Pauline Cormier, a New Brunswick woman with a troubled past, has dedicated her life to rehabilitating aggressive dogs. Pauline runs On The Mend Dog Rescue.
“The troubled ones, the dangerous ones or the ones that I like to describe as criminal record dogs. The ones that have already bitten other family members or strangers,” say says.
It was one of her own troubled dogs that saved her life, when she was struggling with a life of depression and alcoholism, less than ten years ago. At her lowest she had decided to take her own life, right after she brought her dog in to be euthanized.
“At that appointment I looked into her face and I couldn’t do it.”
It is at that moment Cormier’s life changed, as she looked into her dogs eyes and realized she had a purpose in life.
“I am paying it forward. It gave me a reason to live.”
Cormier has now been clean and sober for six years, and has successfully rehabilitated at least 500 dogs, most with an aggressive past. One of her trophy dogs is a stocky American Bully, named Moses, who bit a man in the face.
“This is one where the owner said, ‘I can’t handle him, what do I do put him down?”
Rather than put him down, which is always the last resort, Cormier accepted the challenge and turned Moses into a playful dog. Dogs usually become aggressive not because they’re bad by nature, but most often because they have uninformed owners.
“Usually people that have spoiled their dogs and don’t know how to provide the proper boundaries and limitations to set the dogs on the right path.”
Even after rehabilitation, not all of the dogs are safe to be re-homed. She keeps some of the dogs herself, and the ones that are too aggressive sadly at times have to be put down.
Cormier is living a happy life, giving back to her pack of special rescue dogs.