Heartbreak, Hope, Success & Joy
Laverne’s story is one of heartbreak, hope, success and joy. Laverne came to us as our first Foster Dog with Canadian Dachshund Rescue, Ontario. Both Craig and I had family dogs before, as kids and young adults, but until now as a new family, we had had our hands full with 3 cats and 2 parrots. Then the call came from CDR’s Director of Foster Care: a little 5 year old female was in dire need of a home with no other dogs and no children.
We didn’t know her background story at the time, but with a bit of trepidation, I said “sure, we can take her”. I’ll never forget the day she arrived. She was a tiny thing, terrified and cowering in her travel crate. We had been advised “no eye contact, ignore her until she’s ready and if you have to touch her, you might want to try oven mitts”.
The first day and night she stayed close to her crate and any advances from me were met by growls which sounded far too big and menacing from such a little dog. We had to keep her on her leash, with the leash tied to her crate, just so we could take her outside. She is a long haired Dachshund, but at that time it was hard to tell, her coat was so thin and dull.
On day two, she crept a bit further from her safe place, pulling the crate along with her. Eventually she came all the way to me in the kitchen, interested in what I was cooking. She took a small piece of cheese gently from my hand and I was able to untie the leash from her crate. That night she decided sleeping alone downstairs wasn’t for her and she allowed me to pick her up and put her on the ‘big bed’ , where she’s spent every night since.
It took Laverne about another week to accept my husband but even that is a bit of a miracle, given how scared she is of men in general. We’re not sure what happened to her during her miserable life at the puppy mill, but the stress signs are obvious and some may never heal. To this day, she won’t allow us to brush her no matter how gentle we are. She still hates having a bath and I’m sure the neighbours can all tell when it’s bath time as she cries, yelps and carries on like it’s torture.
She is frightened of other dogs, even puppies. If I swing my foot to cross my legs or put my shoe on, she will yelp and jump away, even though I’m nowhere close to touching her. She doesn’t play with toys or balls and is just starting to explore grass when we go outside.
But, with all her eccentricities she still manages to be the cutest, funniest , most cuddly little doggie and she makes us laugh every single day. She always wakes us up with a smile on her face (literally, full set of teeth showing) and I like to think it’s because she’s so relieved she’s still with her ‘mommy and daddy’ and not back at that awful place. We formally adopted Laverne in November of 2013 and I’m excited to see her continued progress as a rescue success and beloved family pet.