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Tina was so terrified and distrustful of humans that we used video footage of her for a training video demonstrating dogs exhibiting extremely fearful body language.
When the Behavior Rehabilitation Program, started up at the SPCA of Texas, our Behavior team was worried Tina might be too fearful to participate. Thankfully, they decided to take a chance on this trembling, wide-eyed Chihuahua and start her on a journey of trust-building and socialization.
Her first evaluation in the Behavior Rehabilitation Program didn’t go so well. Tina snapped at her handler when they tried to apply a slip lead and displayed several other serious behavior concerns. The first two months were frustrating, as Tina was only making very limited progress. But around the start of the third month in the program, Tina started to show promise. She started to trust the behavior staff enough for them to handle her for brief periods of time.
The seemingly-magical part of the Behavior Rehabilitation Program is that we get to see the dogs’ progress at different paces. We enlisted Flower, another Chihuahua from the same rescue and a fellow BRP dog, to help Tina with her trust issues. Flower’s mentorship gave Tina the breakthrough she needed. Tina began to open up, and continued to improve even after Flower graduated from the program and found her forever home.
Six months after being rescued, Tina is a different dog. She wags her tail excitedly when she sees her favorite people, or even strangers (provided they have a piece of cheese in their hand). Tina loves the camera – the flash and click don’t bother her one bit! Tina is now herself a “helper” dog for her BRP friends who are still struggling to trust humans.
When she walked through the adoption lobby for the first time, she ran over to the plastic Christmas tree in the center of the room and began investigating the pile of toys and treats under the artificial branches (which were all clearly put there just for her). This sweet, doe-eyed Chihuahua has transformed from a terrified rescue to a confident little ball of sass! It’s clear that Tina is ready to go to a loving, forever home!
Tina is now available for adoption at the Russell H. Perry Animal Care Center in McKinney, Texas. If you’re interested in adopting Tina, come in for a visit or give us a call at 214-742-7722.
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