Frightened dog snaps at her rescuer, but he still worked his magic

It’s only natural that an abused or neglected dog is going to be wary of people, even when those people are actually trying to help. If all you’ve known are people who treat you badly, you’re going to assume that all people will treat you badly. When the animal rescue group Hope For Paws answered a call about an abandoned dog, Eldad Hagar, the group’s founder, was going to have to make full use of his dog magic.

Eldad founded Hope For Paws in 2008 along with his wife Audrey. She’s the numbers whiz and handles the office end of things while Eldad, with help from volunteers, takes a lead role in many of the rescues. Based in Los Angeles, the group operated under the radar in its early years, but after posting videos on the internet, they’ve earned lots of attention (and praise).

The small dog, who they named Holly, was growling and literally trembling with fear. The first step in any dog rescue is the loop — Holly didn’t like that at all. She howled, bore her teeth, and chomped down on it. Eldad told her “Okay, you can bite it if it makes you feel better.” Once she was looped, he began the process of earning Holly’s trust. He started by petting her with a rolled up towel. At first, she looked calmer and even accepted a thumb rub of her ear and head, but then suddenly lashed out. Eldad tried again, this time with better results: Holly couldn’t help but enjoy those scratches behind her ear! It took 20 minutes, but she was finally ready for the “Lucky Leash.” Soon, Eldad had Holly in his lap, cuddling and petting her. She sat on him during the ride to the shelter, already looking a lot more secure.

Just a few weeks after her rescue, Holly was a whole new dog. She looked and acted like a normal, happy pup.

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