Ben and Bianca: A Story of Healing
We met Ben, the beautiful Border Collie, a few months ago when his family surrendered him to us. The woman said she loved him but that he didn’t get along with the males in the home. They complained that he barked. They wouldn’t have him in the house. She explained that he’d been forced to live on their small balcony. Day after day, month after month with no access to the humans or to the house. No exercise and no stimulation. Terrible, for any dog and for an intelligent, sensitive, dog like Ben, it was torture. He barked excessively and he mutilated his own tail - out of distress and desperation. He was alone, day and night, while his family and the other dog lived just beyond the glass doors. Thankfully, the woman made the decision to save him.
He was extremely anxious In the beginning days. No one could approach him, or make eye contact with him or even talk to him without him spinning and chasing and chewing his tail. He was hyper aware of his surroundings and would react with sudden aggression to whoever was near him. He was clearly traumatized and had no trust of humans. After reading a FB posting about Ben, very kind and dedicated members of the West Coast Border Collie group contacted us and put us in touch with a woman who changed Ben’s life. Bianca Steinmetz is a certified trainer who heard about Ben‘s suffering and immediately offered to help him (at no charge to our rescue group).
Bianca is unlike any trainer we have worked with in the past. There are no commands or demands; no force, or fear or dominance - just a calm and gentle approach to establishing a relationship of trust, cooperation and respect. She is highly sensitive to Ben’s body language and understands his changing emotions. She reinforces desired behaviours with treats and praise and encouragement. With her beside him, he is learning to trust and to live again. For the first time in his life, he is learning to be a dog.
Ben is now going to parks, he is playing with other dogs, and he is meeting new people. Some things still upset him but with patience Bianca is helping him develop the confidence and skills to cope with stressful situations. Her belief in building relationships and changing unwanted behaviours thru respect, patience and cooperation works. Ben is healing. His life has changed.
We are sincerely grateful to Bianca for her dedication to improving the lives of dogs. She is a true Dog Whisperer.
Home At Last Dog Rescue
On our Facebook page, our social group, Westcoast Border Collies (WCBC), shared the story of Ben, a local Border Collie, secured by Home at Last Dog Rescue, who was in dire need of help. Sadly, he came from a home where he had been abused, was living on a small balcony for over three years, with minimal mental and physical stimulation, and he had worms. It was clear he feared humans, was difficult to approach, aggressive at times, lacked confidence and very nervous... to a point where he had mutilated his own tail.
Immediately upon reading his story, Bianca, a WCBC member, graciously stepped up and volunteered her services to work with Ben. She has displayed an unwavering and endearing commitment to helping him overcome his struggles. As a result of Bianca’s knowledge, experience, patience, and kind heart, Ben has truly made remarkable strides. He is healthier, and building the muscle tone he lacked. He is learning to be a dog; to play, observe and engage. He is slowly displaying signs of confidence, and a desire to love and trust. Importantly, because of Bianca, he is gaining the necessary qualities to become a valued member of his future family."
Founder of Westcoast Border Collies Facebook Group