When Julie Elrod adopted Beanie, a blind and deaf senior dog, she knew she would need to employ some TLC to get Beanie situated in her new home.
Beanie was rescued at age 11 from a “horrific” situation.
So, she wasn’t used to being around people who were as loving as Elrod. Or being touched. Poor Beanie also wasn’t housebroken and didn’t like to eat.
Elrod had a lot of work to do. How could she show Beanie how to love? Whatever she did would have to bring about joy and connection.
That’s when she decided on dance.
“I have been dancing with Beanie every day since we adopted her from Rescue Dogs Rock in 2018,” Elrod told The Dodo. “Since she is blind and deaf, I communicate with her through touch.”
Before Beanie got used to her dance therapy, she would run away every time Elrod would try to pet her. Beanie preferred to just sit by herself. So, Elrod had to bring out the big love guns.
“Now, every day, I do ‘slow dance therapy’ to hold her close and sway back and forth. Even though she can’t hear me, I also sing to her,” said Elrod.
Beanie has now been in her new home for a few years.
So, she’s had plenty of love training. It’s like she’s a brand new dog now.
“She now trusts me totally and she relaxes completely and melts into my body as we slow dance,” Elrod said. “I do not care what appointments I have or who I am supposed to meet, I make time every single day to slow dance with my best friend and soulmate.”
It’s because of Elrod’s dedication that Beanie has been able to enjoy a connection with those around her.
“She did not know how to give love or receive love and it was pretty clear that she wasn’t interested at all in learning about love,” Elrod said. “She had no idea about housebreaking. She did not like to eat, so, even now, we have to hand feed her.”
“She shows me that she loves me in different ways,” Elrod said. “And she’s in my arms pretty much 24 hours a day. Wherever I go, she goes.”
But Elrod says that Beanie is the one that changed her life for the better, rather than the other way around.
“I would not trade being Beanie’s mom for anything,” Elrod said. “I love her so unconditionally and infinitely. Beanie is my soulmate dog, and I thank God for every second I have with her. No amount of time I have with her will ever be enough.”
Beanie is just one of the special needs dogs that Elrod and her husband care for. They run a sanctuary for special needs pups.