Misha’s story isn’t as simple as Bella’s. She didn’t get a good start to life. As a puppy she learned that humans were scary. We will never know exactly what happened to her. We can only guess. What we do know is she was kept outside on a chain, and they aren’t sure if she had regular access to food, water, and shelter. Misha wasn’t even a year old when we rescued her.
Everything scared Misha. Loud noises, strange objects, people raising their hands near her, people raising their voices, people in general, the list goes on. She was a skinny puppy and didn’t have any courage. She wouldn’t have thrived the way she did without Bella. Bella is Misha’s confidence.
When we first got Misha, she would watch what Bella did. She really didn’t know how to be a dog. She ate her food as quickly as possible, like she was afraid someone was going to take it away. She didn’t want anyone to sit next to her either. Bella would cuddle up with someone on the couch, but Misha would be on the floor away from us.
Misha was only afraid of the vacuum because Bella is afraid of the vacuum. Now, she truly is afraid of it, but she just learned it from Bella. She would watch Bella run into the other room so she would just follow. Misha is a follower, not a leader.
It wasn’t easy. Teaching Misha she was safe required a lot of patience, which I plan to go into more detail on in later posts. Eventually she stopped inhaling her food. She finally started letting people sit by her and then began to seek out attention.
Underneath all of that fear and anxiety, was a happy, quirky little dog. She loves when her people come in the door. She wiggles, a lot. When Misha wiggles, her whole back half moves. Her favorite toy in the whole world is a tennis ball. She could run after them for hours and occasionally falls asleep with one in her mouth.
It’s not all rainbows and sunshine for Misha though. She still has her bad days, when the whole world is a terrifying place. One day, she was outside playing when someone set off a firecracker. Misha fell apart. She ran inside and sat on the couch shaking for what seemed like forever. No one could calm her down. When it storms, she breaks down. One night my parents said she sat by their bed shaking so hard they could feel it. However, for the most part, she has more good days than bad. Bella has played a big role in that. Their bond is amazing. They were meant to be together.
Don’t assume the dog with a troubled past is broken and not adoptable. It took a lot of work to get Misha to where she is, but I can’t imagine a life without her and Bella. Seeing how far she has come is so rewarding. We treat her with love and kindness and receive the same from her.