The Platform of Safety

This is more a post about working with formerly-feral dogs than it is about Enzo specifically, although he features in it. One of our own dogs, Bisou, was originally feral or semi-feral. When we first brought her home, she was extremely avoidant, didn’t want to be anywhere near us. There was one surprising exception: if we were lying on our bed, she was willing to join us there. She was extremely nervous, panting continually, but there she was, between us, gradually learning that touch was ok and neck scratches could be nice. We took to calling the bed the Platform of Safety. Over time this has become her favorite place, lying head against my side.

Bisou and Enzo

I always figured this was just a Bisou thing, but interestingly Enzo is now behaving similarly. Other than during morning greetings, he avoids touch, is just barely willing to be leashed. Yet once he learned it was ok, he eagerly jumps on the bed with me, accepts and enjoys scratches, butt rubs, and pets there. He doesn’t lean his head against me; that’s apparently the Bisou part.

Something about the bed makes it a safe space for some dogs. Something his family-to-be could take advantage of to continue his socialization.