Terrissa Jing Shang and Alexis Longo in NYC adopted the 2.5year old Korean Jindo dog, Getty (TT) about 4 weeks ago. Terrissa shares a few stories of what she has learned after adopting Getty. Here is Part 2.
Reflection | Projection
On the first night, we tried to take him out to pee, which posed lots of problems. But, he knew what a leash meant, it made him happy. As soon as his leash was secure, he dashed out the door. He was terrified, he wouldn’t let us touch him, he growled at people in the elevator so we had to ask people to take the next one, or we had to wait for an empty elevator. He lead us, and would not follow any of our directions. As soon as he got outside, he looked around, and ran towards the door, telling us he wants to go home, so we did. Sadness and worry filled my heart because I wanted him to pee, but I knew that he was out of his comfort zone, and personally, I knew how that felt. I know that fear, the terror, and the anxiety that he must be feeling. So, we went home, to the place where he felt safe.
As soon as he got home, he went back to his spot. The next morning, I discovered that he had finished his water and food. I was ecstatic that he was eating and drinking.
The second day, I left him alone and watched TV near him. I checked on him often by walking near him and calling his name to get his attention but still kept some distance. That night at 12 am, when silence covered the streets, we brought him out again and this time, he peed! He was able to walk around and explore a little, but headed home after 10 minutes. The next day, he was able to stay out a little longer. Then after about a week, he was able to walk around the entire block. I tried to bring him out during the day, but he was frightened of all the people, and all the noise. I forced him to sit down outside with me for 5 minutes just so he can take everything in. And again, day after day, he improved, as I became more comfortable and calm. He used to snatch at everyone and everything, then he only snatched at dogs and those who tried to touch him, and now, he is able to walk around other dogs without growling and lashing out.
I have to tell you that the first couple of days I was fearful too. I didn’t know him yet, I didn’t know what he would do. I didn’t know his body language or his intensions, I was scared and terrified. I dreaded walking by people or dogs because he would bark and jump on them. It makes me question whether his fears were a reflection of mine, or mine were of his. See, on the first day when we went out, I was also hyper-aware of everyone and everything that past us. I was gazing in trepidation 100 feet away making sure there was nothing that would provoke him. The second day, I was more familiar with how he would react, but I was terrified of going around the block at 12 in the morning, I hesitated going further. But soon, we became familiar with each other, we started trusting each other, and we both became unfazed by the busy streets of New York.
Written by Terrissa Jing Shang.
More stories by Terrissa are coming.