Update on Gerry (was Charlie) the Collie who lived for some time in the woods alone



Gerry is one of the saddest dogs I’ve ever had to foster. When I look at him I nearly cry…his eyes seem to tell of years of suffering and I wonder what was done to this old boy that has made him so terrified of everything.

We got Gerry last Sunday and he was literally rigid with fear when I tried to stroke him. He is rake thin and the only thing that he responded to for the first few days was food…he couldn’t get enough of it! He still can’t.Having lifted him out of the car I brought him into my kitchen and he was just overwhelmed and lay there shaking. So I coaxed him into the utility where the door is wide open into the kitchen for him to come in…Yesterday, 5 days after being with us, he made his first tentative steps into the kitchen.

For the main part Gerry lies on the mat in the utility. For the first two days I had to lift him outside to let him do his business. He would be rigid in my arms and so petrified it would break your heart.He goes out himself now with me, keeping very close to me and once he’s done he immediately runs back inside, body crouched low to the floor, as if terrified that he’ll be left outside.Yesterday evening the sun shone in the back door and he lay closer to the opening of the door but he still didn’t go outside.

In the last few days Gerry greets us with a gentle wag of his tail so we’re making progress ! But when I kneel beside him and stroke him he once again crouches to the floor and the wagging stops. It’s as if he likes to be stroked but can’t relax fully and enjoy it. Gerry is completely submissive to my dogs and keeps to himself. I look at my gang and as they snooze on their bean bags, relaxed and content with their worlds and I look at Gerry who is in his usual spot on the mat (I have a lovely bed with soft bedding and a warm blanket right next to his mat but he refuses to go into it) and I wonder once again what could have happened to this dog that has brought him to this fearful place.

But the good news is that Gerry will never have to face any of those horrors anymore. And in the last few days I have seen some brightness come into those sad eyes and with time and lots of love Gerry will learn that it’s not a bad world after all.

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