Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Thursday, November 15, 2012

More on no hopers...

My son's old dog Flint. Nice dog, but hurt for life by ill treatment.

The strange looking photo of an old photo above is of my son, a lot younger, with his dog Flint. (Gone long ago) We got Flint from the SPCA at about 4 months of age, but he was already fearful. I think he had been badly treated and he cowed away from you rolling his eyes in fear when you came near too quickly. He was loved by my son and our family and improved over time, but he never ever lost it. He was fine with our family. In fact our handicapped girl could hit him, fall on him, get tangled in his chain and he never got stroppy. But when visiting children rushed up to him he would often give a warning growl or even an snap of his teeth. I suspect as a young dog he had been mistreated by young boys. Whenever some of my sons' friends came around I would make sure he was tied up and warn them to stay away. But thinking he looked friendly enough they would rush up and get a fright. He was responding to them from his early experiences of ill treatment.
I had a counsellor/social worker tell me that when we are growing up if we don't get appropriate expressions of love at certain stages in our development a certain part of the brain does not develop properly and we are marred emotionally for life. A specialist in mental health disease told me that sometimes people get trapped at the emotional age they were at when their mental health troubles started. 
Many of the "No hopers" (people with no hope in their life) are just like old Flint was. Ok, but scarred for life and responding to the world around them from that time of injury. They are truly wired differently.  Through no fault of their own. 
This morning I went to assist with an alcoholic mother and her 18 year old son, both hung over and still drunk asleep on a dirty old mattress stashed on the mud under Phoenix Lodge at the back of the Night Shelter. So so very sad!

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