Other problems were arising.
Brin had a dislike of young men, sudden footsteps and doorways.
Wherever I was, Brin would be stuck to me like glue and because of this he took to protecting me from everything and everyone, including my youngest son.
I had become his lifeline and he was going to make sure I was always in his sight.
The dogs also became a little wary and would slink around trying to become invisible and this was not a good situation to be in.
Discipline was not going to be easy for it had taken so long to gain his trust that any form of deprivation or punishment by removing him completely from a situation was going to be tough so I sought advise from a trainer.
Brin greeted her on her arrival and we spent a while talking about his past and the problems that were occurring. She agreed this was no ‘ordinary’ dog but we already knew that.
Although I had worked hard with him already and taught him to stay, sit and wait the issues of protecting me were the real focus of why I needed help.
Out came ‘Clickers’, treats and toys from a very hefty black bag and my heart sank. This was not a dog that could be tricked and despite all she was telling me I knew that none of this was going to make a difference to Brin. Contempt came from his eyes as he listened to the clicker click away in his ear as if say ‘really?…you think that is going to work on me?..fat chance’…
I then sought further advise from an animal healer friend who has worked with all kinds of animals and achieved amazing results. Pippa came and spent time just sitting with Brin and laying her hands across his back. To witness his reaction was humbling and he lay on the ground as if melting away. There were few people that could touch him like this as his ribcage and tail area were extremely sensitive, both mentally and physically, to this dog who had suffered such horrific abuse at the hands of the Taliban.
Two more sessions later and the difference in him was becoming evident and, although, he would never become a totally relaxed soul, he seemed to be starting to let go of many of the tensions that overshadowed his recovery.
One of the problems I had, and eventually solved, was Brin leaping from the car whenever I opened the door to let him out. This could be pretty frightening, especially near the busy road where I live. I had begun to learn my own ‘superpowers’ and managed to achieve complex physical contortions that I had no idea I was capable of while trying to stop him flying through the door. In my frustration, when one day he leapt over the parcel shelf and out of the open boot, I took to extreme measures.
In a quiet street I parked up and went to open the door. Brin was ready for action but I was quicker. Every time I opened the door I would slam it shut, causing him to back away onto the seat. Every time I did this I would shout ‘wait!’. Over and over I did this, until I was exhausted and he had stopped rushing forward. It took, in all, over 2 hours in total. I drove my car to another area and repeated the whole exercise and to my amazement Brin made no moves towards the door as I opened it and I was able to reach in and take his lead.
To this day Brin will not come out of the car unless I say so, even if my other dogs have left already. It was a huge relief and I was able to feel less on a knife-edge every time I took him out.
Our next step would be the forest…