Tag Archives: freeze response

just dogs, hah…

One time I was in traffic court waiting for the Judge. There was an mean grumpy older black woman sitting on the bench waiting with me. She had a boy perhaps five years old with her. This boy had a light, a radiance, a glow about him and the sweetest smile and personality. I just wanted to hug and kiss him he was so adorable. He could not sit still as children of that age who are normal cannot do. He was full of energy and entertaining and no one minded as he made everyone smile. Everyone but the grumpy grandmother or mother. She said something to him like If you don’t sit down and be quiet, I am going to get the police to lock you up and put you away.  It was a horrible thing to tell a young child and especially a boy who clearly wanted attention and had a loving heart. I told her to knock it off that it was an awful thing to tell a child and I told the boy, she is lying to you. The biotch got mad and humppphhhhed away, tried to threaten me first with a Mind Your Own Business before I tell the police about you.  I was NOT afraid of her idle threats but what about the boy who did not know any better??? What would he believe???   Would he live a life of fear ??? I prayed for that boy for a long time, that he find a better home filled with loving people who would give him the love and attention he needed.

Another time I was in a supermarket going through the aisles when I heard a baby cry. It was not just crying, it was screaming loud and hysterical. Could not stop crying. The father did not know what to do and was trying to shut the baby up in a very crude manner.  I could not walk by like everyone else. I prayed first for healing and angels around the baby and me. I approached gently and asked if I could pray with them.  Miraculously, he said yes. As I prayed, I could feel that the father and baby were calming down and by the end, the crying baby subsided.  I softly suggested to the father that in my experience when babies are upset, it is usually because the people around them, their caretakers are upset. And that if he could just relax himself, that would be help the baby, too. He was very thankful, relieved and happy.

It is the same with dogs as it is with children, pretty much. How adults treat dogs and children has impact, negative or positive.  I don’t know how anyone could say just dogs . Have you ever met a dog, had a dog, or know someone who loved a dog? Do you have a heart?  Eyes to see?

Any two bit bully can scare those weaker than them in size and muscle. But it takes a TRUE HERO to overcome their fears.

That’s one reason it really irks/irritates me when people say they’re just dogs. Twice yesterday, I had to tell people this saying M. Vick killed a few dogs is like saying Hitler killed a few Jews (actually besides the 8 million Jews he killed, there were 6 million Gypsies, disabled, Socialists and others Hitler had killed)… Most people do not know that.

Here are some of the Vicktory dogs. They are not “just dogs” …  They are HEROES in the truest meaning of the words. So when people say they are just dogs, show them these just dogs, proudly, seven of them are now therapy dogs… Pay tribute to these dogs.

Now look at these dogs and I double dog dare you to tell me these sweet innocent loving beings are just dogs. Anyone who says that is just plain ignorant … NO dog is just a dog. And these dogs are the BEST dogs on the planet.  Super dogs who have not only survived horrific abuse of the worst kind but most are thriving thanks to the loving care, patience, and TLC they received from loving people at Badrap, Best Friends, Monterey SPCA, Our Pack, and others and their adopters, foster parents, and other volunteers). These are heroes.

Most of these dogs did not know how to be dogs. They were not socialized, had never been on a leash, never had toys to play with, did not sleep on a bed, were chained up 24/7, they never experienced any affection from humans or been in a car or groomed. They were often terrified of humans and pancaked (lay flat on the ground unmoving) a form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, exhibited a freeze response to life-threatening situations. In the wild, animals can make the choice of flight (flee) or fright but their body can make a third choice in extremely dangerous situations, and that is to freeze. Being immobile, they become almost invisible to predators. Not human predators, but other animals. Given that many of these dogs froze at the sight of the dangerous predator humans they knew, anyone with a heart cannot bear the idea of what they went through. The terror that they experienced. Makes me cry and sick to my stomach every time I think about it and I try not to think about it.

So for the record, these are NOT his dogs, he proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he did not deserve them. They are MUCH TOO GOOD. And if anyone deserves AWARDS, it is the heroic Vicktory dogs. For their bravery, for overcoming all of the odds, for letting go of their fear/terrors, for learning how to be dogs, for leaping over their obstacles, and learning to love and forgive human beings. For their service to humanity. For all of the good that they’ve done and for all of the hope they bring to the world.

This book is their story… it is inspiring, hopeful and an amazing read… written like a mystery, I read it in two days, could not put it down.


This is Jonny Justice, a therapy dog, a reading with kids dog


this is Mel, Richard Hunter’s dog…


these are the three dogs that I met personally at the Monterey SPCA, Ginger, Stella and Red (now deceased from cancer).



Slide show: where the dogs were in 2010


Vicktory dogs 2011

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