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From Fearful to Fearless: My Journey Helping My Rescue Dog, Jerry

My name is Cameron Stubbs, and I am the proud owner of a rescue dog named Jerry. Jerry and I have been through a lot together, and our bond grows stronger every day. To fully understand our journey, starting at the beginning of our story is essential. We were in a different place emotionally and physically before things took a turn for the worse. By sharing our story, I hope to inspire others to find the love and companionship that comes with adopting a rescue dog. Let's start with Jerry's progress before we delve into other details.



Maybe just a sneak peek video! As you can see, Jerry is very well-behaved with his pack. He is the off-leash distraction and gets permission to roam anywhere he is allowed off-leash. He no longer lunges, attacks, or approaches anything of concern. Most importantly, as you can see, his heel style works perfectly for recording, LOL.


Scaredy Bear - Tadder Tott - Couch Potatoe - Chubby Bubb - Jerry Bear

Jerry is a 15-year-old Labrador mix who was found scared and starving on the streets. Due to his past trauma, anxiety, and lack of socialization, he was very timid and nervous around people and other dogs. He often hid under the table or behind the couch and barked and growled at anyone approaching him. Additionally, he was reactive on walks and tended to pull and lunge at anything that moved.


 

The Meeting



Mel and I adopted Jerry from Mexpup. We were warned that he needed specific handling, as he required his bed and would do his best in a house without other dogs. However, we did not heed the warning and brought him home to be a companion for our aging dog, Mesha. Surprisingly, the initial introduction went well, despite the signs of misbehaviour we observed when we first met Jerry. However, since we had never dealt with street dogs, we did not know what to expect. Our journey back home required a ferry from SSI to Crofton, and we knew that we were committed to bringing Jerry with us no matter what happened.



Jerry received rehabilitation and training from Mexpup before coming to our home, and they did a fantastic job. However, transitioning from his first home in Mexico to Canada and then to our house was a completely new experience for him. Despite having a strong prey drive, Jerry had excellent recall and could follow commands such as sitting and shaking a paw. However, we encountered some difficulties as all his commands were in Spanish. Unfortunately, we couldn't recall the correct commands, leading us to retrain Jerry in English. We were unsure how to train a street dog, so we missed some crucial steps.


 

The Progress



Jerry has made fantastic progress since we started practicing calming techniques before leaving the house. He is much more relaxed and happy at home and loves to cuddle and play with us. Although he still needs his own safe space to retire to, he has become more friendly and curious around other people and dogs. He can even greet them politely without barking or growling. He is also more calm and focused on walks, and he can walk nicely on a loose leash without pulling or lunging. Jerry has even learned new tricks, like turning around, rolling over, and crawling. He is such a brilliant and sweet old-timer, and I am so proud of him.



Not only has Jerry learned to find calm when heading out into the world with the right mindset, but I have also learned how to lead with the confidence he needs. Above all else, Jerry needed someone who did not respond or feed into his misbehaviour. I learned to communicate with him using the leash as a communication tool rather than a restraint. Once I made this change, everything became so much easier!


 

Life Now


My collaboration with Jerry has been a journey that has been mutually rewarding and enriching for both of us. I gained profound insights into canine behaviour and training during our time together. This helped me learn not only valuable lessons about Jerry but also about myself and my emotional responses. Jerry served as my guide, instilling patience, compassion, and resilience in me.


Beyond that, he revealed the beauty in appreciating life's simpler pleasures, from basking in the warmth of a sunny day and relishing an excellent meal to enjoying the comfort of a warm hug.



Jerry is not just a loyal companion; he's my closest confidant and dearest friend. His impact on my life is immeasurable, and I can't imagine life without him. His presence is undoubtedly the greatest blessing I've ever received, and my love for him transcends the limitations of verbal expression.



A pivotal turning point in our relationship occurred when I applied the calming concepts learned in service dog training to our interactions. This transformative shift turned the leash from a mere restraint into a powerful tool for communication. Embracing these techniques cultivated newfound confidence in Jerry and me, enabling us to face any challenge gracefully and without unnecessary reactions. Together, we've forged a more robust bond grounded in mutual understanding and a shared ability to navigate life's intricacies easily.


 

Spread the Love


If you've found solace, joy, and growth through your connection with your furry friend, encourage others to do the same. Share your story in our group, Dog Lovers, and let's create a ripple effect of love, understanding, and compassion for our loyal companions.



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