There are very few people that have not read, or heard of the Gruffalo and although you may think he is a scary monster, he is in fact scared of the smallest thing... a mouse. When I collect dogs, I try and give them names to reflect their personalities, so when I saw a big old, gangly shepherd mix, who should be scary but is scared of everything, he had to become the Gruffalo.
Gruffalo is a typical larger, older dog who went into the kill pound, and was a target straight away. The other dogs attacked him, refused to let him eat, and slowly he got more and more withdrawn. When I met him he was in a sorry state, however, after his 21 days he was even worse. He had numerous bite marks and had the look of please kill me now.
The fact he was so skinny is simply food, there is nothing medically wrong with him, but he will not eat with the other dogs through fear of being attacked. Thee are the dogs that break my heart, the ones that do nothing wrong, yet struggle to survive in the world. Slowly slowly he is beginning to learn that food is something that happens often, and he can eat as much as he wants.
On top of food the other thing that the Gruffalo craves is love, and attention, and kindness. All he wants is to be close, and feel that humans do actually want him near, So, when I am stood and I feel a head nudging on my leg or arm, I know who it will be. He doesn't impose, he doesn't force himself but he wants to be near, and know that everything is going to be ok. When I look into his eyes I can see years of hurt, and I make sure that everyday I give some of my time to this big old Gruffalo and make him realize that life will get better and that one day he will have a home of his own.