BB LIFE THROUGH A DOGS EYES
Bebe aka Blueberry and shortened to BB, was spotted by Tracie and her Romanian rescuers in the awful Danyflor dog pound in Timisoara, Romania where she may have been languishing for 2 years after being caught by the dog catchers or handed in. It is a pitiful place with a lot of suffering. She was prepped for travel and arrived at No Boundaries in Spring 2019. On arrival she stayed with us in our Haven so we could get to know her and match her to the right home. She was a super friendly girl but was not very happy around other dogs. A lovely family came along - we vetted them with our usual process and on a beautiful spring morning we took her to her new family with instructions on how to settle her: 'please keep her on a lead around other dogs when walking', we advised, 'or she may get stroppy and have a go at them'. They agreed and we left them to settle with their new precious family member. A couple of weeks later we got a call: Bebe had been off lead, hiking with friends and dogs and had gone for one of the dogs -- and Bebe got returned to us immediately.
The next home then came along and seemed to be a good match and we happily let her go to a family who promised to follow our advice and do the right thing by her. But 8 months later we got the call, a couple of days before Christmas: Bebe was as good as gold at home and had done nothing wrong but the other dog did not like her. So they returned her. She sat at the gate and watched them leave her. She cried all night and would not be comforted by us or by food. Absolutely heart-breaking. But as sad as this situation was for us all, some magic was being worked in the background as it often is with our Rescue. Our adoption team had been speaking to Heather, who wanted to adopt a dog from us, but we had not found a good match yet. The night that Bebe was returned, Heather called us and told us she had had a dream that she adopted a black dog, a Staffie type, from us! Now we don't often have Staffie dogs but Bebe does seem to look like a Staffie and it didn't take long for us to make the connection. The family came to see her, and a few days before Christmas Bebe went home to Heather and family - her story continues in the words of her new mum:
"BB or bebe as we call her came to us December 2019 when Helen and I spoke just before Christmas about a dog that she thought might be a fit for us - and after a dream I had about a black dog! Our previous rescue had left a big sad space in our lives and we had been looking and waiting for the right dog to come along. We went to see Bebe as she became available unexpectedly and fell in love with her straight away. She was confused when we got her home but immediately just wanted to love us all. First few days we thought we would stick to her previous sleeping arrangements which apparently was that she liked to sleep in the lounge. She was scared to do anything really. She seemed like she was unsure what was allowed and what wasn't and who can blame her after changing homes and going through so much in her short life so far... she was very nervous about mealtimes and we just gradually worked it out that she didn't seem interested in food at all until midday... I tried many times to feed her and encourage her to have breakfast but nope she politely refused. In the end we compromised with a dental chew in the garden and a drink and still today she has lunch and dinner as that's what she is happy with. Mealtimes also were scary for some reason - it was almost like she was afraid to turn her back. But if we sat with her she was fine and once she got eating she relaxed.
"Walkies were a little bit unpredictable. We knew that she could be reactive with other dogs and that smaller dogs than her ones were a no no. For the first few weeks she would either cry about dogs walking past but remain grounded, or unexpectedly she would lunge towards them out of nowhere and bark and cry.!" ..Cats hmm I get the feeling she had never been socialised with cats as she goes a little bit cat crazy but as we don't have one it isn't really a problem. As the weeks went by we just showed her that walking past other dogs was just a thing we did . We won't let them hurt her and we just reassured her and told her no if she lunged. Now there are very few that she bats an eye to. If they have a ball and are running in the park she gets excited and wants to play and we just keep her low profile with smaller ones .. she knows us now so occasionally we let her off lead in safe areas continually calling her back after a few seconds and she is straight there.
She continued to sleep in the lounge for the first few weeks, then one windy night she leapt off when something went bang in the garden, flew up the stairs and onto my bed and yes she has been there ever since! She starts at the bottom then gradually nudges her way up arm-crawling with her Staffie legs stretched out behind her!!!!
When she first arrived she wouldn't let us touch her ears - she would flinch and cry. We had them checked and apart from some sore patches they were all clear so we just applied cream and showed her we wouldn't hurt her and she could trust us and they got better and better and now she loves an all over ear rub and is perfectly happy for us to touch them! From day one it was perfectly obvious she did not have any clue about personal space. If there is a lap or a cuddle on offer she will take it and even if the human concerned isn't keen she doesn't care or ask first haha .. she is always cuddled up with someone unless she is sunbathing in the garden!! She has endless love to give and seems so grateful to be on a soft warm sofa with dinner in her tummy and a good walk or two with plenty of sniffing!!! We love the beach and from her initial reaction I would guess she hadn't really been before but now she is so happy there. She chases the waves and chills out with us all happily. But the best part!! Chasing Seagulls !!!
She has been the perfect addition to our family and fits in with us so well. She is perfectly behaved in the car.. we can take her anywhere and she will sit with us beautifully and wait. She just wants to be with us ... she is patient and gentle with the children and with a cheeky heart she makes us smile everyday. For me it's all about teaching the children to respect her. Understanding that you never leave them alone together and we always had a safe place to be whenever she wished but turns out snuggled up with them was her preference!!! Most of the time Bebe is on the sofa and the kids are watching TV laying on her bed haha!!!!!!
She isn't perfect no .... but who is? That's what makes her Bebe and to us she is amazing. We will make sure that she has a happy life and makes up for the horrible start she had. Bebe, like most rescue dogs .. just needed time and space and understanding letting her gain trust and gradually she settled and relaxed into being the dog she is. Thanks to Helen and Tracie and No Boundaries - you have been so supportive and caring and we would always recommend you. "
Lessons learnt from Bebe
We have helped hundreds of dogs from a difficult start in life and we are constantly learning from them. We and our adopters, thankfully, are open to what they are telling us:
Please watch me and listen to me and try to understand what I need in order to fit in with you
Please give me time to get used to you and your new home
Please remember I am a dog, and I will behave like a dog. I will bark and growl - I am communicating
Please forgive me my mistakes and my unusual behaviour sometimes. I will get over it, please teach me, be patient with me and kind to me
Remember, when I settle, I will love you deeply and forever.
Thank you Bebe for coming into our lives and our hearts. We love you x