Ive just come back from a gorgeous walk with Gill and all the dogs and Hank the parrot flying and landing, flying and landing on the ground beside us.
We have ten dogs, all except one have been rescued. Two of them were kept in cages for 5 years that had never ever been cleaned out. The bottom layers of poo they lived on was so old it was parched white like old bones! These beautiful dogs are only seven now!
When we first got them they were covered in ticks and sores and looked so unloved. It didn’t occur to me that all the joys we could offer them would terrify them and the place they would feel safest was not snuggled up by the fire with us or being pampered on our laps ,but back in a cage!
We had no choice but to drag a big pet container into our shed and make it all cosy inside and thats where these dogs lived,after they had been bathed and deticked until they felt safe. They weren’t there all the time. We would bring them out for cuddles but as soon as we saw they were getting panicky, we put them back in.
As each day passed the time they were out became longer. It was slow progress helping them to feel safe outside their cage, but after several months we were able to progress to the stage of leaving the door of their home open. They had their refuge if they needed it. Gradually they began to join in.
Taking them outside was another huge challenge. Outside terrified them and once we almost lost them when they freaked out at something and became so hysterical they squeezed through a tiny hole in our fence we didn’t know was there and ran and ran and ran. What was so frightening was that even though by this time they knew us and had formed a bond, they were in such a panic that even our soothing voices didn’t get through. It was only Gill running like the bionic man that saved them. Our place is surrounded by desert and once they got out of sight they were tiny enough to not only be prey to passing eagles,but get lost in scrub.
We took no chances after that.I was so grateful to have them back and whilst the progress has been slow. Tiny steps with lots of love and encouragement was all that was needed to help these two embrace a much fuller life. They live life with such ghusto and joy now that we have nicknamed them the “sillys”
Every walk they are barking joyously, rolling in dirt,splashing in the lake and they always have big smiles on their faces. With all the encouragement to move beyond their comfort zones we have discovered two very happy and adventurous little souls. They no longer need chaperones in the big world outside and we often discover them coming home after a swim, all covered in mud where they have been having a roll. They burst with gratitude and love and they are a pleasure to have in our lives.
As i was watching them play in the lake today it occurred to me that each achievement these dogs made day by day may, on its own seem trivial or insignificant, but put them all together and they are huge.
I feel so many people can give up or not give themselves credit for how well they are doing simply because they either look too far ahead or fail to see the bigger picture.
Every ascent of Everest starts with one first step at the base!
Don’t look for the top of the mountain and let go of destinations, just keep taking those steps and as you do, be your own best cheerleader!
When our little frightened dogs progressed from being outside a cage for only one minute before getting too terrified, to staying outside for five. That was a result worth celebrating.
Its all the little things we do in life that we often don’t give ourselves credit for ,that may even pass unnoticed, that are worth celebrating. If we did that, just like our two dogs we would soon discover we are not only where we hoped we would be, we are somewhere even better with opportunities we couldn’t even have dreamed off when we were struggling to put one foot in front of the other,but thats all it takes. If you keep putting one foot in front of the next, soon you build momentum.It gets easier, the steps get bigger
Just keep going! and give yourself praise
words of wisdom from our joyful “Sillys”