PopEye had been rescued from the streets of Bahrain. He & his siblings were being fed & one day they noticed that he had a huge lump on the top of his head. It was suspected someone had hit him over the head causing major head trauma. After he was nursed back to health & ready to be returned to his litter, his eye got infected & it couldn’t be saved. PopEye had all of this happen within the first 6 months of his life. He did not return to the streets.
I first met PopEye not long after his eye surgery, when I was working with another dog, Sunshine. (See Sunshine’s Story) Such a sweet little thing with his tilted head. Very nervous & shy to start with. We bonded over Sunshine’s sessions & essential oils! They were an odd mix – a 3 legged dog & a one-eyed dog – but they stuck together & so I decided to foster the pair of them to get them physically & emotionally healthy so they could find their forever homes.
PopEye always seemed like the happy-go-lucky chap, especially compared to Sunshine who was very openly scared. However, what I realized was, he always had other dogs as his wingmen, & this helped to disguise his nervousness plus he was now in a home environment. He would cower if you lifted your arm above your head or swatting at a fly, he did not like walking on a lead, ran & hid if we were going in the car for a beach walk, very stressed with cars driving by if we were walking along the road or in the compound. Yes, I discovered I had a very anxious dog.
Slowly, slowly with the Bach Flower remedies, lots of gentle encouragement (& treats!), Phoebe my Lab being a great example, PopEye became a more confident, self assured dog.
It is so important when connecting with a rescue dog to be empathetic to their past. They are arriving with emotional baggage. Most of the time we never know what has happened to these furry babes & so in order to build a relationship, a huge amount of patience is needed to create mutual trust & respect.
PopEye found his forever home in Canada. I still receive updates with photos & videos on how he is going which always brings tears to my eyes. I just love seeing how happy & loved he is & how he has also brought so much love & joy to his human as well!