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Trust over time

June 18, 2013
My name is Bailey

My name is Bailey

One day while I was at work and Cindy was at home and she was busy around the house.  She happened to look out front and noticed something odd.  A car had just stopped in front of the house.  We live in a small sub-division, about half-developed, so a car stopping in front of the house was unusual.  She stopped what she was doing to see why the car had stopped.  She noticed the man in the car was leaning away and opening the door on the other side of the car, then closed the door, and then drove away.  As the car drove away Cindy noticed a dog sitting at the street.  She watched in disbelief, “Did I really see what I just witnessed?” she thought.  The dog just sat there watching the car pull away.  Cindy was flabbergasted and taken back.  No time to get a tag number or make and model of the car as this was totally unexpected.  OMG she thought, he just dropped off that dog.  Then she became upset and angry thinking how could someone do such a thing.  She stepped outside to take a look and when the dog saw her it ran away beside the house across the street.  Beside the house was an empty lot and the dog sought refuge back in that lot which was grown up with grass.  As the day wore on she noticed the dog back out at the side-walk watching for it’s master to return to get it, but he never did return.  We have had a problem in the area from time to time with stray dogs coming around and when I got home I saw the dog over there and figured this must be the dog she had called and told me about.  I began to walk that way but the dog ran when it saw me walking toward it.  Over the next couple of days we kept an eye out and the dog would disappear for a while but always returned to the spot where it was dropped off.  We did notice it appeared to hang out in the front porch area of the house across the street.  We also noticed that when a certain kind of car was coming down the street, smaller type of car, the dog would go to the sidewalk believing it’s master was coming to pick it back up.  It was very sad.  Our county doesn’t have any animal control, it is a rural county, so we knew that was not an option.  On the third day, noticing the dog was going to remain in that yard, that homeowner not even noticing the dog, we set out some water and food under our willow tree in the front yard.  To our joy we began to notice the food and water began disappearing, but not witnessing the dog eating or drinking from the bowls.  After a few more days we realized if this dog was going to survive it was up to us, so we set out on a mission.  As we began refilling the food and water we began to notice the dog in our yard.  We would step out the front door in an attempt to befriend it but nothing doing, off it would run.  We were persistent, and after a few more days the dog would allow us to stand on the front porch and it would not run off.  Ok we though, a little progress.  However, the dog was still very skittish and attempts to call the dog or approach the dog were fruitless.  It had been about 2 weeks at this point and we knew we had to continue to assist this dog and hope it would see that we were not there to harm it.  I began to notice encouraging signs like a bed in the mulch area up close to the house, the dog not running away when we would go outside, however we could not get close to the dog.  The dog was a beagle mix, mostly white with a large black spot on it’s side and brown around the ears.  We began going outside in the evening and sitting on the front porch bringing doggie treats with us. We knew by this point it was a female.  As we began to form this new relationship we discussed names for the dog and finally decided on Bailey, it just seemed to fit her.  We would sit calmly in our seats and talk quietly and Bailey would slowly walk over toward us, but kept a safe distance.  She seemed very interested but still unsure of who these people were and what their intentions were toward her.  We would pitch her a doggie treat out into the grass and she would approach the treat slowly and then grab it and run back to her comfort zone.  As we did this each evening she would begin to get a little closer and closer until one night she actually would begin to take the treats from our hands.  But she still would not allow us to touch her.  If you attempted to pet her while she was getting her treat she would run back to her comfort zone.  We wanted so badly to give her some loving and attention but knew we had to be patient.  This went on for a few weeks.  We decided to leave the garage open about a foot in the evenings and she took to the garage for her shelter.  One evening she allowed Cindy to touch her, finally a breakthrough.  However, this touching was very limited at first.  It was very apparent that there was this distrust evident and we wondered what her prior situation had been.  We believed it must have been abusive in some form.  We knew all we could do was continue to show her we meant her no harm.  We made her a bed in the garage in a crate with some soft bedding and she loved that.  We were at about the 6 week point in this new relationship and she was at the point where when we sat out front she would come sit with us, enjoy her treats but still only very limited touching allowed.  She began following me around as I did the yard work and on occasion showed the friskiness you would expect, running around me, darting past me but just far enough away that I couldn’t touch her.  One evening we invited her into the house and she accepted the invitation.  She didn’t stay long, just long enough to walk in through the kitchen, into the dining room, looked out the window, and then back out to the garage, which had become her home.  By this time she had relaxed and began to show us her true colors.  Our solar lights from the front walk way began showing up in the back yard, and all chewed up.  Hummmm….. so we have a thief on our hands.  Soon after that Cindy noticed something white strewn around out back and upon investigation realized it was a package of my work shirts I had ordered and which the UPS man had left at the front door.  I also received frequent boxes with parts which restock my work van and automatically arrive via UPS once a week.  One evening I was out back and noticed a shredded box.  As I approached the box Bailey was out there with me, still keeping a little distance, but very interested in a game of tag, and not far from the box was a camera lens which goes on a video camera.  I thought to myself, you little thief.  Was this for attention, amusement, or maybe this is why you got dropped off.  I was upset but not mad, cause by this time we had began to love Bailey and we were trying to get to that last phase of our relationship where she fully trusted us enough to allow us to pet and love on her.  We were about 8 weeks into this growing relationship at this point.  She was still staying in the garage and we knew we had to begin to get her accustomed to coming into the house as it was late September and cold wet weather was arriving and we wanted her to stay safe and warm as the temperatures began changing and fall setting in.  She accepted our invitation to begin staying in the house and inside the house she began allowing us to love on her and pet her, however outside she still wouldn’t respond the same, it was as if it was a “catch me if you can” game.  She loved to run and be chased.  If you had your back to her she would run as fast as she could, and she could haul butt, and zoom right past your leg.  If you made a motion toward her she would run circles around you.  Yes, we believed she had fully accepted us as her new masters and was enjoying her new home.  The other dogs Sadie, Punky, and Boomer had also accepted her and had no problems with Bailey.  Bailey had now become a part of the family and was bedding down in her crate next to Sadie at night, inside where it was warm and dry, no more garage and no more cold.  Bailey still loved to run outside the fence and we allowed that for a time, although restricting her more to the fenced back yard area.  She learned to enjoy the physical scratching a petting and she realized what she had been missing for so long.  She took to me as her master and to this day favors me.  One day as she was out roaming we heard this loud “YELP” from across the field …. well … you’ll have to look for another posting about the events concerning the “YELP” and the results of the “YELP”.  But now we had another dog at the dinner table each evening.

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