Hello! My name is Jiminy Cricket and i’m a teeny-tiny baby Beddie (just 10 months old), but sadly a very troubled one. When i’m ready, the lovely team at Bedlington Terrier Rescue Foundation (BTRF) are going to help me find a new home, but for now i’m in one of Aunty Lisa’s ‘specialist rehabilitation spaces’, which means I am going to be able to get lots of help to unpack all my baggage and start to learn to trust and communicate again.
So, how have I ended up in rescue at such a young age I hear you ask? Well, it would be easy to assume i’ve had an awful home or been treated really badly, but actually I have come from a home who loved me very much and who were really upset to part with me, but they realised that I had a lot of worries and they just couldn’t offer me what I needed to be happy, so they reached out to BTRF to see if they could help me instead.
Aunty Lisa said that part of my behaviour is probably something to do with ‘genetics’ and my very early weeks (before I even went to my first home). This means that I am more predisposed to being worried about things (maybe because one of my parents were) and the combination of this, and not having the right experiences in my very early development meant that by the time I left at 8 weeks old, I was already very fearful of some things. Aunty Lisa says that absence of experience can be as tricky as poor experiences when it comes to habituation (getting used to stuff) and socialisation (learning to communicate). This would have made it really difficult for my first home, it wasn’t that they did something to cause it. In fact, they tried to help by taking me to a positive trainer and making sure I wasn’t overwhelmed by things, but whilst this prevented things from getting a lot worse, it was a bit like putting on a plaster and not addressing the real issues underneath.
I then had a couple of very scary experiences: one at a groomers; one at the vets when I was poorly; and one with another dog. These were things that a lot of dogs would have just taken in their stride, or had a little wobble and recovered again, but I didn’t have the core skills and resilience to be able to do this. It then didn’t matter how much my home loved me or wanted to help, I just couldn’t cope and my behaviours became very difficult to manage.
I really don’t like other dogs, not at all, they are soooooooo scary that I just cower and run away really fast. In fact, just sniffing a blanket that another dog has been lying on (with the other dog not even in the same building) can make me cower and tremble.
People are really tricky for me too. I really like to be with people BUT I get very worried about being touched and depending on the situation this makes me go still and ‘compliant’, or I dash around and scrabble about and throw myself at you like a wiggling worm so you can’t actually get hold of me but I can make contact with you, or sometimes cower and do a little wee or sometimes I growl and snap and have to defend myself to make people go away. But then I panic because I don’t actually want to be separated from you either. It’s exhausting feeling so conflicted.
I think it was also really hard for my first home because sometimes I would seem to be ok with things and sometimes I wasn’t. Sometimes I would want to climb up next to them for a cuddle, but sometimes I would growl and snap. Sometimes I would want to play, but sometimes I would grab and bite at clothing. Sometimes I would be quite happy for them to come up to me if I had something, sometimes I wouldn’t. And that was pretty exhausting for them too.
Aunty Lisa says this is all about communication and, in this case, a great big breakdown in communication! And it is at the heart of a lot of the things that make me really anxious and stressed.
However, I am also a nearly-teenager! This seems to make people roll their eyes because apparently teenagers swing from being mischievous menaces to worried walnuts to over-aroused whirling dervishes with no self-control in the blink of an eye! Apparently this is pretty normal, but unfortunately when you are a little Jiminy Cricket with all these other issues, it makes things really very tricky indeed and especially as I don’t have the right ‘foundation skills’ to draw on to help me cope with this.
So in a nutshell, i’m in a bit of a pickle. But here I am and Aunty Lisa has a cunning plan to see if she can help me unravel my worries, destress, learn how to manage myself and communicate properly and, most importantly, to find my happy. For now, i’m just learning about my new environment and Aunty Lisa (and the team that help) are learning about me. There is no pressure to have to ‘cope’ with anything, I have my own little safe space with comfy beds, familiar things from home, things to chew and, best of all, I get little surprise activities delivered through the day for me to explore and do in my own time 🙂
I hope you’ll stay in touch with me as I go on this next stage of my journey.
see my main page here: https://www.caninethinking.com/rescue-btrf-cricket