Hello My Lovelies!
I am very excited! My dog, Penelope, chose to stay outside today :) While you’re probably wondering why I’m excited about this…let me explain.
Penelope is a very special dog. One who has a story all of her own. When she arrived at our local animal shelter in December, she had multiple lacerations to her abdomen and hole big enough the vet tech put his fist in it. She was hungry, dirty and yet the sweetest dog.
I had been looking for a dog for a while, particularly a German Pointer. When they unloaded her at the shelter, the director took one look at her and immediately called me. I volunteer at the shelter when I’m able and several of our “furever” friends have been adopted from there. She quickly told me the situation and asked if I might be able to come take a look at her to possibly foster her.
I drove over the next day after work, the shelter had already closed for the day, but she stayed to let me meet Penelope. What I saw broke my heart. This beautiful dog huddled in the corner, shivering with the biggest brown eyes you’ve ever seen. As I bent down her eyes flickered, for the faintest moment I saw a glimpse of hope. I slowly sat down and began to talk to her. Eventually she made her way over to me and the next thing I knew all thirty pounds of her was curled up in my lap. She closed her eyes, sighed and went to sleep. I simply sat and stroked her coat. The director smiled and laughed, and said: “That’s the first time she’s slept since she came in.” At that moment, I knew. This dog needed a safe haven.
The days that followed weren’t easy for Penelope. She had been separated from her puppies and Animal Control never found them. She endured a hurt that no one could fix. She went through multiple surgeries to fix her abdomen.
The week after Christmas I finally got the call that she was ready :) I loaded up a new blanket, collar, and leash anxious to bring this sweet puppy home. When I walked back to her kennel to get her she jumped right up and headed to me. Sitting in the waiting room filling out the paperwork, she wouldn’t leave my side. She simply sat beside me, laid her head on my lap and looked about as happy as a sad puppy could be.
When we got to the house, she was so shy and timid! I laid her blanket/bed beside my chair in the living room and she quickly snuggled in. The first weekend I had her, she slept for 72 hours straight.
Since then, we’ve begun exploring her new environment. She enjoys going for walks around our neighborhood, but the other dogs barking scare her. Several times I’ve had to stop, pick her up, and carry her home. We’ve been for a few rides in the car to pick out a RedBox movie. But the backyard seemed to be another scary place for her. She would only go outside if I went with her or if she could see me (even though it’s completely fenced in and she’s safe). I didn’t want to force her to stay outside, I wanted it to be her choice.
So today, my heart sang! When I opened the door for her to come in she turned and went to the sunshine. She looked at me, stretched out and laid in the sunshine. This is a small victory on her road to recovery! Shelter dogs come home with their own quirks and this was one of hers. She has finally learned that it’s her yard and it’s a safe place :)
What “quirks” did your shelter animal come with? Have you had any behavioral issues to work through?
One Fur Covered Lemon