Frigg is one of two Swiss Shepherds (along with Thor) who come to our rescue from the recent puppy mill seizure of more than 100 dogs here in Skagit County. Thor and Frigg are males. They are thought to be between 1 and 2 years old. These beautiful dogs were in the worst of that terrible situation of cruelty and neglect, kept essentially in solitary confinement: an outbuilding with no windows, air conditioning or ventilation without proper food and certainly without even meager socialization or love. The woman responsible has been charged with felony animal cruelty in the first degree.
Frigg and Thor have been receiving diligent care and rehabbing slowly, carefully re-entering a better world. But they are scared and it's slow going. So SAIN is stepping in on the heels of the work done by the Humane Society of Skagit Valley. We are providing safe, patient, loving foster homes and all the food and veterinary care these dogs need while they learn to trust humans first, and then move on to the other things dogs need to be good companions, like training. Since they have been getting proper nutrition, they have started to put on weight and were both recently neutered.
Watch the video below...It makes us tear up every dang time. When he first came to rescue, he was essentially feral and wouldn't come near humans at all. To see this much progress, where he will take a treat from the hand of his foster mom while she is in his space...wow. That's remarkable progress. We have a lot of hope for Frigg!
We will support Frigg and Thor for as long as it takes. We anticipate that these dogs will be in rehabilitation for quite some time.
UPDATE: 3/11/2023 -- Frigg is making great strides and his true, happy self is emerging!
Read this update from his foster home.
Learning to Play
Over the last few weeks, Frigg has both taught us a lot about himself and has made great strides of his own in learning how to be a social participant. He has shown us how incredibly social of a dog he is, as well as how graceful and intuitive he is with both our big and little dogs. We started letting our big dog Terra into the kennel with him a few weeks ago because they were about to go crazy if they couldn’t play already! This has gone wonderfully. He wants very badly to know how to interact, not just with her but with us as well. He is still putting the pieces together of how to do that but he observes each moment thoughtfully and is constantly evolving.
Accepting More Human Interaction
Through play time with Terra we realized that he will happily interact with us in a way he hadn’t before. Though he has been eating most of his meals from our hands for several months now, it has seemed functional and robotic like he is just willing to do what he has to do to get fed. He lets us tickle his chin and rub his nose a bit when he eats but only to the end goal of eating his food. We now have realized, though, that the way to his heart is through play. What a happy boy!! When we play with him and Terra he lets us touch him more, he catches snowballs out of the air when we throw them, and he has even started tugging at the rope toy when we offer it to him. His whole demeanor changes. It has been a joy to watch him come out of his shell this way.
Recently we were able to put up a covered chute from his kennel to the house, which doubles as a play area. It is covered with a net because we were told he has a history of climbing fences, though we haven’t seen him try to do that here. This covered area greatly expands the outdoor space he has access to and allows him to go in and out of the downstairs of our house via a window and custom ramp. The day we first got this up, he got to run for more than four strides in a straight line for the first time in his life. The look on his face made us all cry. He was so happy and eventually, when offered, he came inside after a few nervous tries, had his dinner, and spent the night intermittently crashed out after the biggest play day of his life and peeking in on us cuddled up with his best friend Terra in the downstairs bedroom (we left the door open so he could check things out). He has slept inside the last 6 nights, has already potty pad trained himself, and we believe he is well on his way towards being fully house trained (2 nights accident free now!).
He has also been hanging out with our two little dogs (one of whom is from the same place that he came from). He absolutely loves them and is so gentle and respectful with them. We have been so happy to see that who he expressed himself to be over the last few months is, in fact, his true nature…the gentlest, sweetest, playful big boy, just trying to find his place in this world.
You can check out Frigg's Instagram account here: https://instagram.com/lil_frigg?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=
UPDATE 4/21/2023: You probably saw this coming! Frigg's foster parents have made him their permanent pup! We couldn't be happier. 🙂