~ Danya and Mel ~
In 2017, Danya met her companion, Mel. Mel, and her sister, were rescued by Danya’s then boyfriend’s mother. At the time of being found, Mel was only 12 weeks old. It was evident she was raised in a bad and negligent environment. As a result of this, it took a long time to build up trust. Soon, Danya and her then-boyfriend broke up, and she moved to a farm. It was decided that Mel would stay with her there.
Mel was a very scared dog. She had been through a lot in her short life. Danya had been struggling with her mental health at the same time, so between them both, there was an unspoken understanding. Following Danya’s break-up, both she and Mel were sad and unsure of what the future may hold. Having Mel during this time was immensely helpful to Danya.
Being neglected led to Mel being an anxious dog, which would often lead to her becoming aggressive. Mel was a reactive dog and had a tendency to bite people when she was scared. This, unfortunately, led to Danya becoming isolated in not being able to invite people over. It created a strain on Danya’s relationships. It was so bad that they considered euthanasia due to Mel’s aggression and unpredictable behaviour and thinking this would be the most humane thing for her. Yet, something in Danya told her she couldn’t give up on Mel.
Danya saw something in Mel and decided she wasn’t going to give up on her. This ended up being something that only strengthened their bond. For months, Danya and Mel worked with a canine behaviourist. The two helped each other immensely. Danya was able to fully understand Mel. Through this, she learned that Mel preferred wide open spaces and would become overwhelmed when around too many other dogs, although enjoys the company of a few.
Since working with a behaviourist, Mel is a completely different dog. Mel is no longer aggressive nor reactive, as she was. Danya is able to invite others over and go out with Mel.
Although it was a challenge, Danya feels this has brought them closer. Not only this, but Mel has helped Danya with her own mental health. She knows that no matter what, she is never alone as Mel is by her side. Mel makes sure that Danya gets up every morning and that she leaves the house in order to allow Mel some exercise. If Danya is unwell, Mel either jumps up onto the bed to join her or will sleep in her own bed and keep watch of her human. Danya sees Mel as her emotional support dog. If she is feeling anxious or her mental health is a struggle, she knows Mel is right there.
Not only has Mel helped Danya with her health and wellbeing, but she has also helped provide more adventure. The two often go on bushwalks and going for walks along the beach. It allows them to get some fresh air and spend time together. When they go to the beach, Mel is able to run around off-leash. She loves having this freedom and enjoys meeting other dogs. Seeing Mel so happy brings Danya a lot of joy. Danya also likes to teach Mel new things.
Being parts fox terrier and huntaway, Mel is a very keen learner. Recently, she has learned ‘shake’ in Croatian, a trick she very much likes to share with others! Mel also enjoys being the subject of one of Danya’s interests, photography.
It’s obvious how much Danya and Mel mean to one another. They are both each other’s best friend and companion. The two share such an incredible bond and have helped each other become who they are today.