We often see dogs that have aggression issues and people speculate “I think that dog has been abused.” The fact is, however, that while a dog can be conditioned to fear certain situations or objects they generally do not carry a lot of fear, sorry or self-pity around with them. We can learn a lot from dogs in that regard.
Merida is a felony animal cruelty survivor who was brought to us by a municipal animal control officer who had been investigating her cruelty case. She had been tethered outside with another dog who, sadly, was deceased. The tether was wrapped around her knee, and her leg was necrotic from the knee down. When she came to us her leg was infested with maggots, she was dramatically underweight and we did not think she would make it.
Even then, in spite of all the cruelty and abuse she had been through, she was wagging her tail. A good attitude goes a long way.
Merida is now certified for “animal assisted activities,” what some people call a “therapy dog,” so that she can visit hospitals and schools and teach people that you just need to keep waggin’.