|Barked: Sun Jul 22, '12 6:30pm PST |
|I'm pretty sure this has been touched on many times before, but everyone likes to tell their success stories.
I recently adopted two adult dogs from a shelter. One was planned, and I had actually specifically gone to see her, the other was... well. A surprise.
The short version is this: Ali had been in the shelter for over 6 months. She had been brought in as a stray, pregnant. After she had her pups and they were adopted out, they treated her for her heartworms (currently negative). After that... No one wanted her. They hinted that she was smart but unruly, a jumper, hard to discipline, etc and even went so far as to say that if they weren't a No-Kill shelter... Well, you can fill in the blanks.
Of course I fell madly in love with her and am glad I did. But the Surprise dog was her kennel-mate. May was a rescue from a Hoarder, I wasn't able to get many details, but I know that she was the last of the adult dogs that were taken, and she was probably kept in a crate all her life. She was terrified of people and other dogs and would only socialize with Ali.
The shelter said they were worried she would backslide with her training without Ali as her security blanket and she was barely adoptable as is. I agreed to take her as well and they waived the fee, gave me a big crate and food and good leashes and a big bed for her (I wasn't expecting any of that).
I'm working on getting them properly socialized, May is very skiddish and unsure around humans, but doesn't care about animals. Ali is a lot better, but with strangers she'll come sit behind my legs if they try to approach her.
So my question is this: For those of you who have rescued dogs (or cats), especially adult ones, do you think they know they're rescued? Do you think they get the vibe that they're safe now and they can just learn to be themselves?
I have two rescued cats too, but my first one Kanin was a tiny, sickly kitten when I got him, so I'm not sure he was old enough to remember. Spot was 3 when I got him and I was his 5th (and last) placement. He's come around in the past two years, but I still can't take him anywhere (like the vet for routine shots, thank god he's indoor only) because he panics when he sees a carrier. But I think he's finally decided that I'm not going to decide he's 'not perfect' or whatever the other reasons were for him being dumped so many times.
So what are your experiences with rescue animals? Did you ever see it 'click' with them that they were officially Home?
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