The article tells the story of a Saint Bernard named Rose who had been abandoned by her owner multiple times due to her difficult behavior. The author decided to adopt Rose after seeing an ad in the newspaper, and immediately noticed that she had been abused. Rose would wag her tail and ask to be petted, but as soon as the author reached for her, she would bark hysterically and roll back onto her belly. Rose was scared of being touched, as her previous owner had beaten her to seem more macho.
After bringing Rose home, the author gave her space and allowed her to explore the house. Rose found a safe place upstairs and hid there for three days, only coming down to eat and go outside. Slowly, she started to gain courage and explore the house on her own terms. The author learned to respect Rose's boundaries and not touch her in certain areas, as it would cause her to bark.
There were challenges along the way, such as Rose's reaction to the author's husband and the introduction of a new puppy. However, over time, Rose started to trust the author and her husband. It took months before Rose allowed the author to take her to the vet for shots, and she still showed some fear and aggression.
The article concludes with Rose eventually learning to trust the author and living a happy life. She and the new puppy eventually became friends, and she even showed a friend around the yard as if giving her a tour. In her old age, Rose relied on the new puppy, Nishka, and they formed a close bond. When Rose passed away, Nishka mourned her loss and visited her grave.
The author reflects on the difficulties of not being able to fully embrace Rose and the sadness of losing her. However, they are grateful to have been able to provide her with a safe and loving home where she could learn to trust again.
Overall, the article highlights the resilience and capacity for healing in animals that have been abused and abandoned. It also emphasizes the importance of patience, understanding, and respecting boundaries when working with traumatized animals.