Convincing a dog who’s been left to fend for himself for the last year-and-a-half that you’re trying to help him is never easy.
For the volunteers from the Redland Rockpit Abandoned Dog Project, it had taken months to persuade Bear that humans didn’t mean him any harm.
And it seemed to be working.
Bear, a shambling black dog who had been walking a thin line between survival and starvation in a desolate area near Homestead, Florida, was edging closer and closer to civilization every day.
“They’re in survival mode. They’re just trying to survive. It’s amazing that all this time went by that he was able to make it,” Jessie Pena, vice president of the Redland Rockpit Abandoned Dog Project, shares.
Then something happened that reminded Bear that some humans do, in fact, mean harm.
The dog had gotten so used to friendly hands feeding him, he approached a local man with his tail wagging.
“Last month, one of our volunteers actually saw one of the people who live in a house kick him,” Pena says. “They pulled in and he was so happy to see him. He came close to the guy and as he came close, the guy kicked him.”
But the road to rescue is often paved in patience. And, sometimes, sausage.
The Redland volunteers kept coming back, armed with snacks: chicken, sausage and all kinds of treats.
Bear would creep close enough to scarf down the food, but always keep just out of reach of hands and leashes, until one fateful day.