I grew up in Africa and from a young age all I wanted was a dog and a horse.  I would rescue injured birds and snakes, nurse them back to health and release them.  I volunteered at the local animal charity and worked with all types of animals, my forte was always the difficult ones or the ones that no one else wanted.... the under dog.  I would spend hours sitting quietly in the corner of a kennel reading to a traumatised or aggressive dog and slowly but surely they would come around.I always knew I would work with animals in one way or another, we would always find each other.  At a party I would be found in the kitchen chatting to the cockatiel or outside listening to the dogs ..... I guess I was a strange child.There was a liver Doberman that lived up the road and he would follow me to school and was found lying under my desk or outside the classroom door waiting to accompany me to my next class.  I never encouraged him, it just happenedI remember another occasion when I went with my Dad to a junk yard, I got bored and wandered off.  I had found a kennel with 2 huge Boerbulls inside.  My Dad and the junk yard owner found me sitting inside calmly feeding the dogs from their food bowls, the dogs lying down next to me.  The owner was afraid for my safety as no one other than himself ever came into contact with these dogs.We did eventually get a dog, a 16 month old Bull Terrier who had had 2 homes already.  She had a bite history, had broken ribs from being beaten, a broken tail from being slammed in a door and would go from zero to full blown attack mode in a split second. I was 10 years old and absolutely over the moon.
Lucy was a challenge, she wouldn’t walk on a lead, as soon as you attached anything to her she simply lay down and there was nothing I could do to move her.So we didn’t go for walks, we walked in the garden.She was neither food nor toy motivatedShe was a protection dog for us whilst my Dad was away working. She would bite and ask questions afterwards. But with us her family she was the softest creature you could imagine.This dog had been so badly treated by people emotionally and physically in her past and yet she would have given her life to protect us ...WHY??Lucy was the starting point of my journey working with these amazing creatures we call DOGSI now live in Portugal with 7 dogs, 2 of which are easy the other 5 are challenges. I have set up the Awkward But Awesome Program to help owners and their dogsSo let’s look at Building the Bondfor if there is no Bond there is clearly a weak owner/dog relationship and with a weak relationship the outcome for the dog can be detrimentalRe – homingAbandonedKennelled or ConfinedEuthanased

Gail SkinnerAwesome-Dogs.com(00351)  917758404