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Bryan T Owens

We are probably on that line between lover and super.

We dog sat a rescue dog for 6 months. Instead of just feeding him, we tried to make the world a less fearful place for him. We taught him to fetch.

That may sound simple, but any object through the air terrified him... run and pee in the corner. He had obviously been abused with flying objects. We methodically worked with him for 4 months, starting as simple as taking his favorite toy off his bed and praising him when he put it back. Eventually we could get him to go get his toy when we asked him. Then we VERY gently tossed it about a foot from us during the game. We eventually changed objects on him. We eventually changed return locations. When the new owners returned, we could throw a tennis ball across a field and he would return it.

This wasn't simply teaching him a trick. It was restoring his soul. It was teaching him that he wasn't going to be hurt anymore. It was taking him into his fears and teaching him he would be okay.

His name was Junah. He was named after the character in Bagger Vance that cannot golf anymore. Bagger says "You lost your swing, that's all. We need to get your swing back."

We returned Junah to the owners after six months. Tara and I loved this experience so much that we adopted a neglected rescue dog ourselves and are working on making the world a safe place for him too. Hullabaloo has a very sweet spirit, but you couldn't tell because he was so fearful The rescue people knew it, but no one would trust that and adopt him. He is perfect for us. Now, when we take him back to the shelter for training once a week, the staff there literally cry at seeing how bright and kind this dog has become.

We love redemption stories.

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