As I am nearing my four year anniversary since moving to Portugal I can’t help thinking about how much I have changed and grown as a dog. If you recall the post I wrote three years ago entitled “A more serious note” (15th March 2013), about coping with the aftermath of domestic violence and how Mummy was seeking help for my behaviour while dealing with her own trauma. You would read how difficult times had become.
My life in England was very different. In my early years I was witness to a lot of unpleasant things. Lots of shouting and hiding in small places, violence and aggression. Things no puppy should ever see. When Mummy wasn’t around the unpleasant attention was geared towards me. I learnt early on that I needed to be there for Mummy and we formed a very close bond protecting each other. At two years old the dynamics in our home changed with the removal of our abuser, but being so used to playing the role of Mummy’s protector, traumatised and constantly being on a high state of alert I became aggressive and with this came isolation because I was not trusted to behave in public.
Fast forward four years and with love, kindness, understanding, persistence and a whole lot of therapy; Mummy truly believes I am a different dog. No need to be muzzled and kept on the leash. No need to be kept away from others. Instead of the dog that picks the fight, I am the dog who shows others how to behave. Of course I’m not perfect and I will always be there to protect my home and my family and if a puppy decides to steal my ball at the beach I WILL tell them off, but life is certainly a lot easier.
|Daily Doggy Beach Party With My Buddies|
Perhaps it’s because I am older and wiser, calmer, more experienced? I now have many doggy friends, who I learn from as well as teach. Time is a great healer as they say. Look at me now! I am the inspiration for the latest kids character and I even have my own children's digital series coming out soon. I am a star!
We are the lucky ones. Unlike so many, we are survivor's of Domestic Violence and it's now our reasonability to speak out against it and stop these terrible acts.
Thank you Mummy for not giving up on me.