Costi is currently in foster with one of the BDRUK trustees. This is a series of blog posts we will be sharing to illustrate how it is both challenging and extremely rewarding to help rehabilitate an abused dog and show them how to live in a loving home.
Sunday 26th February
Costi has been here exactly five weeks and he bravely ventured outside again today. He is very skittish outside and tried to bolt across the garden if there was a sudden noise, such as the fence rattling or the other dogs barking at someone walking along the footpath at the side of the house. However he soon came to me for a piece of cheese and after a while I dropped the end of the leads and walked around the garden, ready to leap into action if needed. Our fences are high, but I've seen what can happen when these traumatised dogs are scared so I won't take any risks.
One of the heartwarming things was that he started to follow me to the back door. I was carrying a bowl with some of his meaty dinner in it and he couldn't resist the smell. He actually went into the utility room to eat from the bowl but shot out again once he'd scoffed the food!
He has made a lot of progress so hopefully, next time we can move on even more.
Tuesday 28th February
Costi has made another leap forward. He was very keen to go outside today and shot past me to get into the garden, still on his two collar-two lead system for safety.
He was very much on his toes in the wind and did a few massive leaps and bounds and at first I thought he was terrified, but then I realised he was just happy to be outside and was almost jumping for joy. One lap of the garden and he arrived at the back door, clearly remembering the food bowl that he'd eaten from on Sunday in the utility room.
I got all the other dogs inside (very difficult when they could smell all the grub!) then tempted Costi with the bowl again and he dashed in, took a piece of food and dashed out again three times before going right inside on the fourth attempt. I could shut the door behind him and he was able to walk into the kitchen to join the other dogs.
Once inside, he walked around the kitchen with the other dogs almost showing off about how brave he'd been.
Although he is fantastic with other dogs, I'm beginning to think that he would be better in a home where there are only one or two other dogs. He has no problem at all with any of my dogs but it is VERY hard trying to move him on with so many other dogs around getting very excited about the extra food being put down. I think he would make more progress in a smaller group.
Maybe I will start looking for an ideal home for him soon where he can continue with the progress he is making.
Wednesday 1st March
Spring is in the air for young Costi!! He RAN out of the house into the garden and rushed up to the fence (dragging his long line behind him of course). Seeing rabbits on the other side, I had a heart-stopping moment wondering if he would pole-vault over the fence, but, thank goodness, he didn't even attempt to try (he wouldn't have made it!). At least I know that our garden is Costi-proof for sure!
A big challenge is coming up - he will need his nails clipping fairly soon. Oh dear! I need a cunning plan...
Sunday 5th March (six weeks since arrival)
Well, we've cracked the garden thing! Costi runs outside with the other dogs now and comes inside when they do. He has learned to allow me to lead him inside too on his long line and trots in quite happily as long as he gets his piece of cheese when he arrives in the kitchen.
Yesterday I had my first tail wag when I came downstairs in the morning and he also had his first bark in the garden at my neighbour's chainsaw!!!
He is perfect to leave when I go out - just stays asleep in his bed.
Costi is going to make someone the most amazing pet. He is making massive improvements everyday and is such a kind natured boy. He will need a patient home where he can be himself and be allowed to continue to develop at his own pace.
Click here to see dogs available for adoption now.