We saw a future for this little dog where she could eventually live a fear-free life with another dog by her side.
But there was still more work to be done yet…
When you hear the name Xena, it's safe to say a certain image comes to mind. Heroic, fearless and strong - a warrior on a quest to redeem herself from her dark past. The Xena we met was tiny, terrified and the timidest of the entire bunch of PomChi's we would meet. Would this little warrior be able to redeem herself from her traumatic past? Only time would tell…
During her first behaviour assessment, in our quiet education room, Xena had to be gently wrapped in a towel, but she still panicked and urinated as she shook in Liam's arms. Once placed on the floor, completely unrestrained, Xena remained entirely still. For five minutes, she held the same position she'd been put in, occasionally peeking around the room but never moving. Her eyes rarely left Liam.
Tiny, timid & terrified
Keeping her distance
Scared. Trembling. Cowering.
This was the new norm for Xena when it came time to collect her from her pen for her behaviour rehabilitation sessions. Even surrounded by her siblings, Xena was unsettled and fearful. So when Liam brought in his friendly dog to meet Xena, it seemed to improve her confidence. Alice, who was happy to share the area and give Xena her much-needed space, somehow gave Xena the strength she needed to sneak some of the treats Liam had thrown on the floor.
Even though Xena was very shut down and had been placed on medication to help her calm her fears, Liam was hopeful as he watched her with Alice. He saw a future for this little dog where she could eventually live a fear-free life with another dog by her side. But there was still more work to be done yet…
In her foster home with carer Lyndall, Xena slowly began feeling safe.
"She quickly became a velcro dog." Says Lyndall, "Tucked in under my chin, her head on my chest – that's how we'd watch TV every single night."
With time, Xena began to lay claim to the house! She learned how to use the doggy door and, like her brother Miso, would sprawl out across the couch "with legs akimbo"! She even braved her first bath!
What had happened to the tiny timid pup that froze in fear when presented with a new situation? There were still things that sent her spiralling, but from where she'd been, Xena had come so far.
And then along came Ali, her fiancé, Rylee and their sweet Chihuahua x Fox Terrier, Bilby. They fell in love with her immediately. Much like Alice, Bilby was quite happy to let Xena settle in apart from occasionally "wandering over to check if she smelled differently that day."
The first family portrait - Rylee with Bilby, Ali and Xena
"We love her so much already!" Ali said, only days after bringing Xena home. "I love seeing her personality come out every day."
And it seems as if Liam's prediction came true!
"I remember when we adopted Xena, the team said that Bilby would hopefully help her come out of her shell. I think it's safe to say that Xena is in charge of this relationship!" Ali Says.
"Bilby has become her favourite play friend, and she not only looks to him when she needs a boost of confidence, but she also bullies him just like any sister!
"Xena climbs over him for attention, pushing him out of the way with her bum…and he just takes it! They chase each other around the house all day, and let me tell you; this little girl is a runner – she's a track star! She's just the best!"
Not only had Xena become a tiny little warrior in the face of her demons, but she had also become the hero! For Ali, Xena was her strength and her courage:
"Xena has become my emotional support, my best friend, and my soul mate in fur form.
Every day we see her walls come down more and more, and she has made the perfect little addition to our family.
Honestly, she is the best thing to ever happen to us - especially me.
Thank you all for giving us the most perfect being in existence.
We are honestly so lucky to be a part of her life, and we are so glad we got to help her out of her tiny shell!"
Finally at home
Dreaming of zoomies with Bilby
Lives for belly rubs!
Every day, animals just like Xena and her little family come through our doors at SCAR.
Suffering from the long term-effects of trauma, these animals need urgent assistance.
You can help us ensure that each step of their journey is one guided by love where all their medical, behavioural and daily care needs are taken care of.
With your help, we can transform the lives of animals’ like Xena today.
All donations over $2 are tax-deductible.
To follow each of our beloved PomChi's journeys from here, click their face below to read on!