Taking on a rescue dog is always something of a gamble but from day one it was clear we have been lucky with Harry.
We knew nothing of his background, how badly he might have been treated in the past, or whether he was even used to living inside a house. Fortunately, despite his fearfulness of new situations and certain people, he has never shown any sign of aggression and is eager for human attention and affection. He’s gentle and loving; a joy to be around.
Mercifully, since we live in an apartment, he is also one of the quietest dogs I have ever come across. Although our vet suggested Harry’s bark was likely beaten out of him in the past, he is not the entirely mute mutt we first thought him to be and will, on rare occasions, let out a loud and deep bark that belies his small stature.
As for adapting to life in the house, I’m still not sure whether he was house-trained previously or is just a quick learner, but there have been no incidents of mass destruction. This has been a particular relief for Him Indoors, who was nervous about our home being trashed by a psychotic hound from hell.
However, life has not been without its upheavals and one issue we are all facing is Harry’s fear of The Great Outdoors. The mere sight of his leash sends Harry running for cover and if we try to put on his walking harness he rolls onto his back and lies rigid as a corpse.
Once we’ve coaxed him out of the door (fresh chicken or his favourite ball encourage him, but he’s still reluctant) he gets spooked at the drop of a hat. If a dog barks, a bird swoops, or he simply spots someone he doesn’t like the look of, then he will plant his bottom on the floor and refuse to budge.
It’s heartbreaking to see him so frightened and it also means I am left with the option of either dragging or carrying him home, neither of which appeals to me (although Harry seems pretty happy with the latter).
So at this stage it’s looking like he lacks an appetite for adventure and my dreams of exploring Sydney with Harry at my heels are on hold – for now.