Paw Slapped

“You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him discover it within himself.” Galileo Galilei

We are in our fourth week with Scout, our breeder-dog rescue. And it has been two paws forward, one back.

Scout slowly grew used to us. She would still scamper if I looked at her, but not as quickly,  especially if I was in the magic kingdom of…the kitchen.

At night, when we’d settle down on the couch, she’d sit between us to be pet, even snuggle against my leg. Progress, sweet progress.

She did have some quirks. If I offered her a treat from my hand, she would often shy away. But, if I had a sandwich on the couch, she’d try to snout-shove my hand from the plate to get some. Suddenly, she’s a hungry sumo wrestler.

Those who haven’t followed our breeder rescue story, Scout’s prior life was producing countless litters her four years on this planet. She had no social skills, had never been walked.

This week we took her for her third walk of Long Beach “street life.” She sniffed around a tree, her first time knowing whiz-mail. But she didn’t find anything whiz-worthy:

Back at home, I thought it was time for some early training.

Mistake. Big mistake.

I had trained our past pooch, Bailey, to sit and wait before charging to her dish for a treat. I thought Scout was ready to start that self-discipline.

But when I told Scout, softly, to, “stay” with my hand out, palm forward, it was as if that hand had hurled a brick. She jumped back, frightened, then flew, a black blur off to her crate.

Later, Cheryl, to remove some food around her mouth, swished a damp cloth across it. Scout leaped like the cloth was sandpaper.

That day and the next Scout would have nothing to do with us. We were definitely on the outs. No couch, no pets, no snuggles.

We took it all as a paw-slap to the back of the head. It was our turn to learn: We gotta remember…this is not…your “routine rescue.” We have since learned that one shouldn’t even stare at breeder rescues, they effectively have PTSD.

So for the last few days, trying to regain her trust, we left her to her own inclinations.

Yesterday morning she approached in the kitchen. She accepted two treats from me. Awwright!

Then, in the afternoon, Cheryl, shopping, was gone for hours. (Yes new dog beds included. Can’t have too many dog beds around here.)


Eager for Cheryl’s return, sharp-eared Scout listened for every rustle from the hallway:

Scout at door.

Finally, Cheryl, like a Marine, home from the Middle East…marched in. Toward the end of this video, you can still see shyness. Nevertheless, it was a welcome home:


It’s being open to learning.

From each other.

It’s a mutual thing.

Like love.

Scout close.jpg

Be well,


5 replies »

  1. After rescuing a breeder cat 10 years ago, I can somewhat relate to the challenges. Bella is a constant reminder to me that patience, constancy, love and catnip can repair most of the damage. She’s also a constant reminder to me to always be mindful of the scars that don’t show. Scout is a beautiful little girl. Thanks for sharing her progress.


  2. So nice to see you, too, Adrianne, and your dog, BB. It’s nice to be out and about with our Scout. It’s a slow go though, walking her, as I’ve written and shown. But she is, as you say, our “new bundle of love,” and she’ll be getting more used to life on the “outside” as we go along. We just need to be patient. Thank you for your kind words. We’ll see you around the ​neighborhood soon again. Lee


  3. Lee, I just met you today walking my dog BB. I know Cheryl but did not know her name. I actually know her from seeing her walking Bailey for years, while I walked my old dog, Snapple & more recently BB. Your story about Scout is so unbelievably emotional, so sad yet so hopeful. I wish you both years of happiness with your new bundle of love & fluff. Adrianne


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