Thursday, November 23, 2017

Dogs As Teachers

November 19, 2010 by  
Filed under Tale Waggers

I think part of the fascination with ex-racing greyhound adoption is an appreciation of how an abused animal can heal.  Trauma is a constant in the world; all we have to do is turn on the television, watch a movie, or read a newspaper to find it. Science and psychiatry both use animals to study human behavior. They reflect our characteristics back simplified, so we can begin to understand. 

Jesse has taught me that we can overcome past hurts. I look into Jesse’s eyes and I see trust where once there was only fear. I stroke his shiny coat that was once torn and ragged. His tale still wags like a whip, but is no longer bloody. He looked up at me from his fluffy, warm bed last night and assured me that all was well in our world and with a low gentle woof, we both dozed off to sleep.

Comments

3 Responses to “Dogs As Teachers”
  1. Erin says:

    Ah, I know the feeling.

    Sometimes I look over at my beautiful Greyhound Ptolemy when he’s curled up in his bed, surrounded by his toys and am almost moved to tears when I see how relaxed and happy he is, not a care in the world. I have seen so many changes in him in the few months I’ve owned him.

    When he first came to me he would scoff his food down as if someone was going to take it away at any moment. Now he eats nice and calmly and really gets to enjoy his meals.

    It’s amazing just how much they give back. I was going through a difficult time emotionally when he came into my life and I beleive we have helped each other to heal and become more confident.

    It hurts that a lot of ple assume he and other greyhounds are vicious and not suitable pets. I’m sure you know the feeling. It’s sad that a lot of people miss out on the joy of owning a Grey due to ignorance and myths.

    • Elaine Webster says:

      One of the reasons I wrote Jesse’s Tale was to generate discussion about how we grow, by helping these wonderful dogs adapt to a sometimes cruel and frightening world. As i typed the manuscript, I felt the similarities between fears that I faced and overcame and Jesse’s behavioral challenges. Because of my experiences, I wanted to give this “special” dog a real chance, to not only improve his reactions to life, but move beyond, to true happiness, security and love.

  2. I applaud you for writing about this topic. I agree that when we rescue and help a dog heal, we heal. Building trust with a dog is a joy.

    I wanted to rescue a greyhound, but at the time we had a pool. I’m still very interested in greyhound rescue. Thanks for writing about this cause and the process of trust building.