Copper came to me at 11 weeks old from probably one of the worst puppy farms in the country. To this day I still don’t know if she was an “Irish import” puppy, aka farmed over there for sale over here. I’ll never know but that’s okay, I have the dog that’s in front of me. She’s hard work but she’s worth it.
Prior to me getting her I was anxious, severely depressed and suicidal, and not much life was left in me. I was just aching for some company and someone who I felt understood me without judgement, and that someone happened to be Copper. We both come with our own challenges, for me, it was depression and anxiety, for her it was, well, everything and anything in the big bad world, below and behold, she has anxiety also.
The world scared her, it scared both of us. When I first got her she had never walked on grass before, and even wet herself on her first car ride out of fear, she would even hesitate before eating from her dinner bowl, she wouldn’t even trust anyone new to her, she just put on her theatrics of barking and protecting me. She still doesn’t trust people readily except for “her” select few people. Throughout the whole time we were together she grew and flourished and so did I. My doctors couldn’t believe the progress I was making in such a few months, and in turn, I couldn’t believe how Copper came out of her shell. In the end, neither could the behaviourist who was working alongside us. Through the strength I have found in Coppers wagging tail, demanding barks and bright eyes I managed to complete my college course, graduate with my animal behaviour degree inspired by her and enter the world of veterinary care. Because of that, I will always be grateful, especially to our behaviourist who confirmed to us the world may be bad, but there are small steps we can take to make it better and bearable just for us. We both still have good and bad days, and neither of us will particularly ever be fond of strangers, but we know we will always have each other.