To paraphrase Blanche Du Bois in A Streetcar Named Desire, “Whoever you are, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.”
During our socialization walk today we ran across two black gentleman and a young fellow about 12 or so. I try to have Scarlett exposed to all ethnicities and genders to better socialize her. She froze, despite the fact all they were doing was standing on the sidewalk chatting. I calmed her and they noticed us then and inquired about her. I explained she’s my foster, was abused, and she’s still convinced most humans are going to hurt her.
Kinder people I have never met. They were gentle and encouraging and inquired about what kind of cross-breed I thought she was. All in all, we visited about ten minutes with McKinley soaking up all the attention possible while looking at Scarlett as if to say, “Come on over here and get petted.” The adults noticed that McKinley was showing Scarlett the way. And she did get a couple of pats in before scooting away.
They inquired about her being available for adoption and I said I hoped soon, but thought she needed a little more work. The young fellow was absolutely precious with her. “Nobody going to hurt you, baby girl.” They know to contact the SPCA of East Texas if they are interested. They said she’s beautiful and I agreed. I told them she would not hurt a fly in and the right home she’d be a wonderful companion dog.
I thanked them for helping her get on the road to recovery by being willing to encourage her to come over for petting. Scarlett, like Blanche, depends upon the kindness of strangers in her recovery. I could not work with her on socialization skills without people with kind hearts being there to help her learn there is kindness in the world.
Lest you think she’s entirely out of the woods, when we left I moved too fast and she cringed away from me. She’s come a long, long way. We need more kind strangers to get her the rest of the way.