Thurs 18th March: Understanding fear

Someone posted this video on our HKDR Facebook fan page today, and it’s something I have been wanting and meaning to do for a long time.  Not posting this particular video, but filming a scene at AFCD when I’m taking out dogs like the one shown in this clip.  It’s the best and only way to demonstrate that what seems like aggression is really only fear, or terror in fact.  I do exactly what the man in the video does, and it works every time.
(I’m not sure if this link works or if you’ll have to check it on on the Facebook page).
Edie – rescued yesterday an hour before euthanasia (Video by Eldad Hagar and Bronwyne Mirkovich)
“Edie was so scared at the shelter and was scheduled to be euthanized yesterday. She was so lucky to have Bronwyne visit the shelter and save her life. I just helped with calming her down and showing everybody how these dogs can be easily managed with a little bit of love and patience.”
Still, even to get the the point of being able to loop a leash round a dog’s neck may take time if the dog is bigger than small sized (I never put myself in danger), and the fear is so intense that nothing works.  A dog can get “locked in” to its fear, to a stage where nothing can break through.  I went back to AFCD today to see if I could make any headway with Apple, the dog that was featured in the Apple Daily story when it was rescued.  At some point this young girl has belonged to someone as she’s wearing a (rough) collar, but whatever happened to her has traumatised her so deeply that she is incapable of any response other than to shake violently.  The only positive sign is that she must be eating as her food bowl was half empty.  She wouldn’t  look at the chicken I offered her, even when I threw it on the floor while keeping my distance.  I’ll try again tomorrow.  Apple has someone who has offered her a home, but I need to make that breakthrough first.
While I was at AFCD of course there were other dogs that had come in.  I left with an overweight 7-year old labrador who had been surrendered because he was “too active”.  No mention of the fact that he has  an obviously chronic ear infection which has resulted in crumpled and hardened ear flaps.  The vet dug out a ton of black goo from both ears, and the dog, Tyson,  is now on antibiotics and ear drops.  Too late for the bumpy ear flaps as that’s permanent now.
I’m sure many, if not most, of you have been following  the media coverage of the animals in public, and Home Ownership housing.  It’s fantastic to see this issue being brought to the forefront and openly discussed, and hopefully there will be some changes made as a result.  It’s up to the dog owners now to prove that dogs aren’t nuisances, and that means cleaning up after them and not leaving them alone for hours on end so that they bark non-stop.  I can’t blame non-dog owners for complaining about this.
Minky and Sparkle have two new apprentices. Puppies Little and Chimney have discovered that there is a whole other world on the top floor of my house, away from all the mayhem of the ground floor and the garden.  Whatever I do I can’t stop these two boys from climbing the stairs, and the longer it goes on the more established it will become.  I need to get them into homes of their own before my sofa disappears completely.  They’re great puppies, lovely, smart and friendly, but I don’t want any more living upstairs.

8 Responses to “Thurs 18th March: Understanding fear”

  1. Bronwyne Says:


    my name is Bronwyne and I rescued the dog in the video that you refer to. I just want to say thank you for the wonderful work that you are doing. I think Edie transformed so quickly because she is only 7 months old. I have other cases in my home that are much more difficult. Dog bless you for your work. You are my hero.


  2. Samantha Says:

    Bronwyn & Sally,
    Both of you are angels of dogs!

  3. Yolan Says:

    Hi Sally,

    If you recall, I’m currently fostering Bonita who’s been an angel to me and my cats. I’ve fostered before but Bonita’s the first to make me question adopting. Yes, she’s that special and yet I’ve been hesitant for the past month.

    When I was watching the video about Edie, Edie’s cries boomed from my speakers. That was when Bonita walked into my study which she never did without permission because it is the cats’ santuary. She looked concerned and worried until I told her that Edie’s ok and in good hands. She then placed her paws on me and lay her head on my lap. I petted her and assured her that she would be okay too because I will take care of her. Only after that talk did she walk away seeming content. Interestingly, none of my cats hissed or protested to her entrance this time. I guess….no, I’m sure Bonita and my family of felines are fated to be together. Thanks to HKDR, my friends who’s been goading me to adopt her and, of course, Edie – I would like to come in and sign the adoption papers if that’s ok with you.
    Grateful Woof,

    Yolan & Bonita

    • Norma M Says:

      Thank you Yolan for giving Bonita a loving home. She is indeed a special girl and deserves all the love and kindness she is getting from you. She seems to have settled nicely into your home with your kitties and I am sure things will only get better. So glad that you have decided she was meant for you!

    • Sally Says:

      What a lovely and happy outcome for Bonita, especially because she has had such an awful and miserable experience with her previous adopter. I’m really thrilled that she now has a loving home for life, because she deserves nothing less.

  4. Michele Says:

    YAY BRONWYNE! YOU are the hero for saving Edie’s life. So happy to share your great work on this side of the world.

  5. emiri ikeda Says:

    sad yelping of edie coming out from my pc brought all my cats over. (my old deaf doggies are snoring away happily next to me.) the cats cud tell the dog was in distress and they wanted to do something about it. i told them edie is fine now; no more piching of skin by matted hair, has nice clean peaceful place to live. no matter how crowded the kennel gets, please keep bringing in those poor animals in sally!

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