Friday, July 12, 2013

One Furry Reason to Foster Dogs

Here is a touching story from one of our foster volunteers, Chris Stones. It's amazing how the smallest things can mean the world to some of our rescue dogs.

Suzy Q is up for adoption! Photo: Heather
Last night Sheila and I were in bed watching TV as we normally do when Suzy Q suddenly decided to jump up on the bed and join us. That is a normal occurrence with Fred and Mia, our other two dogs, but for Suzy it was huge. She has suffered a tremendous trauma at some time in her life that has left her timid, scared and very wary of just about anything that walks on two legs, especially men. As foster parents, we are responsible for reintroducing Suzy Q to the real world and helping her forget the past and change her behaviour so she can once again enjoy the company of other dogs and people.

When we first got her, she took 15 minutes just to come out of her crate. She now roams freely about our home and plays with Fred and Mia constantly, and her trust factor with people improves every day.

Her jumping on the bed last night was like having your own child take their first step. It was like that moment when you are introduced to a small baby and they hang on to your finger for dear life. It was at that moment both Sheila and I realized that while we had seen small improvements every day, Suzy Q, while still timid and shy, trusts us and others. Now the task of rehabilitation can really start.

Suzy Q
I believe most of us would like to belong to something bigger—to give back to the universe even if just in a small way. This is our first foster, and while we will be very sad when Suzy Q is adopted, we will also be so proud of the strides she has made toward  being a balanced little dog. Her confidence, her trust factor, her personality, her playfulness get stronger every day, and we know it is partly because we have taken the time to care, taken the time to share our home and taken the time to share our own little pack of humans and animals with another animal that needed help to realize her full potential. When we uplift anything, another person, a child, an animal, or when we help anything that shares this planet with us, we give back to the universe around us, and what we get back is immeasurable.

I almost cried a little when Suzy Q jumped on the bed last night. I was so proud of her. She overcame her fear, ignored her gut feeling and took a chance. Imagine if that is all any of us did, to help another to overcome fear and take a chance . . . what an amazing world this would be.

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