This lovely adoption story tugs at the heartstrings, and goes to show how animals can heal, even when your heart is broken after losing another pet. Introducing Linda and Allie:
My husband and I lost our beloved pet to intestinal cancer 2 years ago. I was devastated. He was only 4 years old and I didn’t think I would ever get a dog again. My heart was broken and my husband was so upset he said no more pets.
But a couple of my friends belong to a program in my area that rescues dogs, and one day they called me with a problem. There was a terrier-type dog who really needed a warm loving home. “Just come take a look at her.”
So… I did.
It was March last year when I took the trip to see her. She had bad cuts inside her mouth and was very scared of just about everything. I offered to walk her to get to know her a little bit and see how she was with me. Allie and I walked in a park just opposite of the rescue, talking to one another the whole trip. She seemed very shy but was happy for the attention.
I really felt like she spoke to my heart. She seemed to be in tune with me. Her face was soft and her eyes showed that she just wanted to have a heartfelt hug and love. I knew I could do that for her. When we returned I offered to foster her for a period till we could find her forever home. Well, when I brought her home, my husband fell right in love with her. I explained it was a temporary home and we agreed that would be best.
Allie has been with us ever since that day.
Allie was 3 years old and (from what I could tell) had never seen a vet and was always outside during the short life she had already lived. She was never around people, and it showed. She would cower from anyone who came into our home, and I felt so bad for her.
We worked with her day in and day out, slowly allowing her to explore her new surroundings and the people who lived there.
Allie wasn’t sure of anything at first, but in time she has grown to love people! She’s a real snuggle bunny and a bit of a showoff.
We had our issues for sure! Allie would bark at every and anything that moved. A leaf, the grass, cars, people, other animals.
It was a problem she needed to overcome. I worked with a clicker and lots of rewards to let her know that it wasn’t necessary to bark continually. I would crouch down to her level and keep her close so she realized I wasn’t going to leave her alone to face her fears on her own. Her hair would stand on ends every time we introduced her outside of our home.
Taking her to the vet was another issue. She would crawl under my chair and not move.
The vet we decided on was very patient with her. Instead of forcing her into an exam room he came to her and gave her shots while she remained under me. He is amazing.
Allie had no understanding of potty training so it took a bit of time, but now she is great! Because she had never been in a home, she assumed it was fine to relieve herself anywhere at all. The bed and our carpet were two of her favourite places to go! It took me about 3 weeks to help her to see that outside would be a better area to go. I walked with her everyday, and she loved to sniff and really enjoyed getting a half a cookie when she did her business outside of our home. Soon, she was willing and asking to go outside. Mission accomplished!
Allie had basically been left to fend for herself, and although her previous family fed her and she looked alright on the outside, she definitely needed a lot of support for the neglect she suffered for the first 2 and a half years of her life! Patience, love, and understanding throughout this journey has been a definite bonus! She responds very well to a soft voice, rules in our home and lots of cuddles and love.
My husband is permanently in a wheelchair so Allie had to adjust to that but since she hadn’t been around people, it didn’t take her much time.
This little girl just needed to know that we were part of her world and that she was a part of ours.
I have two pet stickers for my car and got them both after we rescued her. One reads: I love my rescue. The other reads: Who rescued who?
Believe me when I say, the latter fits this situation totally! Allie is a great dog, a good companion and has helped me to overcome the great loss we suffered just over a year ago.
She still needs some help with walking on a leash and not pulling my arm out of its socket when she spies a squirrel or a rabbit, but it is coming. She is a smart and very happy young girl and we would definitely rescue again.
Holly and Hugo is an e-learning company which features courses for animal lovers and those planning to work with animals in the future.