It took us a long time to be ready for another dog after losing our long-time family pet, Lance. When we finally decided we might be ready, though, it happened quickly! There was an adoption event close by and we just went to look – but came home with a 10 month old puppy, who we named Sophie. We had spoken to Sophie’s foster mom at the adoption event and she gave us lots of advice on kenneling, continuing her potty training and helping her ease into our home and learn to love us (she was a bit shy!) But we didn’t actually listen to much of that advice. After all, this wasn’t our first dog! We’d had a perfect dog for 11 years! We knew what we were doing. Sophie wasn’t affectionate. She didn’t want to be near us. She wasn’t Lance. The first night we did not crate Sophie and she had diarrhea all over my dining room rug. My fault. Okay, we’ll try the crate thing. The second night she had diarrhea in her crate. This was very disheartening for us! I had read online that dogs won’t poop in their crates, but Sophie certainly had! In fact, she continued to have diarrhea for the next several days!
In addition to her not being as affectionate as we would have liked and having diarrhea every night, she was far too interested in our family cat! She wasn’t trying to hurt the cat, but I could tell she was stressing her out. I was tired of the drama this dog was bringing into our lives and wanted to be done with it. It had been a long week and I was over it. So I contacted her foster mom.
She was willing to take Sophie back, but she said some tough things, too. She asked me what I was doing to fix the diarrhea? Had I tried a different food? Taken her to the vet? She told me that RR would get us medication to help the diarrhea. She told me that Sophie’s attention to the cat was normal and completely trainable if I was willing, but that it would require consistency. She reminded me that the cat wasn’t the only one stressed out, Sophie was, too. So I thought about it. And I decided to give it a little more time.
Things really turned around at that point. The medication helped with her diarrhea and we were able to figure out that she had a grain allergy and needed grain free food. Around the same time she decided to love us and became a much cuddlier, loving dog. She and the cat started doing much better with correction. I could tell that this was going to work after all.
Several months later and we are happy as can be with our Sophie. She still has puppy behaviors that we are working on, but we are so grateful we stuck with it.
Kuzco and Roo's Story
Let me start by saying I love dogs. Dogs, especially dogs with issues, require patience, understanding and perseverance. I believe that when we develop those qualities in ourselves we have a more balanced, happy life.
A few years ago I was raped. My (now) husband and I adopted a dog about 2 weeks later as a way to cope with the incident and give me an outlet of comfort. We named the dog Kuzco, and he helped so much in my recovery.
Kuzco, was a challenge in separation anxiety. We came home on several occasions to find that our bedroom resembled a chicken massacre. Feathers of down comforter everywhere, fans, space heaters and mattresses destroyed. At first I was angry. I approached Kuzco very calmly and took a deep breath. I reached to pet him because I knew he was stressed and freaked out. He flinched as if I was going to hit him. My anger became sadness as I realized this dog had more to his story than we knew. I saw so much of myself in Kuzco, and I was determined to help him overcome his past and become the healthy, vibrant dog I knew he could be. We worked with him every morning and every night. Working with Kuzco got my husband and I outside and active. We became a team we didn’t realize we were before. We fell more in love and became healthier people. In working on his insecurities, fears, and issues; I began to conquer my own. He is a blessing and always will be. We are so happy we didn’t give up on him because he challenged us in so many wonderful ways. Years later we adopted Roo. She made Kuzco’s challenges feel like a cake walk. She was more difficult in several more ways. Fear consumed her. She yelped every time we touched her, she peed whenever we came near, she growled, she was afraid of grass, she had accidents…on and on. But I was determined not to give up on her. It took 4 months to get her to where she is - a well behaved and happy dog that sometimes still has an off moment. I wouldn’t trade away even one of her issues, though. Just like people, the things a dog has been through shape their personality, and Roo is perfect as she is. What you as adopters have to understand is, Rescue Rovers works extremely hard with these dogs. They take them out of loud, stressful shelters. They work on house training, behavior, trust, and much more, but you must continue what they started. True rescue isn’t easy. It isn’t instant gratification. It’s hard, it’s testing. Rescuing is not just giving a dog food, shelter, treats, and pets. It’s work. It’s life changing. It’s worth the months of waiting for that dog to show you who they are and to show you who you are. Don’t give up on them after two days or two weeks or two months. You are missing life lessons that no one else in the world can teach you. Commit to them. Commit to yourself. Commit to a life that is complete and better because someone without a voice and with an innocent heart can show you how in a way you will be proud to comprehend.
On Dec 23 2015, my humans adopted me from Rescue Rovers and named me Molly. They wanted a friend for their 4 year old yellow lab named Abby, she was quite over weight and inactive and acted sad a lot of the time. When I came into their home, Abby didn’t care for me much and let me know it. I had been through it before, this is my sixth home and I wasn’t even 2 years old. I have spent a lot of time in dog shelters and kennels so I figured this would be just another quick stop before I went to the next one. I frustrated my humans by going potty in the house and chewing up all of Abby’s toys, my human’s shoes, blankets, watches, purses, all the typical things. I figured I would leave my mark. I know my dad was ready within a week to haul me back to RR. The family vet told them they made a huge mistake by adopting me and said I was scarred up mentally and physically from my terrible past and that I would be a runner and un-trainable. They made a few calls to Rescue Rovers and were told that things might get better with time, and if not, to bring me back and they would try another family. After about a month of patient, loving care I decided my humans were in it for the long haul. I had done about every bad thing I’d done in the past and I was still here. So I decided to chill out and let them really love me. A year later and I’m told I’m good girl all the time! We did have our struggles, but now I finally know what love is and I can’t get enough of it. I have a huge fenced yard where I play often. My humans take me and my sister on daily 5 mile runs to the river where I have learned to swim. I am always off leash and never let my humans get out of my sight. I chase deer, rabbits, squirrels; I have gotten in tussles with a turkey or two as well. One day I tried to sniff an odd looking creature and I ended up going to my new family vet to get a whole bunch of quills out of my face, OUCH! I get to go to new places camping and hiking, my sister loves me a lot and is in good shape and happy again. My human’s children and grandchildren love me, too. The mail lady and UPS man not so much, I am protective of my forever home, but I know my limits. I get to sleep in the bed with my humans; I love to snuggle with them and my sister. At night I feel like I’m in heaven. I can’t believe this is happening to me after what I’ve been through. God must have had a plan for me and my new family. Thank you for not letting me die without ever knowing what true love is. Thank you.