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This little cracker was rescued in summer 2020 and waited a year because of lockdown to get home to Scotland… She’s been here 6 months and it’s hard to remember life without her.

I often talk of Hope to her, they were taken from unimaginable Hell together (I can’t look at the photos anymore as it turns my stomach to see her how she was) and then sadly contracted distemper in the Chinese pound. Hope didn’t make it and Faith recovered but was left with permanent tremors (very apparent when she’s sleeping) and very scared of people.

The rescue DMT work with in Harbin, China did an amazing job of rehabilitating her mentally and physically (actually too good she went from skeleton to potato within the year ) and she learned to trust again.

As a behaviourist I’ve had quite a few fosters and normally give a new name, fresh start, however because she had had the name Faith from the rescue and associated it with nice things it was immensely helpful for her hearing it from me a complete stranger.

It took a while for her to act anything near normal even though she coped well (dogs are much more resilient than we give credit) and only this month has she been confident enough able to have a sleepover at her aunties’ and uncle’s where she showed her very affectionate side, melted all our hearts and means of anything happens to me I can rest easy that she has other people who she trusts.

For anyone taking in a rescue with unknown history it’s very important to give them space and not expect them to understand how to be a “pet” they have to be shown, and slowly. Although we want them snuggled on the couch or bed it can be confusing to a dog especially if it was confined for large periods. The brain gets used to what’s familiar and even though we don’t like the idea of locking them in crates, the brain considers this a safe place. We keep dogs very differently in this country and dogs don’t understand the term “luxury.” I very much think luxury would be different to different species… to a butterfly it would not be a velvet pillow, these are human attributes that we selfishly think other animals want too. Let’s think of what dogs like; company, freedom to explore without restraint (when safe to do so), the ability to forage and work for one’s food .

Merry Christmas everyone, and thank you for your combined efforts to help Faith and those like her to a new safe life.


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