You would think that after 4 years I would remember.....
or that after 4 years he would forget.
Unfortunately neither has happened.
Four years ago we went to a friends house and picked up a dog. They said they thought he was about a year old but they weren't sure. They had no way of knowing really. He had been dumped out at their house. Like some one's trash. They raised hunting dogs and as the old saying goes "that dog don't hunt" so they had no reason to keep him.
He had been abused that much I know. It took us a year before he stopped running from us and hiding when we went out in the yard. The abuser was a man. I know that too because he still runs from Dan until he kneels down on his level and stays still. After about two years he didn't hide anymore but kinda kept his distance unless you called him to come. He wanted to be where we were but was so leery.
Eventually, over time he warmed up to us. The kids especially. I guess he feels safe around them. He is a happy dog now. He runs as fast as short little beagle legs will take him. He doesn't stay in the fenced yard. He has learned to wiggle his way out and he spends most of his time on our deck. I try to sit out there with him for a bit each morning. He is pretty good company.
But this morning I forgot. I forgot that when you reach towards him you have to move slow. I forgot that he had ever had a reason to fear people. He didn't forget. He flinched and he ran. Then I had to sweet talk him in to coming back and everything was fine again. Except I have been thinking about it all day. Thinking about how no matter how we treat him now we can't undo the damage. We can give him a good home but we can't make him forget that people can be the real animals sometimes.