When Julie Elrod adopted Beanie, an older blind and deaf dog, she knew that she would need to pay a lot of attention to Beanie to settle into her new home.
Beanie was rescued at age 11 from a «horrible» situation.
So she wasn’t used to being around people 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, it 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. «Since 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 by herself.
«Now, every day, I do ‘slow dance therapy’ to hold her close to me and rock her back and forth. Even though she can’t hear me, I sing to her, too,» said Elrod
Beanie has now been in her new home for a few years.
She’s changed, become a whole new dog.
«She trusts me completely now, and she completely relaxes and dissolves during the dance,» Elrod said. «I don’t care what dates I have or who I have to meet, I take time out every day to do a slow dance with my best friend.»
It was through Elrod’s dedication that Beanie learned to enjoy interacting with those around her.
And Beanie returns the 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 soul mate dog, and I thank God for every second I have with her. The time I have with her will never 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 puppies.