There Is Always One More
Helping Homeless Pets
We’re all suckers for a good human-animal interest story. This viral video of a veterinarian eating a meal with an abandoned dog is no exception with over 6 million views a day or two after it was posted. Good spoiler alert: This all ends well.
Video courtesy of Dr. Andy Mathis, Granite Hills Animal Care
For those of us interested in animal behavior, this video was a delight to see. Here was a knowledgeable person working with the dog in a way that might reach her. For example, he was sitting, not standing. And notice how he sat. He wasn’t facing her or directly making eye contact with her.
He was slow and purposeful in his movements. He was quiet. He was going at the dog’s pace. He does offer her a few pieces of kibble and that seems to spark her interest. She begins to eat and they dine together. Quietly and peacefully.
He pets her from time to time, testing the waters to see if she is comfortable. If you didn’t catch all that, go back and watch the video again focusing on both his behavior and Graycie’s.
She can learn to trust him in time. And that circle of trust will broaden with patience, the right technique, and the right people.
A word of caution for you, remember this man is a professional. He understands animal behavior. He worked with this dog for weeks before taping this video. Do not expect to get near scared animals so easily. Not everyone can magically plop down in a cage with an abandoned animal. Nor should they.
We are glad he did.
The world may focus on them eating together, but there was much more to it than that.
He knew this dog and her limits. He knew how to work with her to gain her trust and how to use behavior to his advantage.
He was patient. And he will have to be for many days to come. Seems to us that is probably a natural trait for many great veterinarians like Dr. Mathis.
We are glad he gave this dog the chance at life. So many homeless pets are not this lucky. We need more good in this world. And Dr. Mathis is the definition of good in this world.
His social media accounts have blown up overnight. He has been thrust into the media spotlight, yet a recent post on his Facebook page serves as a good reminder for us all–to keep our eyes on the reality of homeless pets everywhere. Not just Graycie.
There is always one more.