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Thorp Dog Auction Scrapbook: DJ

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DJ the chihuahua was so terrified of humans that it took his caretaker 8 hours to get him to trust her enough to allow a touch.

     Only two years old at time of purchase, Dalton, now DJ, was terrified of people and reacted defensively whenever anyone came near him. Luckily, he found his way to a foster home with people who had a lot of experience with dogs who have "issues."

     His foster mom tells us: "[This] picture of DJ belly down [on the floor], was taken the day I got him. The first three times I tried to touch him, he proceeded to go crazy and try to eat me. This picture was about eight hours later, when he finally stayed still, didn’t attempt to bite and let me touch him. From there on he made no more attempts to bite.

     "He is progressing well, loves the pack walk each morning with my dogs (anywhere from 4-6 dogs). He gets a massage each day by myself or my husband; touch is coming easier but he still would rather not have it.

     "I know he behaves the way he does because of no confidence; hence I don’t want to coddle the behavior he is exhibiting. The massage is deep and somewhat firm, not soft like being petted. I want to touch him like another dog would.

     "Dogs usually melt when I do this and want more and more and more. DJ is not to that point. The cringing he did initially was pitiful. His skin still crawls slightly when you start but he relaxes eventually. He needs my confidence to relax; the firm touch seems to let him know I‘ve got everything covered -- I’m in control.

     "Most of his day is spent kenneled, not because the door is closed (it’s not) but because that’s where he is most comfortable. He does play bows with my dogs and will play with the smaller ones. He adores my labs …they pay no attention to him whatsoever. They are calm assertive energy that he admires. He will be neutered soon, and we will keep moving forward. He’s taught me a lot and I hope I have brought some comfort to his life. "

     For more information on rehabilitating puppy mill survivors, please see: Puppy Mill Survivors: A Guide to Caring for Unsocialized Mill Dogs .

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