When El Inocente came to me it was because I volunteered to foster one of the galgo / galgo mixes coming into Elite Greyhound Adoptions in West Palm Beach, Fl. After a few days, I changed his name to Lucky because I believe he is sooo Lucky to be alive after the abuse and neglected broken leg that he suffered before he was LUCKY enough to be saved by such wonderful people.
The first two weeks, Inocente / Lucky would just hide and slink in between my group of 4 greyhounds as they moved in and out between the house and backyard or feeding bowls or to play. He wanted nothing to with me as he was absolutely terrified.
One of my cats ( a feral who is the absolute sweetest guy ever and who truly believes he is a dog -- a big dog -- possibly a greyhound) was his first friend. They began to play a lot with each other. Lucky began to loosen up and then we began to play silly little games to gain trust with a human touch. After many attempts and many different ways to try to allow him to be comfortable with human touch, I found he would tolerate me touching his front paws with less anxiety than anywhere else. So, I would first nicely, softly pet his front paws and then when he got used to that, I would tap his front paws (still the only part of his body he would even remotely allow me touch comfortably) while he was laying down and eventually, he saw the game and began to jump and hop around to hide his front paws and come right back to do it again...and...yep....look at that.....his tail does wag!!!
Lucky is ALL puppy personality and can be quite the destroyer, but he is so cute you can't stay mad at him for long...no matter how costly it gets : ) He has gained weight, trust, and is 100% puppy 100% of the time. (He is making up for his lost youth I believe.) As soon as I come home from work, he runs and gets one of his toys. He is definitely the irritating little brother to my other 4 greyhounds, all of whom love and tolerate him as he walks on them, runs into them....you get the picture!
Lucky is doing wonderfully. He loves to hunt lizards and stalk squirrels in the backyard and will let me touch and pet and hug and kiss him anywhere and will flop right over and expose his belly for a good rub!! He is doing well on walks and is becoming more trusting of and playful with strangers. That old neglected and poorly healed injury to his rear leg is still very visibly deformed and makes him walk bowlegged, but the skin has toughened up with a nice callous and he no longer has the sensitivity to it that he did when he arrived. It definitely does not slow him down as he runs and jumps in the yard (and house) and gets on my bed where he sleeps. He is so very smart and eager to please, although at times you can still see the result of memories of an abusive past. I am going to see how he continues to do and then may work with him to have him certfied as a therapy dog along with 2 of my greyhounds who are already certified. If he can overcome his fear of recalling situations that remind him of his abusive past I believe he will make such a special therapy dog. I know that as people (mentally or physically challenged kids, soldiers returning home with life changing injuries) in difficult situations, with their own physical injuries or difficulties will be reminded and encouraged of what the soul has the power to overcome.
Oh ya, the foster home here is a complete FAILURE, and he will be staying here as his forever home. God Bless everyone who helped this great little guy as he made his way from an abusive past, and then to the safety of the rescue in Spain, the long plane and car rides to Elite Geryhound Adoption and then....to me. THANK YOU! Now I am the lucky one!Be safe.
God Bless. Vanessa