The eerie sound of a creature in pain split the night, so the woman went to investigate. It sounded like someone was abusing the poor animal, but instead she found a puppy lying in the street. He was sleeping, but as she watched, he let out another piercing cry.
On November 25, 2017, a South Korean video hit YouTube telling a sorrowful story about a street dog. It’s unclear how long the pup, which rescuers called Nuri, had been struggling to survive for. However, the pain and suffering he’d endured was unmistakable.
The result was that the poor pooch made distressed noises whenever he tried to sleep. On the video, his rescuer explains that it was this sound that first led her to Nuri one October night. She couldn’t help but hear the disturbance and followed it to its source.
“I came out because I thought someone was abusing the dog,” the rescuer says on the video. The footage shows her investigating the noise. “A strange sound is coming from there,” she says, indicating an industrial-looking part of the city.
She subsequently finds Nuri lying on the street, and at first she thinks he is in agony. On closer inspection though, she realizes that Nuri isn’t awake. He is making the sorrowful yowl as he sleeps, and the rescuer can’t pinpoint why.
She considers that Nuri may be ill and may even be having a seizure. When the reaction doesn’t abate, her conclusion is that the pup is having a nightmare. Initially, the rescuer tries to comfort Nuri to ease his fears, but her attempts are unsuccessful.
Consequently, all the kindhearted woman can do is stay with Nuri and offer him some comfort. She provides him with food and water first, but Nuri suffers from more than just hunger or dehydration. In fact, his past was full of suffering.
The rescuer discovered that some men had previously targeted Nuri and attempted to catch him. It’s unknown what their motives for the chase were, or what they planned to do once they caught him. Their pursuit was not only persistent, but violent too.
Nuri actually got away from his would-be captors, but they followed him as he fled. Consequently, the little dog cowered under a car. Unfortunately, the men found Nuri and used long, sharp objects to poke at him. Presumably, they were trying to scare him out.
Whatever their reasons, the result was the same – the men stabbed Nuri in the stomach, injuring him. The rescuer explains on the video that when she found Nuri, the wound was deep and bleeding. In addition, tremors afflicted one of his hind legs.
Nuri’s rescuer gathered the pup in a blanket and took him to a veterinarian for medical attention. The doctors treated his wounds, which mostly healed over time. Nuri still retained a scar though, and cramps occasionally affected his damaged leg.
But the doctor revealed that Nuri’s deepest wounds were on the inside. They were the ones that worried him at night, as the veterinarian explains in the video. “He feels more anxious as he falls asleep,” Nuri’s doctor explained.
He continues, “Bad memories have distressed even Nuri’s body.” It became apparent that the little dog suffered from a form of canine post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Although it’s a known condition in humans, it can also affect dogs that experience distressing events.
On October 25, 2016, Psychology Today wrote about the issue, describing how 5-10 percent of military dogs experience PTSD. Just like armed forces personnel, the dogs that accompany them into enemy territory can also suffer from wartime trauma. It’s not just confined to army dogs either.
As with Nuri, it’s also possible for non-military dogs to struggle with PTSD if they experience extreme events. There’s no telling how a dog with the condition may react, since it depends on the victim. Usually, their behavior changes drastically.
A canine PTSD sufferer will likely react irrationally and appear hyper-alert to danger. It may also develop phobias of objects or circumstances linked to its trauma. For example, a dog that’s mentally scarred from a car accident may fear vehicles.
But the good news is that now the condition has been recognized, management options are available. Veterinarians can prescribe medication, and there are various training techniques that can help. However, perhaps the most important treatment is care and understanding.
In Nuri’s case, once experts identified his condition, his carers began working with him straight away. To begin with, they gave him aromatherapy to help calm him down. Additionally, they employed other methods, such as providing Nuri with a “relaxing light” for his room.
Nuri’s past demons eventually stopped tormenting him while he slept, and his night-time crying ceased. “Now [he’s] sleeping peacefully,” the vet on the rescue video describes. “With a nice place of mental stability and a reliable owner, he will get much better.”
On January 6, 2018, SBS TV uploaded a second video of Nuri to YouTube. The poor pup is still struggling with a fear of strangers and hasn’t been adopted as a result. However, one of his rescuers says she believes Nuri will recover with training, and then he can find a loving home.