Tikki, or Tikki Bikki Boo, as she is also called, have been here for a year, and she is a spook. Spooks are also known as shy or nervous. They are sometimes thought to have been abused, but in fact they are born, not made. I think of spookiness as a form of autism. Their brains are wired differently and they process stimuli in a different way. You can’t love a spook “better”, but you can provide an environment in which they feel secure and they can blossom.
Currently there are four spooky dogs here, Tikki, Leo, Oonagh and Laura. Tikki is the worst case. She will react emotionally violently to strangers. She will either run and hide in her kennel, and try to make herself invisible, or she will develop a sort of obsessive compulsive behaviour where she paces back and forth and shouts at the scary intruder. The other three have now reached the stage where they can be around strangers, as long as they can move freely, and sometimes they will even be brave enough to approach for a quick sniff. I would like to stress that none of the four are suffering in any way. In their daily lives they are very much like any other greyhound here. They love to play in the field, they are cheeky and affectionate, they are comfortable around other dogs. But they don’t to well with strange people, new situations or too many changes. Since this is a sanctuary, they are safe here, but needless to say these four are long term residents.