This blog is harder than you think it’s gonna be
There’s a thing about animals, and it is this: An animal in an unbearable situation shuts itself down to cope.
So you get horses like Takota, who–still recovering from long term undernourishment and circumstances in which he didn’t thrive–was expertly assessed as super thoughtful, super eager to please. (Well, he IS eager to please.) And I totally get that, I don’t judge that–it’s exactly how he presented. Only when he grew healthier, had his new routines, his new safety, his new mental freedom, did his true anxiety come out. [He’s doing very well now, a year later and on a magnesium calmer. Still very much himself, and starting to blossom into the horse everyone thought he could be.]
And you also get a dog like Benjy.
In six months of his known history, Benjy went from pack dog to loose dog to Shelter1 to Shelter2 to Home1 back to Shelter2 (not housebroken, DUH) to Home2 for only a month before his separation anxiety made clear it wasn’t a good match, no matter how he was loved. (And he was. Very much.) We connected through a caring breeder, captivated by his description as a gentle, quiet dog who would fit perfectly into our pack for his golden years.