Early this year, Joell and Darius decided to adopt a hound from Rocket Dog Rescue. One Thursday in February, Rocket Dog founder Pali Boucher brought over a couple of hounds to see if one would work, but none of them had the temperament necessary to live in an environment filled with horses, goats, cats and humans that is Square Peg Ranch. A few weeks later, she returned with a young female bloodhound named Patti that was underweight and skittish but had potential.
The first time I met her Joell had just caught her as she had a habit of running off into the hills and she was leashed and frightened but not aggressive. The first few weeks she lived at the ranch, she would not let me near her; she would cower and walk away whenever I got close. While skittish with everybody, she seemed especially fearful around men; even more so large men like me. I was determined to change that. So one day when I was in Joell’s house I got down on the floor next to her. She came over, checked me out, and for once she let me pet her! As I had hoped, going down to her level made me seem less threatening and thus got her to open up.
Since that day, Patti has been much friendlier towards me. If I surprise her or she’s upset about something, she still may back away, but that happens increasingly rarely. It is far more common for her to enthusiastically greet me if I’m outside, or jump up on the sofa beside me if I’m in the house. She has even become friendlier to children and other men such as my dad. It has been amazing watching this fearful animal transform into a confident and friendly dog and I like to think I played a role in it.
I am grateful to Pali Boucher and Rocket Dog Rescue for saving Patti from a high-kill shelter in Los Angeles and entrusting her to Square Peg. I am also grateful to Patti herself for giving me the chance to prove I will not harm her. Finally, I am grateful to Square Peg for helping creatures in need; be it fearful dogs, unwanted racehorses, or humans with extraordinary gifts and challenges.