HALLOWEEN with SMOKEY!
Smokey Bear has a past, and a past that is heart wrenching. He was severely abused by his original owners, beaten into compliance. So the sight of a stick or anything resembling that used to bring out major rage.
The trainers at the ranch have worked relentlessly to desensitize him but the scars remain.
Smokey is completely trained on leash and knows his commands well. He loves to go out on walks and enjoys agility training as well. It is such a sight to watch him jump over fences and actually enjoy himself for a little while. Once he gets to know you and bonds with you he is truly a gentle giant and a perfect gentleman. Cuddly and loving, he will finally let his guard down and relax. But that takes time. His first instinct with any stranger is fear, understandably.
Smokey would only go to a very experienced owner, a gentle leader but a leader nonetheless. He needs leadership as much as he needs love and understanding. Psychological scars are the hardest ones to heal because even though they may be invisible, they run deep. Time will be of the essence in establishing your relationship with Smokey Bear, but once it is established, it is impossible to describe in words what that relationship will bring you.
As someone who went through this myself with the incomparable SACHI (hence Sachi Animal Rescue), I can promise you that nothing, absolutely nothing in this world has been more fulfilling emotionally than the relationship I had with that one of a kind “damaged” dog.
(President of Sachi Animal Rescue)