My name is Sid and I'll be honest – although I might look big and strong, I'm not the bravest of dogs.
Sometimes, I worry so much that I can’t enjoy playing or going outside. New smells or strange noises can really make me feel on edge. I'm going to try and explain why...
What happened to make me feel so scared?
Before I was rescued by Dogs Trust, I'd found myself in a dog pound. I was able to cope there at first, but as the months went by, I started to feel more anxious about the new people, smells, sounds and dogs. Everything made me panic. I was made to wear a muzzle outside, and it was such a confusing time. I felt so worried that my fur even started to fall out.
When the dog pound became worried about my future, thankfully, a place called Dogs Trust found space for me, and because they never put down a healthy dog, they set to work helping me overcome my fears.
The kind humans at Dogs Trust gave me lots of time and attention.
Dogs Trust have experts who understand dogs like me. They saw how nervous I was and gave me a private kennel with my own indoor and outdoor space. It's the perfect spot for dogs like me because I can't see any people or other dogs and I don't have to worry.
As well as making me more settled, my trainers make sure I know when to expect my playtime, walkies and food, because sudden changes to my routine can make me feel stressed. Now, things that used to make me feel vulnerable like eating and sleeping feel safe again and I'm slowly coming out of my shell.
Seeing other dogs can be scary, but I'm learning to stay calm.
But meeting other dogs still made me pant with panic. And wearing my muzzle made me feel worse.
That's when I learnt a fun new game. I'd get treats whenever I looked at my muzzle or went near it. Eventually, I'd get treats for putting my nose in and I didn't feel scared of it anymore.
Once I was happy wearing my muzzle, we played the game on my walkies. Now - I get lots of praise and treats if I look at my trainer instead of a dog that's nearby!
Just like our human friends, us dogs don't always feel 100%. All sorts of things can leave us feeling scared, sad or not brave.
Things get a little better every day. Thanks to kind humans like you.
Truthfully, it's not been easy - I've had my good days and my bad. But my trainer always knows the right game to distract me, keep me calm, and make me feel good about the progress I'm making.
I'm just one of thousands of dogs at Dogs Trust who need one-to-one help to make us feel safer.
It's upsetting to think about what they might have been through to be so scared of the world. But a gift today can help Dogs Trust give another dog like me the quiet kennel, extra care and paw-sonalised training we need to feel safe not scared.