Havik

Havik is a 17-month-old female who has no doubt suffered a sad life. She has been subjected to obvious physical and mental abuse, as well as neglect and uncaring.

She has reached her fourth home. Her FINAL home, where we hope to turn her life around and show her a world of kindness, love, trust, and security.

Here is her story.
From the time of her conception she has been wronged. She was born to a breeder who has never been concerned about the betterment of the breed. In fact she was born to a breeder who’s ONLY love, is that of the money that they receive from unsuspecting families. A breeder who believes that more puppies equals more money and therefore willfully over breeds his dogs and disregards any health issues this may cause. In short, a puppy mill. For Havik this could mean any number of degenerative diseases, organ failures, joint problems, etc., associated with puppy mill dogs.

From there she was delivered to her next “home”. Her family in Calgary kept her chained up in their garage most of the day and night. She was obviously bored, lonely and scared, as the neighbors complained of her barking all the time. Her family decided the   ‘best’ option was to have her de-barked. So, now she was scared, imprisoned, and absolutely unable to call out for help. She was a puppy who was being fed one and a half cups of ol’Roy adult dog food a day. She was unlikely ever taken for walks or given any other form of exercise. She had no muscle tone and weighed about 45 to maybe 50 lbs. She was so malnourished that there were parts of her body where she had no hair. The hair she did have had likely never been groomed or brushed. This was her life for 15 months.

Somehow, someone rescued her from her nightmare and delivered her to a family in Sherwood Park. Despite their best intentions, in less than a month, they realized that Havik was a lot more than they had anticipated.

My boyfriend and I already had a nine-month-old Airedale and knew we loved the breed. We had just that week discussed filling out a rescue application. As luck would have it, fate stepped in and delivered a rescue right into our hands. We arrived at our weekly obedience class to find a very unkempt Airedale and her owner. She was inquiring with the instructor as to whether or not she knew of any rescue clubs in Edmonton. We looked at one another and knew what we were about to do. On March 23, 2002, we adopted our second Airedale.

Along with Havik came issues:
She had no idea what it was like to be free in a backyard. Her muscles were so underdeveloped that she had no idea how to run.

Any sudden noises would cause her to run for cover. The sound of the furnace caused her to pace and she would cower her head and try to sneak past the registers. The gurgle of her water dish would send her into hiding, and if you dropped anything, her tail went between her legs and she’d run away.

She was completely petrified of being put into her crate or anywhere else she felt confined. This posed an issue, as she had not developed any social skills with her canine counterparts. This meant leaving two Airedales at home alone was not an option.

Being that she was unsocialized with other dogs, she had no understanding of how to play with them. She would become extremely agitated by their approach and was quite often growly and aggressive with them.

She was very leery of all people but men seemed to make her exceptionally uneasy. If a man tried to approach her she would cower and try to get away. This led us to believe she was mistreated by one or more of the men in her life.  

In seven weeks, she has overcome so much.
She eats the proper amounts of the right dog food and has steadily put on weight. She runs and jumps and plays in our backyard and now has some nice muscle tone. She no longer paces at the sound of the furnace & she no longer notices the registers. She’s familiar with the noises that happen in our home and no longer runs and hides when she hears them.

We were consistent with crate training, and discovered that a little bit of peanut butter on the back wall, made it a much more attractive place to enter. She realizes now that her crate is her safe place and she goes into it all on her own.

We have done our best to socialize her with many dogs. She has four other Airedales whom she plays with regularly and gets excited to see. She accepts most dogs without aggression and loves socializing at the off leash area.

* Note: The off leash has been a lot of work and a great test of her obedience training.

She is still very leery of men, but is at least tolerant of the ones who are consistent in her life. Women seem to mean safety to her and she has definitely become a permanent fixture at my side.

We know we still have a long road with her. She needs a lot of obedience training, a lot of patience and a lot of love. We know in time she will come to realize she is safe here and hopefully we can help her forget all the unhappiness she’s endured until now.

Tammy and Len

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