didn’t know he wanted to catch me so he could take me somewhere safe and warm where I would have food and love.  I was just plain frightened.  Actually no, I was plain terrified.

When she finally got me to my forever home, she had a lady come to visit me who wanted to see whether I was overall healthy.

I was so scared I wet myself and the lady (who she referred to as Sally the Vet). I wanted to help, but was just so terrified that something really really bad was going to happen to me again. I didn’t mean to do it, but Sally was really nice about it and is always asking how I am.

Sally thinks that from what she explains I had probably been beaten – maybe when I was eating and maybe with a lead (I think the Americans call it a leash). Maybe I wasn’t working well enough but can’t help but wonder whether it was worth being beaten. Maybe the person who had me back then should just have found a different way of training me. Or maybe, they should never have had a dog because they don’t know how to train them.

Apparantly, a lot of dogs like me get abandoned in Ireland during and just after the hunting season. She didn’t know about it and I think is pretty mad about it.

Someone else who knows about these things just said that I was lucky to be alive.

I’ve got to be honest, I didn’t know or care a few weeks ago whether I was lucky to be alive.

When that man took me to the rescue in Ireland, I spent 3 weeks in a corner, curled up in a ball. I would eat and drink, but only when nobody was around. Another vet saw me and gave me some injections and “de-wormed” me.

I didn’t walk and had to be carried everywhere. I just wanted to be left alone. Curled up in a corner.

I hadn’t eaten for ever such a long time and was really, really thin and you could see my rib cage and all my bones.

But I suppose the worst was my fear.

And then, to add insult to injury another dog attacked me!  What had I ever done to deserve getting bitten on my legs and neck by another dog?  I don’t know, maybe he was scared aswell.  I still have the scars on my legs to prove it but I don’t have to have anymore of those antibiotic tablets so that I don’t get an infection.

Anyway, the rescue centre in Ireland kept me for about 3 weeks I think.  Then I was put into a cage in the back of a vehicle with a load of other dogs.

That was another really scary experience and we stayed in the vehicle for ages and ages.  Apparantly, I was in the back of that vehicle for about 12 hours.  Sometimes the vehicle was moving but some of the time, it felt as though the vehicle had stopped but was making some strange movements.  That must have been when we were on the ferry to England.  Then the vehicle moved again.  It was dark and I was with a lot of other dogs who were going to find their new forever home.

But the problem was, I didn’t understand I was going to a forever home.  If I had, I might have been able to get excited but of course humans and dogs can’t speak to each other.  Anyway, how could I trust a human after what happened to me at the beginning of my life.  I couldn’t could I.

She understands that because she says that she has had experiences where she has felt betrayed and hurt, both physically, mentally and emotionally and she is very wary of people until she has spent a lot of time getting to know them.  She says she is learning to trust her instincts again more, but abuse leaves it’s psychological and emotional footprint – even for someone who is intelligent and can reason and rationalise.  Maybe that’s her problem!  If she were like me, she would only have to worry about the physiological responses.

Anyway, I will finish bringing you up to date on my story later.  It has been an emotionally tiring day.  I’ve had a dicky tummy and needed to use the training pads 3 times.

But you know what – she loves me enough to have understood that I wanted to get out of my den and go on the training pads so that I didn’t mess my bed.  She understood that when I moved to the front of my den and looked at her I really really wanted to get out but was too frightened to.

She got up and left the room which meant I could make my mess on the training pads and then go back into my den.  She didn’t come back in until she knew I was in the den and then cleared up and carried on with what she was doing.  She didn’t shout at me, she didn’t beat me, actually she ignored me.  I was waiting for something to happen and nothing happened.

I’ve been here nearly 4 weeks and she hasn’t shouted at me, she hasn’t beaten me – nothing.   Doesn’t stop me being scared though because I only know how to be scared.

How bizarre.

Anyway, I’m going to sleep now – at least I don’t stay curled up when I am in my bed in my den.  I feel safe enough to relax lay stretched out.

Man – I’ve come a long way!

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What on earth is she doing now?

By she I mean that woman who I live with.

She is muttering to herself about being a luddite and not understanding something to do with a piece of machinery which she has on her dining room table. I think she calls it a laptop and sometimes she talks to it and squeaky noises come out of it.

I like those squeaky noises – I prick my ears up and look around to see where they are coming from. Huh – an inanimate object. Even if I wasn’t too frightened to move out of my den, what is the point of an inanimate object – doesn’t she know I am an English Setter – a hunting dog.

I live in a den in the dining room by the way. When she accepted that I wasn’t leaving my safe corner for all the cheese and chicken in the world, she had some guy build a den for me where I can feel safe. It’s kind of neat really – the floor is some sort of gizmo that normally builders use to mix concrete on so that the patio doesn’t get stained. I heard her say that with that on the floor, I didn’t need to worry if I had an accident in my bed – it wouldn’t spoil her floor.

I have a wall and two cupboards as sides of my den and a roof. Man a roof – my very own roof. And mortgage free.
I have a bed as well. Which recently has had to be changed every day.

She means well but she was so dumb – didn’t matter how much she washed the bed, it still had my scent on it. Didn’t she realise that I would pee there? Doh!

An old guy (he looks really really old) comes to visit every other day reckons it is a bedouin tent. When she is talking to him, they talk about Balkan the Bedouin. Guess they mean me.

They got that wrong though didn’t they? I ain’t going nowhere for a very long time.

She does some pretty strange things really. But, more on that later when she has worked out how to do this blog thing properly.

She has so much to learn.

Not just about how to work with a fearful dog by the sound of things!

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