'Vivi' is part of a Spanish word that means freedom..


Vivi arrived at the sanctuary on the 14th of June this year for some major rehabilitation and a permanent home with us. Vivi was very sadly the victim of horrific sexual abuse and sustained violence; the hell she came from is too disturbing to even recount and for her safety and the safety of her rescuers her past will remain in the past. Suffice to say it is a miracle she survived but survive she did and she was saved by a dedicated group of angels who cann never be thanked enough. Her physical injuries were repaired but her mental scars are deep and unbelievably painful, she was completely shut down and traumatised to the point that all she wanted to do was hide away from the world. She is terrified of everything, the outdoors, cars, people, being touched and defecates and urinates when approached especially by men understandably. Joy agreed to take her...how could she not..and gave advice on how to keep her safe and as comfortable as possible whilst she waited for transport from where she was located in Scotland down to us in Dorset. Before she arrived, Joy and Dave worked quickly to create a special area for her in the house under the stairs where she could be quiet and alone whilst still being close to Joy and where there would be no danger of her even hearing a male voice.

Vivi survived the trauma of transport and arrived on the 14th and immediately went into hiding in her new den. When I spoke to Joy that night she told me that Vivi was one of the worst behaviourally effected dogs she had ever seen

“I've had some seriously shut down and scared dogs come here, having tried to choose/select the
worst...the one's that most desperately needed the help and home I could give but I've never seen a dog so petrified of everything....its gut wrenching.”

From the safety of her den Vivi could hear Joy moving around but other than feeding she was left alone to acclimatise and take in her surroundings. Not wanting to go outside she used wee mats initially but eventually she took advantage of the continually open door and the slowly moving food bowl *winks* and silently slipped outside for a wee....Joy was ecstatic.

“What a great start to the day...as I'm sat at my desk overlooking the small courtyard, out of the corner
of my eye I see a black tail...Vivi has moved from under the stairs and gone outside!!!! The squeaking noise she makes which I thought was for breakfast is her worry noise as she goes in and out bless her...each day she gets a
little braver x”

Vivi in the yard Vivi outside

Joy found herself with an unlikely helper in her quest to bring Vivi back to life, Mr G a little fluff-ball of a dog took an interest in Vivi and decided his mission was to help her face the world. Whenever Joy went in to feed Vivi Mr G would would pop down and just hang out near her and eventually Vivi started to make a little eye contact. Joy messaged me to tell me she had woken up to find her fluffy slippers in Vivi's bed which meant she had ventured out in the night, silently padding about to find her treasure....I think both Joy and I had a few tears over those slippers!

Mr G

Eventually she started to make a little eye contact and from then on the good news came thick and fast...with the help and guidance of Mr G she began to take ham and sausages from Joy's hand at snack time and then remarkably she allowed Joy to touch her right paw...just a light touch on her toe but she allowed it and again we sniffed a bit! She won't move about in front of Joy yet, she won't even stand but she has started to with Mr G and she now spends longer and longer in the small enclosed yard when it's quiet, usually first thing in the morning and always together.

“This morning she has been mooching about in the hallway making a little noise saying its breakfast time. She does not move around in front of me but does mooch about with her little furry friend.”

She has developed a love of soft toys and has even stolen one of Mr G's which is again a big brave step. She is so sweet and has the softest brown eyes like windows to her soul and she is able to hold eye contact for a while now. She is watching Joy make a big fuss of Mr G and this is helping her to understand that touch can be kind and that Joy means her no harm and just this morning Joy gave us some amazing news.....Vivi wagged her tail for breakfast!


In just under a month Vivi has made progress, infinitesimal it may be but it's progress and we could not be happier. Joy agreed to help Vivi and give her a home here at the Sanctuary knowing she was in for the long haul after everything she had experienced but was convinced she could help her to feel safe again and that the love of the sanctuary would eventually seep into her damaged heart and teach her that not everyone is bad, she would never be hurt again and she has a safe home now, forever. With the help of Mr G, himself an 'At Risk' boy she is getting there and although everything is done in baby steps and we have no idea how far Vivi will go we are so glad she was able to come to us and have a real chance at happiness, surrounded by love and understanding because quite simply every life matters and even the most damaged deserve a chance x


Poem By Angie Allen posted this morning:

A tortured soul who cannot cope
Another day with lesser hope
I bow my head and start to cry
I pray to God to help me die
A light appears above my head
I curl away and fill with dread
I turn around to face my fears
A gentle face, eyes filled with tears
Arms open wide she calls my name
My heart is full, my angel came
We're going home she says to me
A life of love awaits for thee
No more fears, a future to enjoy
I found my angel, her name is Joy

If you would like to contribute to Vivi's Care or the care of any other of our permanent residents every single penny is so very gratefully received. You can sponsor a dog (an amount of your choice) here: Sponsor A Sanctuary Dog

Or you can make a donation here: DONATE