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FOSTER UPDATE: When Midnight arrived at our home, she was emotionally shut down and unwilling to accept our love. She was so scared that she hid in the kennel and refused to come out. She was fed inside the kennel and only came out when she was forced outside to use the bathroom. We spent hours every day, sitting next to her before attempting to pet her. The lack of eye contact made it evident that the trauma she experienced before arriving at CLR was overwhelming. After hours and hours, over weeks and months, giving her time and space, she slowly came out of her shell. She moved from the kennel to a corner in our dining room. Weeks later she got closer to our living room. Months later she transitioned to a different room and stayed hidden behind a chair.
Fast forward 5 months. Midnight spends most of her time away from us in a separate room. She is either hiding behind a chair or laying on her dog bed. Occasionally, she will sleep upstairs in a bed – something it took her weeks to find the courage to jump up onto. We are trying to get her to experience life as a dog, including going for walks or riding in the car. So far, these are not events and transitions she is comfortable with so our attempts are very limited. Midnight has slowly blossomed in our home. She has the notorious lab butt when she is happy, her tail is going and butt is wiggling side to side. What we have found over these several months is that we cannot rush Midnight or force her into a situation. If she is forced or feels she has no way out, she shuts down and it takes days to get her back. She loves being outside and rolling around in the grass. She is learning to play with our other dogs, experience what dog toys are, and special treats.
She has made tremendous progress, but is startled by loud noises and quick movement. Her fear can be unpredictable as she might cope well with something one day, and then struggle the next. In many ways, she is like a puppy, so consistency and routine are the key to her success. Midnight will explore her surroundings, but it will take her extra time to feel comfortable. Midnight’s new family needs to understand it will take time, patience, and understanding for her to adjust and feel safe. Allowing her to do this on her own, with your support, will help her.
We have been fortunate to be part of her journey and witness her learning to trust and understand life with a loving family. Given the opportunity to transition comfortably into her forever home, we have no doubt, Midnight will be a wonderful addition and faithful companion.