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Resilient – Bounce Back, Slowly but Surely

William and Max came to Bangalore about three years ago. Bringing them here was a decision we made in a split second and we have never looked back since.

On a routine call with Che’s parents we heard about how they had found out that the dogs were being abused. My In-Laws are doctors and they run a hospital. William and Max had come as pups into the premises and had had a good life.

Growing up they had a large space to play in and spend the day and at night the entire hospital compound became their play ground. They ran about, hunted and generally had a ball. This though lasted only for a little over 6 years, then the old security guard and their caretaker passed away.

There on things took a down hill turn. Caretakers changed often, none were patient and kind, and it seems a couple hit them and put the scare of people into them. Their temperaments had changed, they were becoming different dogs, and difficult to handle.

We brought them over and put them up at Happy Tails, a boarding rehab, while we searched for a bigger house that would accommodate 5 dogs. It took us close to a year to find a house and bring our pack together.

As I was saying yesterday Max is all about food and sleep (the pic above is Max at the kitchen door) and it seems like he had found a way to separate from the abuse in his head. He wasn’t as regressed as William but he wasn’t open either. Over the last year and a half he has blossomed and is almost his former self. A dog that demands food and attention, likes to cuddle and allows us to touch him all over.

William is a stickler for routine and cleanliness. He would bark when he needed to go out and instead of being taken out he would be punished for barking and would get tied up. The abuse impacted him the most, to a point where he was wary of every human being, he flinched a the slightest change in tone or volume and got defensive if you had anything that resembled a stick in your hand.

When William first came home, the only person he trusted was Che. He was always watching me from the corner of his eye, ever watchful, ever wary. He’s a big dog and when he did his mock charges, it made me jump out of my skin. It made me ever watchful, ever wary too. 😀

It’s taken a year and a half for William to learn to trust me and me him. We aren’t bum-chum pals like Che and he but we have our own little equation. He has learned to listen and believe in me and I have learned to read some of his moods and language. He has come a long way but he also still has a long recovery ahead.

Considering what these two have gone though (and the fact remains that a lot of it is still a mystery, we don’t know all that happened to them and maybe we never will), their resilience amazes me. Their ability, to withstand their past and recover from it to find themselves again, is a testament to their strength and hardiness.

The dictionary defines resilient as “able to recoil or spring back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed” and this so is them. Fast in Max and slow in William but yet a case in point for resilience.

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