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Another Chance

NOTES FROM SORD: Another Chance
When Helen mentions that she walks dogs at the shelter, people respond with "I could never work there. It is so depressing." She tells them S/R give them "another chance." Some people still don't get it. But some do. Several of her friends said that they felt OK about leaving their cats at the shelter with such caring people and were sure that they would find homes for the cats. Even one whose cat was ill was OK knowing that the best attention would be given, even if the cat did not get to another home (and it didn't).

Some of us dogs have never been in a home before, or not in a home that loved us. Some of us have not had enough food or a warm, dry or safe place to sleep. We may be nervous. Some of us may be a bit snappy, especially around food if we have been hungry or had to compete for food. Or we may try to hide, like little dogs crawling under the beds that are in some of the kennels. Some of us have never had to make changes before. We do not know what to expect.

We have to learn to trust, to be willing to try things, and to connect with people. This starts with the staff at the S/R. They care, and they are patient with us. We see what is going on around us, and hear the staff working with other dogs. Sometimes it is coaxing us to eat, sometimes it is petting us, and always it is in the tone of voice. Sometimes it is in giving us treatments, or trying to see how many manners we have or how we play.

There are volunteers who walk us. Some like to play games with us, like chasing balls in the yard, and others prefer to take us for walks. Some let us jump some, and others do not want us to jump at all. Some work with us on manners, like sitting, waiting, and walking along side them. Others always have treats for us and some do not carry treats. Volunteers come in all sizes and shapes, all types of voices. We do not know who might come to the S/R looking for us, so meeting different staff and volunteers helps us get ready for whoever might want to see us.

Some dogs go home and come back. Meeting people and other dogs before we go home is different from living with them. It may take days, or weeks or even months to see if it is going to work. Our new people need to be patient with us, and we need to give it a chance.

Parsi: Helen says it takes a month anyway before she will say that things will probably work out. They did foster care for Lady and her daughter several years ago. The daughter wanted all of Helen's attention, even though there were 4 dogs and 5 cats in the family, and would not let Lady near Helen. After a month, Helen took the daughter back to the shelter, and adopted the mother. Helen said that the daughter needed her "own people" -- and was adopted into home where she was the only animal. Helen said that Lady became more relaxed after her daughter left and fit into the family very well.
Millie: I was adopted to a really nice home. But I wanted all the attention of the man. I was mean to the woman. I had never lived in a home before and never around people living together. They brought me back to the shelter, even though they liked me. I could not know that people can love each other and me, too. A few weeks later, Helen brought Erik to meet me. I liked him right away, and there were no other people living with him. Helen and Dick and Krista visit Erik and me, but they go home. Erik is my person. I have been with Erik over a year now. I am not as scared to share as I first was.

There are many factors in matching us with a home. Some people do not know how much time and attention we need. We are living beings, with differing energy and needs. Just like our people are different. The staff at the S/R try to make sure that the match will work. That is another chance since we have come to the S/R. And they will try again.

All materials copyright © 2008-2018 by Helen Zidowecki unless otherwise noted. - -

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