June 15, 2021

Raúl came into my life 2 years ago as a present

 Monday 14 June 2021

It is time to describe his journey from lifelong shelter resident to Alkmaar house dog.

I had seen Raúl on the ACE website for a few years, but since I already had 3 dogs, 2 rottweilers and a shepherd, and I had that as maximum in my head, I never took any steps. But I kept an eye on him. He was eventually adopted. I was so relieved for him!

Unfortunately, the adopters ran into some behavioral problems and when emergency care was needed after a few days, I didn't hesitate for a moment. After all, it was about Raul!

There he was, in complete panic and defense mode. He flew at my other dogs and the cat from the crate and when people on the street looked at him, he would flinch back barking. He was also found to have significant separation anxiety.

Fortunately, he loved to walk and didn't mind the hustle and bustle of the city. We could do something with that!

We started at home with a closed crate with sheets over it, after a few weeks, he tolerated the other animals in proximity and the sheets could come off. Over the months, the other dogs gained his trust and Raúl was able to relax completely. He even completely accepted the cat.

From then on things went fast. I decided I would keep him and hired a behavioral therapist to help him overcome his separation anxiety. With a lot of work and patience we succeeded. He still prefers to be close to me, but now quietly accepts that I occasionally leave without him.

Raúl today: a cheerful, friendly senior full of self-confidence. He has a basket, no longer a crate, loves his brother and sisters and runs loose during the walks and goes to EVERYONE with his tail to be tickled.

His health: His body is showing the signs of a hard life and he has just been diagnosed with leishmania while he tested negative from Spain and I had him tested last year. So please folks: get your dog tested regularly!

It was a challenge and hard work, but what love and trust I received from that little man from the very first moment. I learned a lot and when I see him now, it was the difficult moments, because there have been many, so worth it. I am proud and happy that I can be his mom and give him a carefree life.

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