By Julie Morris
Mulligan’s story started about 2 years ago when his pregnant mother arrived on a farm in Coligny. The owner of the farm kept 2 pups and gave mum and the rest of the pups away.
He’d lost every dog he’d ever owned to Biliary so he decided to lock Mulligan and Duff away in an outside room so they wouldn’t get sick. In his own way he truly thought he was doing the best for them. They were fed daily and saw their owner for breakfast and supper but never saw the outside world. Then their owner passed away and they were left all alone.
Their owner’s brother fed them but they were petrified of the outside world and people, wanted to make friends but had no clue how to do it. So, they came to Border Collie Rescue for a long period of rehabilitation. Duff went into a foster home fairly quickly, Mulligan stayed at the kennels for around 7 months. They were both on Clomicalm to help them with their anxieties which turned into OCD behaviour, running circles, pacing etc.
I lost my old man and needed another “man of the house” so decided to bring him home. Mulligan has had a habit of forcing our hand in the past and that continued at home, we really wanted to let him do things at his own pace. The first 2 nights he slept outside in a corner, we put blankets down as it was cold, left the door to the bar open and put a bed in there too but that was just too scary. The 3rd night he howled all night so the 4th night I had no choice but to pick him up and bring him inside.
We brought him in for an hour during the day so his first experience of inside wouldn’t be in the dark and that night he slept in for the first time. Woke up at 3am to the sound of “rip” shot down the passage and he had pushed himself behind a sofa by the window and panicked and ate a bit of the sofa when he got stuck. We just pushed the sofa right up against the window so he couldn’t get behind it and crawled back to bed. Woke up to a sea of pee but that didn’t worry us, just cleaned up with no scolding.
Second night again we picked him up and brought him inside, he’d found a “safe” place inside by now, a dog bed in the corner of the room, left a bowl of water down as well and happy to report since that second night there have been no accidents in the house.
He impressed us by taking food from my son’s hand from day one, we weren’t expecting that to happen for a few months. We were expecting him to hide under a bush for the first 2 weeks and not come out but he’s been incredibly brave and adapted well!
Mulligan had a few safe spots in the garden to hide in and spy on us but now he’s happier to sit out in the open and watch us whilst he’s sunbathing. We were thrilled when he started to walk in and out the bar on his own quite happily, given his background walking into a building was a huge deal for him, he even started to lay on the bed we’d put in there for a few hours in the day.
Gave us all a panic the next week, he’d come into the house almost every morning for a few seconds but never stayed in, literally walked into the lounge, looked round and walked straight back out again. I was hanging washing out, saw him come out the bar but didn’t see where he went, Looked round the garden and no sign of him, called him and nothing! Looked over the neighbour’s wall just in case, checked the garage in case I’d closed him in by accident, was about to see if he’d found my shepherds hole to her den under the bar which i’d blocked, maybe he could squeeze past? The last place I looked as I wasn’t expecting to see him there was inside on his bed and sure enough there he was! Big happy dance that he’d been brave enough to do that!
Since then he’s been coming in at night all by himself, don’t have to pick him up and carry him in anymore and he loves to sit in the sun on his bed inside during the day.
We are working on the 5pm to 11pm time slot now to let him know its safe to come inside then too.
He comes running up to both me and my son now when we get home, tail wagging and happy to see us, stays long enough for a chin tickle, we can both stroke him when he’s inside during the day, he doesn’t bolt anymore.
Seeing little improvements every day and he has truly blown us away with the level of progress he has made in such a short time. Getting on like a house on fire with my other dogs, Jenna a German Shepherd (he loves a good game of tag with her), Foxy my antisocial Border Collie female bitch even plays with him. Prince the dachshund has taken a little longer to stop bugging him every time he moves but even he has come round, small dog syndrome, eish!
I’ve been slowly decreasing the Clomicalm but have replaced it with the Regal Stress and Anxiety Remedy and have seen fantastic results. He should be off the Clomicalm and solely on the Regal Stress and Anxiety Remedy by the end of the year!
Next thing is to give him a bath but that can wait until summer arrives!