One of my furry friends is a rescue, her life before her new family is a mystery, as most rescue animals are. I walk her three times a week and our friendship is a new one. When we are out and about walking she has such a zeal and enthusiasm and can’t wait to get moving. There is another side to my dear little friend though, one that shy’s away from my hand if I go to pet her, or looks down and shrinks when I want to wipe her paws, she becomes timid and very afraid. The family she has now loves her and is committed to her, but it is obvious that life before this new home wasn’t so easy. I often will sit with her when we are done our walk and I work at connecting with her, petting her back and talking to her softly, assuring her that my hands are friendly ones and that she is safe. It breaks my heart when I look in her eyes to see the pain and uncertainty there. I think as humans, we often feel we are the only species capable of feeling sadness, that we have a monopoly on heartbreak. At some point in this dear little girls life, she suffered and it is present when you look into her eyes and when you watch her interact, she wants to trust you, but she’s also gone down that road and it hasn’t worked out so well for her. Rescues are a work in progress, they take a lot of time, patience and trust that things can change. Right now she is anxious, fretful that things could be bad again. It is hard to live with a pet that suffers from anxiety , has accidents or makes a mess in our home, I have been there and I get it. It’s hard to stay patient and go the distance when your carpet is covered in stains or your couch is chewed up, but if we as caregivers can accept there is no perfect, and that if we can stay committed and work on forging a new bond with this troubled little soul, one day things can be better and they can heal and perhaps teach us a life lesson along the way. I don’t think they ever truly forget their former lives, often with my old guy he yelps and cries out in his sleep and he when he wakes he seems befuddled which turns into relief when he realizes where he is. As for my new little friend, I will keep hoping for her that with each cuddle and passing day in her new life, that she will blossom.