By: Amber Morrison, Animal Welfare Associate with SPCA Tampa Bay
When I got Casper, he feared the world. He was even scared of me and probably more scared of my son. He spent a lot of time curled up in a ball just wanting to be left alone.
I adopted him from SPCA Tampa Bay, knowing he was going to need some time to acclimate and probably need even more time to bond. Anytime I’ve seen a dog like him giving me clear signs they wanted to be alone, I did just that and left them alone. However, with him it was different. I wanted to show him love and I wanted him to love me too.
Overall, he is a great dog: low energy (most of the time), house trained, doesn’t get into anything. However, he wasn’t like your typical dog who just greeted you at the door and followed you around the house all day. When we would get home, he would stay in my room for hours before even getting curious about who walked through the door.
I reached out to New Dawn to see what I could do for him to make him more comfortable. I wanted him to greet me at the door when I came home and I didn’t want him to fear me. Even more so, I wanted him to come when called. So, we started with a recall class to see how he would do in a class environment first. That was just the beginning of our journey together.
I began Basic Manners shortly after the recall class and we just graduated a couple of weeks ago. In the last week of class, we were practicing recall outside and Casper, who was once fearful and hesitant of coming to me, was running towards me with a big smile on his face with his tongue out. The changes I have seen in my dog have been slow but worth the wait. We still have our moments where something new still scares him, but he has truly come a long way.
My dog who was scared to come out of the room, who road on the floorboard of the car. My dog who wouldn’t greet me at the door, who wouldn’t play with toys. He is now slowly becoming a dog who sticks his head out of the window and is right at the door when he hears my car beep from being locked. He loves to play. Best of all he comes to me when he’s called! He still has a long way to go with people, but he has me and I have New Dawn, so I know he will continue to blossom with confidence.