Animal Care Assistant Simon McArdle
Knowing I can help other dogs like Wolfie gives me the motivation to get up every day and do the job I love.
Wolfie’s tough start
Wolfie originally came from a small house where he had been kept with 12 other dogs.
He was around three years old when he came into the centre but had never even been outside for walks. He was scared of the outside world. Everything was new to him and it made him very nervous.
As you can imagine, he was extremely frightened when he came into our care. Moving to a new place and meeting new people can be daunting for any dog but for Wolfie who had been neglected and under-socialised, it was terrifying.
An incredibly frightened pup
Wolfie was in fine physical condition when he arrived at the centre but he had some serious mental struggles to overcome. Even having a lead put on or walking into an unfamiliar room was frightening for Wolfie. It was heartbreaking to see him so utterly frightened by such simple things.
So we began special training to help him tackle his fears.
We allowed Wolfie to explore his new surroundings at his own pace and didn’t force him into anything that made him uncomfortable. All the things a dog would normally love - spending time with people, getting fussed, playing games with toys - were things that made Wolfie scared, so we worked hard to turn these into positive experiences.
Being around other dogs gave him a lot more confidence so in the early stages we walked him with a dog buddy to help him feel secure. The whole team helped him overcome his fear of new people by giving him a little time every week. We showed him different parts of the centre and gave him extra tasty treats so he could make a positive association.
With a lot of patience and love, and the team of animal loving staff at the centre, Wolfie’s confidence began to grow. He started to relax and realise that he didn’t need to be afraid of new people. He even started to enjoy fuss and playtime!
Wolfie’s new home
I offered to foster Wolfie so we could learn a bit more about his behaviour in a home environment and give him a break from the kennels.
He settled straight in and became much braver when facing new situations. The dog that was even scared of his lead began to love going out for long walks and would pester me to play with him all day long!
As time went on it became harder to imagine life without him. Seeing how much he had changed and grown in confidence was amazing. He had become such a happy and loving dog that soon there was no question - I had to adopt him!
Why I love my job
Being able to provide the love and care that will give an animal a second chance at a happy life is amazing. Hearing from new owners how happy they are in their new homes is an unbeatable feeling.
Dealing with animals that have suffered from neglect and cruelty will always be hard but knowing I can help other dogs like Wolfie gives me the motivation to get up every day and do the job I love.