Posted 2 months ago
By Chloe Bowen
Dogs often have a favourite toy or teddy which they can’t seem to let go – but four-year-old rescue dog Mali instead finds comfort in a tin of black beans. She plays with it, sleeps with it and hides it in her bed.
In 2017, Wendy Saly, from Melbourne, Australia, rescued the Doberman/Rottweiler who suffered horrific abuse from her previous owner.
Wendy said: “We found her previous owner had beaten her, severely and repeatedly. He went to jail for it. She will always have the emotional damage from her past but we love her and will always work to help her overcome her fears.”
When Mali was rescued, Wendy bought lots of toys to make her feel at home. But Mali was more interested in a tin of beans that Rieka, Wendy’s daughter, was holding. The family call them her “emotional support beans.”
Mali with her 'emotional support beans' (Image: Wendy Saly)
She said: “One day my daughter Rieka had them in her hand and she was so interested, she just kept sniffing at them. Rieka asked her if she wanted them and she opened her mouth and that was it. She has loved them ever since.
“She has the largest box of stuffed toys – 30 in total – and loves them all. But it’s still all about her beans.”
“Mali likes weird things and currently she likes to carry around the beans. We love her, not in spite of her quirkiness but because of it. She will pop them in her bed to hide them and protect them. She rolls the tin and chases it. If the tin is standing upright she has to knock it over so she can carry it.
“She is a pure joy and to see her leap around with excitement for her can of beans brings me joy.”
In the video you can see how excited Mali gets when playing with her tin.
Wendy asks: “Mali where’s your beans?” and Mali pounces excitedly, wagging her tail, and picks up the tin in her mouth.
Sadly, Mali still has a lot of emotional trauma to deal with. The damage her previous owner has inflicted is so awful she is fearful of men.
Wendy said: “We have to slowly introduce her to people. It takes time for her to build trust, but she knows she is safe with us. She knows she is loved.
“I think her support in unusual things comes from us holding the item. They are part of us and we are willing to share and that brings her joy. I thinks it’s about feeling loved and safe for Mali. The things that come from our hands are love, not punches and to her that means everything.
“We wanted a special name and Googled words meaning princess and that’s how we came up with Mali. It is a Hawaiian word for princess and we wanted her to have a princess life.
“I will always rescue. The animals know you have saved them and love you more for it.”