What a transformation! It was heartwarming to see this dog responding to a gentle hand. It’s as if he couldn’t believe that life could be so good.
Bad Things Happen to Dogs on Chains
I recall a very sad occurrence from some years ago. My neighbor had a beautiful dog chained up in the back yard, with the doghouse right next to the fence. The dog kept getting on top of the doghouse and jumping over. My neighbor would come out and yell at the dog and kick him. Finally, he shortened the dog’s chain so much that the dog had little room to move. I had determined that I was going to rescue him, take him off the chain and keep him or find him a home, as soon as his master left the house. I watched and waited, but I noticed the next day that he was gone.
I finally got up enough courage to ask the neighbor and he snapped, “The stupid so-and-so jumped over the fence and hung himself. Good riddance!”
I was furious, both with him and with myself for putting off getting the dog until the house was empty. Seeing this wonderful story brought it all back to me. I am so grateful to the rescuer for saving this dog.
Dogs who are chained constantly often become aggressive. Because they’re pack animals, dogs want to be with their humans. They feel alone and abandoned, not able to be a part of the family when they receive little to no attention. Often ignored or forgotten, they spend a good deal of their lives without the companionship they crave. Chains knock over water dishes, They become very territorial, and the chain can injure both the dog and the unwary human.
From Aggression to Affection, Taking a Chance on Alex
That was the case with Alex. He had reached the point where even his owner was afraid of him. At the behest of the County Animal Control Officer, Steve Markwell, from Olympic Animal Sanctuary, rescued Alex, who had spent his life at the end of a chain.
At first Alex lunged, determined to defend himself and his territory. Steve eventually nudged him into a traveling crate so he could move him to the Sanctuary. Since his car was being repaired, he had to transfer Alex from one vehicle to the other.
Something in Alex made Steve take a chance with him. By the next morning, the snarling, angry, fearful dog was putty in his hands. The video documents Alex’s journey from hostile to affectionate.
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