When Julie Elrod adopted Beanie, a blind and deaf senior dog, she knew she would need to employ a little TLC to settle Beanie into her new home.
Beanie was rescued at age 11 from a “horrific” situation.
So she was not used to being around such loving people as Elrod. Or be touched. Poor Beanie was also not clean and didn’t like to eat.
Elrod had a lot of work to do. How could she show Beanie how to love? Whatever she does should bring joy and connection.
That’s when she decided to dance.
“I’ve been dancing with Beanie every day since we adopted her from Rescue Dogs Rock in 2018,” Elrod said. “As she is blind and deaf, I communicate with her through touch.”
Before Beanie got used to her dance therapy, she would run away whenever Elrod tried to pet her. Beanie preferred to sit alone.
“Now every day I do ‘slow dance therapy’ to hold her close and rock her back and forth. Even if she can’t hear me, I also sing for her,” Elrod said.
Beanie has now been in her new home for a few years.
It’s like she’s a whole new dog now.
“She now trusts me completely and completely relaxes and blends into my body as we slow dance,” Elrod said. “I don’t care what dates I have or who I’m supposed to meet, I make time every day to slow dance with my best friend and soul mate.”
It was through Elrod’s dedication that Beanie was able to enjoy a connection with those around her.
“She didn’t know how to give love or receive love and it was pretty clear that she was not at all interested in learning more about love,” Elrod said. “She didn’t like to eat, so even now we have to hand-feed her.”
And Beanie returns that favor.
“She shows me that she loves me in different ways,” Elrod said. “And she’s in my arms pretty much 24 hours a day. Everywhere I go, she goes.
But Elrod says Beanie is the one who changed her life for the better, rather than the other way around.
“I wouldn’t 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. The time I spend with her will never be enough.
Beanie is just one of the special needs dogs that Elrod and her husband look after. They run a sanctuary for puppies with special needs.