Some dogs have had very few positive interactions with humans. This is especially true for dogs who have known nothing but abuse, or who have been strays for so long that their experience with people is limited to being kicked at, yelled at and shooed.
It can take a long time and a steady hand to counteract all those negative influences, and some dogs may be so deeply scarred that they’ll never truly be able to act like a “normal” dog and need to find protective, understanding homes.
But there are people out there who are adamant about giving these pups the best shot they can. Eldad Hagar with Hope For Paws, a rescue based in Los Angeles, California, is one of those people.
He’s helped catch and rescue lots of different kinds of dogs, but in this particular case he helped a red and white pit bull who was absolutely terrified of everything.
Someone alerted them to a lost dog, so the crew headed out to find it. Eldad knew the dog was in the area, but he didn’t know exactly where, so he walked around the neighborhood until he spotted her taking cover in a nearby garage.
That was good, because it meant they could keep her contained and off the street and work to corral her. His helpers stretched a soccer net across the open garage and he went in with his trademark catch pole to secure the pup.
She didn’t know they were trying to help her, she just knew that people were moving toward her and that she was terrified. She made a run for it, but Eldad managed to snare her with his catch pole.
The poor thing screamed in terror, shaking and stiff. They worked to secure her more, and she was so scared that she just froze, every muscle shaking.
Slowly, they started to see if she would let a dummy arm pet her, first on the shoulder and then the head. She was still petrified, but she let them touch her and put a lead on her.
Once they got her to a safe place, the vet’s, she started to relax. Surrounded by caring people, she began to trust them and seek out attention — still a little afraid and wincing away at times, but beginning to see how good people could be.
“I’m not ashamed to say that “first smile” literally brought me to tears,” one viewer commented on Facebook. “She’s such a sweet girl. Thank you for saving her. ???”
“Makes me cry to see how terrified she was,” wrote another. “What had humans done to her?! Thanks Hope For Paws for making her smile again! You are the best! ❤️”
“Hope for Paws is so amazing!” a third chimed in. “Eldad is my hero! He has a way with animals, for sure! He rescued our feral cat, who we now call Alice! We totally love her!”
Because someone was willing to take the time to really draw this pup out and put her in good hands, she’s been able to bloom into a happy dog who loves people.
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