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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Trauma, Abuse, Neglect: Our Kids & Dogs

scottish-terrier-wallpaperOur dogs have issues, our kids have issues, which generally makes us parents have issues. 

With lots of rain and thunder and lightning recently, I was reminded of just how fragile Misha the Scottie is… and he doesn’t come from a background of abuse as Grisha the Scottie does.  Grisha was a “rescue” that came home at 1-2 months old, already frightened by being kicked with foot, and swatted with a newspaper.  At least that’s what we imagine, since the dog still has reactions to feet and newspapers anywhere near him.  But thunder and lightning does not faze him in the least.

Misha, on the other hand, is just a big baby when itScottie brindle Maggie comes to storms.  He looks to me, shakes and quakes, until I grab him to cuddle.  He has impeccable breeding, AKC papers, the whole nine yards… but still really, really needs me to support him during difficult times.

Which made me wonder:  did all of Grisha’s early struggles make him more resilient?

There are many similarities with our kids.  I observe the effects of trauma and abuse from Russia and their early childhoods.  Adopted as preteens, these older children “knew the score”, and yet found it difficult, at times, to let go of the baggage of their past.  The phantoms from before lingered, and caused dramatic delays in different areas of their lives.

Family sitting on sofaAnd in other ways, the children had protective “shells” around them, where nothing major fazed them.  But they had other times when the tiniest occurrences really threw them for a loop.

Many days, we parents just try to cope with all of the drama, and muddle through. 

Or cuddle through.  Curling up on the couch together as a family goes a long way toward therapeutic outcomes.  Dogs, kids, and parents like squeezing in together and knowing, simply knowing, that we are there for one another.

No rumble of thunder, no surge of storm could change any of that.

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2 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar Leah says:

    Thank you for the insights. The resiliency aspect is a headscratcher for us as well.

    • avatar admin says:

      It’s true, Leah, what kind of events will impact which children is baffling. A very small thing can have big consequences, or an earthshattering event might cause a shrug. You just never know.

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