An update on Violet from adopter, Sue Hawkard.
‘My Girl Violet
Words to describe her have quite simply got to be: Adorable, Loving, Kind, Gentle, Biddable, Calm, Sensitive, Sweet, Happy, Playful….but to name a few!!!! I am the luckiest girl in the world to have been able to adopt this beautiful girl and in return without compromise or hardship Violet will have the love, trust, understanding, security, fun, and comfort that she so so deserves.
Violet arrived here on Saturday 17th June 2017 in the truly capable and loving hands of Simon and Pete from Pet Transport in Spain.. She had spent 2 nights in Ministry Kennels and had undergone Vet checks and vaccines prior to travel and then spent almost 4 days, 3 nights on the road to England and then here to the Lake District where she is now in her Forever Home.
Meeting Violet for the very first time was one of the most emotional moments in the whole of my 55 years of life. The agony of knowing what I was putting her through with the kennels and travel before I could actually start caring for her was quite over whelming. But Simon and Pete are so brilliant that I should not have worried about the days she had with them as she was totally safe and cared for, certainly in the very best of hands.
From the moment I met Violet, I just knew we had a bond that could only deepen. We looked at each other and decided that this was right, we were meant to be together so let the party commence! Pete advised me to keep her safe on a tightly fitting harness and collar whilst she was in this desperately anxious state as so easily accidents can happen early on in the re-homing process and with a dog like Violet, the outcome does not bare the thought. I assured them she was in safe hands and from the moment Violet entered our house she started to relax… I was totally amazed that she didn’t want to instantly hide away… Not a chance of that!!!
She investigated with caution of course the whole of downstairs, ignoring my girl Willow, who is also a Pointer and giving a wide birth to Martin, my husband! After about half an hour she was asking for food and water and then she found a comfy safe spot to sleep…. On the sofa of course! That night I put her in a very large crate and she howled and cried… no way was she happy in there. Needless to say, after much thought I decided that she’d had enough of crates and kennels and that with comfort, trust and security she would be OK and that I could trust her out of a crate at night time. The crate was put away after a week of her completely ignoring and avoiding it and from the moment she arrived she has been perfect in the house. I divide the rooms with a baby gate at night so that she and Willow have a room each and have their own space. During the day the girls are together, happy and have much interaction from me. I work from home so I can plan my day around the dogs and my day with them begins at around 5.45am.
Violet has spent nearly 2 weeks having time off lead in our grounds and she adores it! We go out armed with bits of chicken for re-call and have fun! She is so happy doing this and because we have a safe place and nearly an acre of ground it could not be more perfect. I certainly would not consider letting her off the lead out of our secure area and the next chapter entitled “Life with Violet” will explain why.
Life with Violet
How I would describe Violet is like that of a wild animal…. Once you are accepted in to her life you will be accepted for life and she will trust you implicitly. Her confidence then is in you and she has accepted me as pack leader but put outside of the boundaries of her secure den and the wildness in her will return, hook line and sinker. This can happen at the flick of a switch and something that I will have to always try and guard against, especially in these early days. I have to build her confidence to levels she has never reached in her life, just so that when she is in a vulnerable situation she is able to cope better and will come out of it quicker.
This will also help her immune system fight disease and she will be a much stronger dog. Violet may or may not let many people in to her life in the future… She will choose the people whom she wants close to her. They certainly won’t be won over with a treat or biscuit, she is a wise one and she will go to those whom she wants and feels that she can trust and no amount of treats or time spent are going to win her over.
Dear Sarah, her Foster Mum was able to explain all Violet’s insecurities and fears. I took her on as I felt that our home and life style would suit her perfectly ….. that she would just fit in and that work on building her confidence could begin immediately and in the meantime she would be happy with as little stress as possible. This has turned out to be the case and she has certainly come on leaps and bounds in a very short space of time. Waking up to going to bed she is happy. Little blips along the way, normally involving a human she doesn’t know, maybe just delivering a parcel or new guests in my cottages, but because she is never forced to have direct contact with them. Her observations can be in a secure environment uninterrupted by stress so that she can cope with the situation she has become frightened and unsure of.
How things have turned around with the Tesco deliveries… at first she was scared of the driver arriving, scared of the shopping put on the counters, scared of me putting it away and then scared for at least an hour afterwards as she thought he might be returning or that he was lurking “somewhere” in the house….. now when he has gone, she knows he has gone and yippeeee… the shopping is here, food is here! What’s in there for me? Where are the eggs, where is the chicken, what are you having for tea, can I get in the fridge and have a look please!!!!!!! She makes me laugh and that makes her happy and she almost laughs along too and an experience that once was almost the end of the line for her is now a joyous one! Turning the TV on when she arrived at Howe Foot was simply a NO GO thing to do. Her confidence had to be strengthened in other ways before this extra burden was put upon her shoulders. After 10 days or so, I reassessed her and decided we were ready for the first step. Sound! I had already tested her out with Radio 3 and she was accepting that as the norm so the TV should be OK. It was so for a few days, I did that, put the sound on and she looked at the info page. Great, next step, the tiny pic in the right hand side of the screen… Martin was starting to panic as the coverage of the Tour de France was only days away… THE TV highlight of our year, ha ha!!!So, on day 1 of the Tour de France we had the big screen…. People on bikes was far better than a news reader looking straight in the room. She was brilliant, scared but she never ran away, just hopped on to the sofa next to me, put her head on my lap and watched. Just a few days later she was brave enough to go and sniff the screen! At that point she knew there was nobody about to enter the room, so TV was fully accepted.
My sister has met Violet at our house 4 times since she arrived. Violet is interested in her and will get within 6 feet of her but that is all. She is happy to be in the same room as long as she can sit with me and that Jayne doesn’t decide to get up and move about. If she does, Violet will slink in to the other room and come back when she is finally still. The only time Violet has been touched by anyone apart from me or Martin, since her arrival here has been by the Vet! We had to take her because she developed a suspicious cough and I feared it might be the dreaded kennel cough. I asked if we could have a consultation in our car in the Vet’s car park and this was granted with understanding from my Vets. The Vet came out to the car and we chatted with the door open and Violet was sat next to me. She felt insecure so decided the best place for her was on my knee!!! I then asked the Vet in to the car and asked him to close the door. We chatted a bit more and then when I felt Violet relax a little I asked him to stroke her. She was scared but fine and the examination of her began… temp taken, heart and lungs checked, mouth and throat checked and she just stayed put on my knee. She stayed there whilst Martin drove us home and then I had to carry her out of the car as she was there like glue. Oh but was she happy to get home. Her tail never stopped for ages and she danced on the spot. I was so proud of her that day!
Every new adventure with Violet has to be thought through and dealt with appropriately… that way, once she has experienced it she will remember next time it happens and be confident that it isn’t going to harm her. Working with her is just so rewarding and at times, very emotional! I love this girl with all my heart… I would not change a thing about her. The only thing I wish is that she had not been abused, which she so obviously has been as people really and truly have completely broken her.
I am totally honoured to have been accepted by her and together we can conquer all. The future is ours and one which we will so enjoy together. Life is always going to be just great and we are a really happy family …. Me, Martin, Willow and our gorgeous gorgeous Violet.’
“I cannot thank Pointers in Need enough for letting me have her, for the trust and confidence they have in me and for their continued support and interest. And what is more… I have a new best friend in Sarah, Violet’s Foster Mum! She is the kindest, most caring and loving person I have ever met and she helped me so much with Violet before she arrived here. We had Skype calls at least three times a week and Violet by then certainly knew my voice and had seen me on a computer screen. Sarah and I are totally convinced that this exercise has had a huge impact on her instant acceptance of me.” said Sue Hawkward.
Check out Violet’s photo gallery below:
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