Our daughter has a miniature, white and apricot Labradoodle with two inch long eye lashes. She is a sweet dog who is afraid of men. She was rescued from a puppy mill where it appears she was abused by a man or men. It has taken her a year to take a treat from my hand, is afraid of my feet and hides if I raise my voice. She has one basic belief—people are not to be trusted.
The other day while I was lying down, she joined me on the couch and allowed me to pet her and liked it so much she begged for more. An hour later when I met her in the kitchen, she ran from me and would not take a treat from my hand or allow me close enough to pet her. As long as I’m lying down or sitting she comes close to be touched and talked to. She likes to put her head on my leg and ask me to pet her even if the velveteen comes off.
Doesn’t take a PH.D. to discern Zoe was scolded ferociously, struck by a male hand and perhaps kicked. She has a short memory. She and I seem to start from zero each morning as if she doesn’t remember the feel of my hand massaging her ears and neck.
She is about five years old; free from a small prison cage about a year and half. She loves the world of outdoors, but only if Debi is close by. She is excited about the freedom, but overwhelmed by the vastness of outdoorsland.
I love that dog. If she were mine, I would have to get a pickup to have her ride on the seat with me. I would like to see her learning day by day that some people can be trusted. Deprived of trust is a terrible loss for man or beast.
Andy Andrews’ friend Mac Richard from Austin has recently published “The Trust Protocol.” He sees trust as “The key to stronger families, teams and businesses.”
I’ve been spending a lot of brain cells thinking how to bridge the gaps between America races, cultures, generations, political opinions. Because difference builds ratings and sells newspapers, the differences get attention. I have scraped through the debris in my brain asking the reason for the lack of friends from the other side of the aisle. At base I don’t trust them.
In my new church we will focus on relationships, worship, mission. To accomplish that we will find ways to build trust—one on one. I am building a strategy.
“Attachment trauma” mimics PTSD with roots in abandonment, abuse, neglect, and other spiritual, sexual, physical, emotional, verbal maltreatment.
“For trauma survivors, trust is earned over time, not afforded by title or position,” says Krispin Mayfield a Licensed Professional Counselors who provides therapy for teens and adults.
Zoe and some of my friends need some “over time” time and a safe, welcome table under which they will put their feet.
Come put your feet under our table. (Or ride in my pickup.) A place to learn to trust.
©2017 D. Dean Benton Dean@deanbenton.org