mikey's story

We are 13 months into our journey with Mikey (was Noel). Things happened swiftly after we'd fallen in love with 'the one' on the Pawpers Rescue page. The team has continued to support us right from the adoption, through to this day.

The first week after arrival was a gentle intro to our household, with the garden, kitchen and crate as a base, before meeting our resident husky boy, Sully. I stayed close to him for the first few days while he adjusted, just talking to him and hand feeding. He was fairly confident and craved affection, nudging and sleeping on me when he could. The very first night he snored in a deep sleep on my lap, it was so reassuring for us both. He quickly started to guard his 'safe' space in the kitchen though, along with food and toys so we worked on spatial changes, removing any obvious triggers and setting up the environment ready to work on the boys' relationship. 

We followed the adopter guidance notes to the letter - Mikey & Sully initially met on neutral ground and we then restricted their interaction to just minutes at a time for a few days as they were both stressed and confused being in the same space. Outside, we started to understand his fears; traffic and loud noise, bin bags, white vans, travelling in a car - all areas we've overcome now. 

Mikey proved very dominant over Sully, often barging him out of the way or growling when coming into a room. It took nearly 3 months of work on how to share and being a constant moderator before I could take my eye off them when together. By 6 months they had bonded, totally inseparable now and people often ask if they're brothers as they've grown so alike. 

I understand now how rescuing a dog is an unknown quantity - there's simply no guarantees on anything about their initial needs and personality, and they require an indefinite amount of time, resolve and repetition. At first it was tiring and stressful, there were accidents and incidents. But the weeks go by and you see change when routines and training start to work. You feel their new understanding and you both start to relax and trust each other, then the rewards come. 

Now we just love him in the most ridiculous way for everything he has become - a sofa hugger, helicopter-tailed tank of a dog, master of drool and all round cuddle monster. He's a social guy too, loves a crowd because it means tickles and attention. He also enjoys his daily therapy sessions on our bed, where we look at each other - I talk, he listens..

Someone, somewhere abandoned him. Pawpers in the Ruff team brought him home to us.