We adopted Chilli Dogg one day unexpectedly from the SPCA. When we first saw him, he was covered in mange, he could hardly stand, let alone walk as he had no muscles in his back legs. We made up our minds there and then that we couldn’t leave without him.
We brought him up as best we could (with the limited knowledge that we had) but his previous traumatic experiences affected him in a huge way.
He was extremely nervous of men. He avoided every uneasy situation. He used to eat stones to give the illusion that his “stomach was full”.
I did the Level 1 Instructors Course. WOW. I learnt so much. My mind was blown by how all of a sudden I started understanding Chilli so much more.
On Level 2 and 3 we were allowed to bring our dogs. Chilli was so nervous. New smells, new people, new dogs. It was all so overwhelming that he threw up everywhere.
We struggled for the first few days to get him to approach anyone but we persevered and we made it to the end of Level 3 (with a little help from me crawling through the mattress to give Chilli the confidence to do it).
Straight after, I enrolled him at SADTC as we couldn’t get enough. I couldn’t get over how his personality was changing. He was going up to a few people to get scratches and treats. He was understanding what I wanted from him.
After enrolling him in bite work, he became a new dog. He had this new found confidence. He realises he no longer has to be scared of people, even big scary men. He now defends instead of hiding behind me.
Now he walks up to everyone, demands scratches and if they stop scratching, he nudges for more scratches.
It’s been nearly 2 years that Chilli and I have been at SADTC and I am so proud of what we have accomplished and we still have so much more to still look forward to.
I will forever be grateful to SADTC! They have changed our lives like I never thought possible. I trust Chilli with all of me and I know he feels the same.
The bond we share is truly one of a kind. BEST dog in town!