Winning Her Trust & Giving Fennario Her Name
Updated: Jun 14
This was my first full day with my new sweet little girl...
A little background...
The people who I had gotten her from said it was their third litter with their two dogs, and that they never intended for that, or wanted it to happen. The thing is, they kept their unfixed female with their unfixed male in a fenced in yard. To be gentle, I'll say it this way, you gotta be a complete and utter fool to not expect puppies in a setting like that. That level of stupid is actually quite impressive, while being simultaneously scary.
Anyway, they didn't want the pups. This is the story he told me. Fennario was good until they got rid of all of her siblings. She was the last one. Some tree planter guy came and took her home. The next day, he got a two or three month contract, so he couldn't keep her, and brought her back. From there, they were kinda done with it all, but took her back.
When I came to see her, she was just living under a shed. The family is in and out. Her parents are in the house with the rest of them. Fennario is by herself outside under this shed, not allowed in the house. It was close to the highway, so it was loud. She was terrified! He had to coax her out with raw meat just so I could see her. Before I say anymore, look at her body language in these two photos...
These photos break my heart, and infuriate me, but also make me so glad that I got to bring her home with me...
You can see that she's just petrified! Thankfully, that's in the past though. Sadly, I had to leave her with them for a couple more weeks as I was about to move from town to a beachfront place up the lake.
When I brought her home, she cried, foamed at the mouth, and didn't even want to be approached. She went to the bathroom both ways, and vomited as well. It was horrifying! I was so thankful when I got her to our place. I put a collar and leash on her, but that wasn't easy. She was so afraid that she fought to keep herself pressed up against the back of the dog crate I had in my van. I just wanted to get her into our house. What I learned right fast though is that her neck/mane is thicker than her head, and she slipped out from her collar like it was nothing. That was not good. She shot under my van, and stayed away from me every time I tried to get her. That really scared me, because if she popped off into the bush and got away, that would be that. My heart just sunk from it all.
Literally just before last light, when I could hardly see her, I got my hands on one of her paws. (Enter another layer of trauma for her.) Finally, in the house...safe and sound! I tried my best to make her comfortable, but all she did was cry, and foam at the mouth. After a good chunk of time rolled by, I finally went to bed. She cried all night long...allllll night loooong! It completely broke me!
I checked on her through the night, but that didn't change a thing. It was one of the longest nights of my life. This poor little creature...
So, when I got up in the morning, I unlocked her pen, but I didn't approach her. Everything was going to be on her terms. She wasn't budging though. At some point, I decided to get a handful of food, and kneel on the floor with my back to her. I stretched my hand behind me with the food cupped in it, and I stay there, motionless, for as long as it took. Eventually, I felt her tiny weeny little warm tongue and nose on my hand followed by little crunches. After a few of them, I verrrry slowly turned toward her, and she didn't move away. I then slowly moved my hand in front of me, so she could eat while making/keeping eye contact. She was a little reluctant, but did it slowly, and very timidly.
When she ate a few pieces of food in front of me, I started talking to her a bit in the most comforting voice I could, and eventually after one of the bites, she licked my hand and looked up at me with her first little doggie smile. I slowly started petting her, and immediately called her Fennario. That was the moment that made us inseparable.
We hung out for a little bit more, and then good to go, so I got to work on penning up my deck with chicken wire, so I could just leave the door open, and she could do her thing.
The timidness has never left Fennario, and it makes me sad, but she is the sweetest thing. I bring her pretty much everywhere I go. She has melted hearts from across the world as she came to work with me for years at a hotel. Even the most hardcore dog loving people have told me many times that they have never seen an animal as attached to a human as she is with me. I am the only thing Fennario cares about. She doesn't know how to be without me, and I don't ever want to be without her, so it kinda works out. (Giggle.) We've been all over the place together, and she's even finished a triathlon with me.
Photo by Gary Winslow at The Pavilion Lake, BC triathlon in 2018
My Fennario is the sweetest ever!
After I got back from seeing Dead & Company in Chicago in June 2019
Pre-race triathlon hugs in Penticton, BC in August 2018
Christmas eve swim 2015
Takin' a break from chopping wood