Shake Paws

— the home of dogs —

Meet Roma

by Shake Paws

Some rescue dogs come with baggage that makes interacting with them difficult, but perseverance usually pays off. That’s how things started with Roma, the Shake Paws family dog

Roma on a winter walk Photo: Shannon Porter for Shake Paws

Anyone who follows along on Facebook may already have read this post. The Shake Paws family met Roma three years ago, aged about one.

When the foster carer for a local rescue centre brought her through our front door, we knew she had come to stay. There would be no going back – not for Roma, not for us.

Roma was little more than skin and bone: her ribs were all too visible; her pin bones stuck out of her back like hairy, miniature pyramids; she cowered at any movement in the room; she hit the deck when the carer picked up her lead. But she responded to some tasty treats. She clambered up onto the couch next to Jane, now her couch, gulped down those treats and eventually settled.

It took 18 months for those ribs and pin bones to disappear. It took a similar amount of time to train Roma. Voice commands were a waste of time, a whistle wasn’t much better. Eventually, a combination of voice and treat training – and persistence on the part of the female half of the Shake Paws family – paid off.

Eventually, the male member of the Shake Paws family woke up. This picture, taken by my daughter, captures one of my proudest moments. It was clear from the start that Roma feared men more than women. But when Shannon caught Roma looking back at me, I realised Roma knew I was on her side.

We love Roma.