I remember the first time I saw Allie, she was barking, growling, and cowering at the back of her cage in the pound; some may have thought she was aggressive, but I could see immediately that this poor dog was only terrified and unsure. She was shaking from head to toe, her eyes clearly showing her fear and distrust of everything around her, nor could I blame her for that fear, considering her world had just been turned upside down. Looking at her, it broke my heart, this poor dog had been through a lot in her short life.
Fast forward a few weeks later, the same dog, now heavily pregnant, uncertain and worried as I gently lead her into my home, I could feel her fear, see it in every line as she nervously followed me, keeping her distance and avoiding my eyes. After a gentle bath, food, and a bit of cautious exploring, I lead her into the area which would become her whelping box, and puppy raising area for the next two months, she investigated it carefully, then laid down on the nice comfy dog bed I had prepared for her, though not truly relaxed, I could tell she was beginning to calm, and over the next couple hours, she became more comfortable with my touch, and she begin wagging her tail, a good sign. By the evening, she was much more comfortable with me and the house, and for the first time, she laid her head down for a rest, finally relaxed in her situation.
A week later; many dog treats, gentle petting, soothing voice, and a steady routine, she sought my attention and while by no means completely healed, the progress was there, she trusted me. As first stage labor headed into second, she stayed close beside me, looking for my reassurance, as she continued to do throughout the entire night of the delivery of her six beautiful babies. As her babies grew, her trust in us grew as well, and who she really was at her core showed itself, a silly, active, sensitive dog who needed a kind, reassuring person to show her the way. While some of her problems, due to what she suffered in her past would never go away, she came such a long way from the terrified dog I first saw all that time ago.
From terrified and unsure, to playful and safe, she had turned around amazingly! Just before the pup’s 8th week, Allie had a meet and greet with a potential family, 8 weeks ago, going to a new place and meeting new people would not have been possible for her, but now, she greeted the situation with the confidence that no one was going to hurt her, not this time, never again.
In most shelters, a dog like Allie would have been put to sleep, when all she truly needed was someone who could show her what life can, and should actually be. What more can I say? From terrified in cage, to running around without a care in the world playing fetch.
Fostering truly makes a difference!