This is the bounce back story of a little pug who lost everything but her heartbeat to the harsh conditions of a puppy mill.
Porscha's Rescue Day Documentary, July 2010
From July until September:
Porscha lived with one of the Midwest Pug Rescue's most experienced fosters. Their farm has been a safe haven for countless rescue pugs. For several months Porscha struggled to integrate into home life. She was affraid to be approached, leashed, fed or addressed on any level by people. Not even a wonderful family and a bunch of loyal loving pug foster siblings could help her recover from her traumatic past. On October 1st, Porscha was put in the care of Your Dog's Best Friend for intensive behavioral rehabilitation.
Rehabilitation Day 1
Porscha got dropped off mid-morning Friday, October 1st. Her foster carried her out of the car and set her on the ground. I was pleasantly surprised that she was willing to go for a walk. When I met her on the farm three weeks before it took me half of a day to get her to take a step with me. After about twenty minutes of walking we entered my house. Porscha was fear struck to be so close to me. I decided that she would need to stay on a leash and be connected to me at all times to make her flight response lose all effectiveness and for her to have an opportunity to learn who I am. Knowing that she had lived in a great home in this state of mind for so long, I knew that we could not build a relationship without the extra help.
Rehabilitation Day 2
It was Saturday morning and we decided to hit the dog park at Lake of the Isles. For most dogs, they come to learn to socialize with other dogs, for Porscha it was time to meet new people. We were lucky to have a great group of dogs/people at the park. Several people volunteered to hold Porscha's leash and try to get her to enjoy the experience.
Rehabilitation Day 3
I have started noticing that when I call Porscha over she will hesitate for a few seconds, take a couple steps towards me and then run away. When my back is turned she will follow at a safe distance, but scurry away if I turn back towards her. I love seeing this as it is a sign that her curiosity is beginning to show through her fear at times.
Rehabilitation Day 4
When I wake up in the morning, Porscha is always on alert. She will move around the room to keep as much distance as possible. The intensity has not changed a bit since day one, but once I grab the leash she will now come along and follow without hesitation...
Rehabilitation Day 5
We are aggressively seeking out people that we can introduce to Porscha. She is getting quicker and quicker to approach new people. I am finding that after long walks she is more social and less tense. When she is unsure about new people/dogs she now looks at me for feedback, while I do not have the trust yet, I do have her respect.
Rehabilitation Day 6
Today I noticed that Porscha will stop running away from me rather quickly and wait for me to grab her leash when I want her to do something. I moved her food and water bowls next to my computer so that she has to come near me to eat or drink in the morning. Progress is really slow, any time I show any impatience at all she shuts down and gets scared.
Rehabilitation Day 7
I tried letting her leash go in the yard today. She immediately goes to look for an escape route. Luckily I can run her down pretty quickly. We have been playing a game where I give her something she really likes and then I run away from her. She will chase me around the yard, but never gets within 15-20 feet. It seems to make her feel empowered when she can control what I do.
Rehabilitation Week 2
We have been doing more of the same exercises with little improvement. She is still afraid of our entire daily routine although she is quick to feel ok once we begin to do things. Porscha is starting to have a bit of a personality, she will rearrange the shoes and her toys while we are gone. Luckily she is not a chewer!
Rehabilitation Week 3
At the beginning of the week she began showing fast improvement. She is no longer afraid to approach new people and give them a lick or two. She will move from the floor of my car to the seat and lick my hands while I drive. She will follow me around off the leash. I can pick her up, she sleeps on the bed with me and I can do things with purpose and energy without freaking her out. Having Porscha is a lot like having a dog now!
Porscha Is Ready For Adoption!
She will make a great teammate for the right family!
You can meet Porscha at Paw-a-Ween on October 30th. Visit Midwest Pug Rescue's website to learn more about the event. She will be dressed in her lobster costume.