Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - PETS - Anne Box­hall Email abox­hall@big­

THIS true story demon­strates the power of com­mit­ment, pa­tience and love in turn­ing a small dog’s life around.

When it comes to re­ha­bil­i­tat­ing a trau­ma­tised dog, it is one small step at a time and it takes a spe­cial per­son to un­der­stand.

Meet Miss Mouse ( right), a small terrier cross, who 10 years ago was a ter­rifi ed bun­dle of nerves due to a rough start in life.

Fast- for­ward to now and you’ll find this dog liv­ing qui­etly but confi dently in Re­nata Bou­tique in Ho­bart.

An iden­tity about town, Miss Mouse has many friends who wave her a cheery good morn­ing as she makes her way to “work” each day and oth­ers who pop into the bou­tique just to say hello.

Ten years ago, Deb­o­rah Ather­ton and her son Tom chose to adopt Miss Mouse.

Named for her timid­ity, Miss Mouse was 18 months old at the time and was in the care of the Dogs’ Home, hav­ing been aban­doned.

Deb­o­rah can re­call Miss Mouse be­ing afraid of her own shadow, leap­ing in fright at noises, ter­rifi ed of balls and hid­ing in the cor­ner shiv­er­ing with fear.

It took years of pa­tient, gen­tle care for Miss Mouse to over­come her demons and learn to trust again.

She now has a calm and lov­ing tem­per­a­ment, doesn’t bark and is deemed sim­ply per­fect.

Miss Mouse spends her days sit­ting on her chair in the bou­tique, charm­ing cus­tomers with her ador­ing eyes, en­joy­ing the at­ten­tion of adults and chil­dren alike, as well as the oc­ca­sional cus­tomer who brings their own dog in to pay a visit.

The bond be­tween dog and owner is deep and strong, forged dur­ing Miss Mouse’s jour­ney back from her dark past to a happy new life.

“I get more back than I give,’’ Deb­o­rah says.

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