Watch the Moment Shut Down Shelter Dog Leaves His Corner

Walking into a shelter is always a heart-wrenching experience. The need is immense, and each dog has its own story of hardship and resilience. On this particular day, I decided to spend time with a dog who caught my eye immediately—a herding dog mix with a haunting look of fear in his eyes. As I approached his kennel, I could immediately sense his anxiety. He was curled up in the corner, eyes darting around rapidly, unsure of what to make of this new environment. Herding breeds like Wesley are highly intelligent but often lack the cuddly nature of other dogs. Their independence is high while their need for affection is low. Wesley didn’t realize how comforting a little love could feel.

Sitting with dogs 44: How a Few Kind Words Transformed This Fearful Dog Into a Tail-Wagging Sweetheart

Approaching a scared dog requires patience and care. I moved slowly, trying not to induce panic. He was clearly anxious, his eyes darting around, and he seemed both terrified and shut down. I knew I had to build trust gradually.

Building Trust

Dogs in shelters often display two main stages of fear: being completely shut down or being anxious. Wesley, as I later named him, exhibited both. His quick, nervous glances and the way he shrank into the corner spoke volumes about his anxiety. It was a mix of sheer terror and a desperate need for comfort.

Sitting with dogs 44: How a Few Kind Words Transformed This Fearful Dog Into a Tail-Wagging Sweetheart

In situations like this, it’s essential to remember that there are no specific goals. My focus was simply to be present, offering comfort and patience. If I had gone in with expectations, I might not have made any progress at all. It’s about being there in the moment, offering a sense of security without demanding anything in return.

The Challenge of Noise

The shelter environment can be overwhelming with constant noise and distractions. We use air filters to manage the noise and provide dog chews to keep the dogs calm. Despite these efforts, the environment remains stressful for many dogs. Wesley was no exception. The noise seemed to amplify his anxiety, making it even harder for him to relax. Would noise cancelling headphones or quiet ears help, I wonder.

Attempting Interaction

Sitting with dogs 44: How a Few Kind Words Transformed This Fearful Dog Into a Tail-Wagging Sweetheart

I tried interacting with Wesley using treats and toys. He was cautious, not quite ready to engage. I placed a treat near him, hoping to coax him into a state of calmness. The process was slow, but I could see small signs of curiosity. He sniffed the treat tentatively, a small but significant gesture of trust.

See also  Lost Dog Weaves Through Dangerous City Traffic Until Saved by Kindhearted Bus Driver

Using a leash, especially in such a stressful environment, acts as a safety net. I explained to viewers how a leash helps in controlling the situation if the dog starts to panic. With Wesley, I moved slowly, allowing him to adjust to the idea of movement. It was all about building trust one step at a time.

Uncovering Wesley’s Background

Here’s where the story gets particularly heart-wrenching. Wesley had recently arrived at the shelter. He was about a year and a half old, and his history was a mystery. He had no microchip, no collar, and no tags. He was found as a stray near a busy intersection with a Popeye’s, a Walmart, and a Taco Bell. It’s a strange place for any dog to be wandering alone, let alone one as striking as Wesley.

Sitting with dogs 44: How a Few Kind Words Transformed This Fearful Dog Into a Tail-Wagging Sweetheart

The shelter staff informed me that he was dropped off in the night drop area, which is a safe haven for people to leave dogs when the shelter is closed. The person who found Wesley left their information but didn’t provide much detail about how they managed to capture him. Given Wesley’s condition, it was clear he had been neglected for some time. His nails were long and untrimmed, his coat was dirty and matted, and he looked exhausted, too scared to even let himself sleep.

Observations and Health Check

As I observed Wesley, I noticed the physical signs of neglect. His nails were broken and overgrown, his fur was dirty and matted, and he had a general look of weariness about him. It was obvious that he hadn’t been groomed or cared for in quite some time. Despite this, he wasn’t dangerously thin, which suggested he had managed to find some food along the way.

Naming the Dog

Sitting with dogs 44: How a Few Kind Words Transformed This Fearful Dog Into a Tail-Wagging Sweetheart

Deciding on a name for a dog can be tough, especially when you know so little about their personality. Alexis and I brainstormed a few ideas and eventually settled on Wesley, inspired by the nearby meadows and fields where he was found. It felt right, and giving him a name was a small step towards building his identity and sense of security.

Reflecting on Shelter Work

Working in animal rescue is incredibly rewarding, but it’s also emotionally taxing. Many people tell me they couldn’t do it because they’d want to take all the dogs home, or they’d find it too heartbreaking. And yes, it is hard. But I’ve come to realize that the key is to focus on being present in the moment and offering unconditional love, even when you can’t solve every problem. It’s about making a difference, one dog at a time.

Sitting with dogs 44: How a Few Kind Words Transformed This Fearful Dog Into a Tail-Wagging Sweetheart

Creating Movement

One of the most effective ways to help a scared dog is to create movement. Even within the confines of a kennel, a bit of activity can help de-stress an anxious dog. I gently leashed Wesley and encouraged him to move around. At first, he was hesitant, his movements stiff and uncertain. But slowly, he began to loosen up, responding to the gentle tug of the leash and the encouragement in my voice.

See also  Precious Pit Bull's Friendship With Tiny Kitten Proves How Intuitive & Gentle Dogs Can Be

Every small step forward is a victory. With Wesley, even the tiniest sign of progress felt monumental. He began to sniff the treat I had placed near him, a small but significant gesture of curiosity and trust. It might seem like a minor detail, but for a dog in his state, it was a huge step forward.

Grooming Plans

A good grooming session can work wonders for a dog’s mood and overall well-being. We planned to have Wesley groomed, knowing that a clean and refreshed appearance would help him feel better and more confident. Just imagine how good it must feel for a dog to have all that matted fur removed and to experience the simple pleasure of being clean.

Preparing for Grooming

Sitting with dogs 44: How a Few Kind Words Transformed This Fearful Dog Into a Tail-Wagging Sweetheart

We prepared Wesley for his grooming session with Trent, a new groomer who would be handling him. Given Wesley’s fear and anxiety, we decided to use a towel dry method to minimize stress. The goal was to make Wesley as comfortable as possible while getting him cleaned up.

Final Thoughts

Wesley’s transformation was nothing short of remarkable. From a terrified dog cowering in the corner to a more relaxed and trusting companion, his journey reminded me of the power of patience, love, and presence. Thank you for being part of Wesley’s story. Your support and engagement make all the difference. Let’s get Wesley adopted and give him the loving home he deserves.

Sitting with dogs 44: How a Few Kind Words Transformed This Fearful Dog Into a Tail-Wagging Sweetheart

Sponsor Acknowledgment

I’d like to take a moment to thank Sunday’s Food for Dogs for sponsoring this video. They’ve been incredibly supportive, providing food for several dogs for an entire year. Quality nutrition can make a huge difference in a dog’s health and recovery, and Sunday’s Dog Food has been a game-changer for many of the dogs we’ve worked with. If you’re looking for high-quality, human-grade dog food, I highly recommend checking them out.

See also  This Senior Dog Gives the Best Snuggles, Only Thing She’s Lacking Is a Forever Person

Sitting With Dogs Merch

Black Hoodie

T-Shirt

White Hoodie