Adventures with Goji the Dog (1)

Today we went for a walk. Goji decided he wanted to walk in the graveyard. I was like OK – I am happy with that. We go into the graveyard, walk. Have a few sniffs and a few wees here and there. And then we run and hop in the tall grass and Goji is like yeah this is fun. Look at me – I am running and hopping and loving the freedom. I trip and fall on my face and in this moment I fly and Goji is running in circles around me as I look on in bewilderment. Here I am hoping that he won’t run away. I stand up and start running around. I soon realise this is a pointless exercise as he’d run away further. So, I sit on the cushy green grass and wait till I can lurch forward to grab hold of his lead when he dares to come close. Wonder if Goji was thinking look at me you can’t catch me. Goji with the biggest grin on his face is proudly wagging his tail and we go home. My ego slightly bruised. His elevated. Goji was just so happy and it filled my heart with joy to see him enjoy himself and experience the freedom that he could have – if only he could trust us a bit more. It will take time.

Putting on Goji’s harness is another adventure in itself. Frustrating at times. To the point that I just want to walk away and cry. I don’t know what to do in that moment? Do I cry or do I laugh? I am starting to put the harness on display in the house so that he becomes desensitized to it by putting treats near to it. He is my brave big boy as he approaches the harness and eats the treats. Its a start at least. I don’t know if I have pulled out many hairs yet. But I am trusting that there will be a breakthrough soon. He’s such a loveable bundle of joy, he’s already got a piece of my heart. Tugging at my heartstrings. This is just the beginning.

At the moment – I am his best friend. Goji is slightly fearful of my husband. No reason other than the luck of the draw. Or maybe it’s because he’s a male? Was he hurt by a man? So many thoughts go through my mind. I have to trust that things will pan out well for us. And that he will no longer be frightened of the littlest of things. I have to hope that he will embrace life around him and that he will realise that people are not out there to hurt him.

A week ago we were dog less. We were asked that evening to adopt Goji the dog. The answer was simple. Yes we’d adopt Goji. His previous owners and ourselves didn’t feel comfortable with him going to complete strangers. The transition would have been tough for Goji. Now we’ve looked after Goji before on 3 separate occasions. Each time he went home at the end. Only this time he’d be coming to us – his forever home. Did we know what we were getting ourselves into? Probably not! Would it be challenge? I honestly didn’t think that it would be challenging. Thinking – how hard can it be? I’ve grown up with dogs, they always respond to me and want cuddles from me. Little did I know that this would be a different kettle of fish.

Goji is a Kokoni Cross. He is nearly two years old. Loves to cuddle, loves to play ball, and loves to bark. He loves for his voice to be heard. Goji is trainable. We opened our home for Goji on Friday. I bought Goji 3 beds – I kid you not. I wanted him to chose his own bed. I don’t know why I was thinking like that? Perhaps I wanted him to have the best home possible – with all the love a dog could ever wish for. But sometimes the best is just the simple things in life. Goji is teaching us a lot about ourselves. A lot about patience and perseverance. He appears to be a bit fearful. But then that’s to be expected. He’s no longer in the home that he knows and loves. Prior to moving to the Isle of Wight – Goji came all the way from Hungary. A place far away.

The poor little pup was abandoned at 6 weeks old under a car. No wonder he is frightened of the dark. He ended up in a foster home before being transported to England as part of the rescue mission and finding these dogs forever homes. There are so many sad stories of dogs being rescued from kill shelters and from being abandoned and simply neglected to the most horrific abuse that they could experience. It’s frightening to think what man can inflict on animals. How much worse would it be for people.

Fast forward two years – Goji has come into our lives. For what reason – we still have yet to find out. He’s a ball of love and joy. There is a cheeky side to him, but also a deep brokenness. How do we take away that brokenness? How do we take away that fear? And turn it into freedom and happiness for a dog? I pray that he will become a happy, joyful little creature. Goji has so much love to give. So much to give, and yet at the same time he’s fearful to be loved.

So let the adventures begin with Goji the dog.

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