Those who have won the hard-earned trust of a rescue dog will tell you that it isn’t always easy – but it’s definitely worth it!
Sonya Schiff adopted her Dalmatian, Rupert a few years ago knowing that gaining his trust would be a challenge. He had resource guarding issues that kept his bowl, his bed, and his legs a no-touch zone. It was also recommended that he be muzzled any time he visited a vet for the rest of his life. She explains on Facebook,
“…we were told he was to be vet muzzled for life. (For the safety of the vet [obviously]) Anyway, after lots of love, a bit of ‘negotiating’, and realizing he was in pain, he was a far more relaxed dog.”
It took some time, but eventually Sonya won Rupert over, and the dog hidden behind all that anxiety began to shine through! Sonya believes that his issues may have been due to the stress of being rehomed. Once they bonded, Rupert developed separation anxiety that would attack in her absence, and though they worked through it, he retained some of his other issues.
“I’m the only person who can pretty much do anything to Rupert and he will allow it. Trust. Hard earned.”
Rupert was still especially anxious with the veterinarian.
So when the time came that Rupert needed a visit to the veterinary hospital, Sonya was thinking ten steps ahead to avoid having to muzzle her dog. Her idea: a romper. But not just any romper. A romper that smelled like her.
But not just any romper that smelled like her… a fuzzy mouse romper that smelled like her!
Sonya sprayed the romper with a perfume she wears regularly so that Rupert would be surrounded by the familiar scent while with the vet. Though Rupert might have just snuggled up with it, Dr. Mike Farrell with Davies Veterinary Specialists decided to help out by wearing the fuzzy, lady-smelling onesie!
The best part of all? It worked!
Dr. Farrell told Metro UK:
“Initially Rupert growled when I tried to examine him in my usual clothes. His owner was worried about his aggression towards strangers and how he would respond to being in hospital.”
Thanks to Sonya’s genius idea, and Dr. Farrell’s dedication to making his patients comfortable, Rupert was able to be examined and surgery was performed to treat Rupert’s leg. Also – he was able to pose for these adorable pictures and give Rupert some belly rubs!
For future visits, Dr. Farrell may have to keep the onesie handy – but it looks like he’s building his own bond with Rupert!