A Paws for Pets is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping animals. It's not a bird, a plane, or even a frog; it's just little old me, the underdog.
We've been assisting a breeder in the west with placing retired dogs for the past couple of years. We occasionally receive dogs who are really amiable and do not act like conventional breeder dogs. Then we get the dogs who are more withdrawn, and we have to work with them for a bit longer to teach them to trust before they can be adopted. We rarely encounter a dog from this breeder that is so frightened that it bites.
We got a small Lhasa Apso last March. She was timid and terrified. To protect herself, her initial inclination was to bite. She began to run outdoors by herself from her kennel as the days progressed, returning to her kennel when she was finished. Rather of being carried outside, she decided to do things her way. She simply didn't have faith in anyone at the shelter.
One evening, Noelle Mandeville had the near-impossible task of grooming her. So Sadie wouldn't get too wound up, she did it in two sessions. After being groomed and shaved, Sadie acted like a whole different dog. She seemed considerably happy, though she was still wary of being taken up and carried. Some of the volunteers had a lot more success with her than I did. Dawn Ehman and Gail Nordlund seemed to have a special way with her. It was wonderful to watch them just holding her in her kennel.
Dawn decided after three months at the shelter that she wanted to foster Sadie in her house. Dawn is always willing to lend a helping hand to the underdogs. If a dog has had a difficult life prior to coming to the shelter, it only adds to her affection for them. This has happened to me several times over the years. These dogs appear to have a strong bond with her.
Dawn admitted that Sadie and house training had been a challenge for her for a few months. Even months after bringing Sadie home, she suffered accident after mishap. Dawn eventually decided to add a dog door, which made all the difference. Sadie hasn't had an accident in the house in a long time.
Sadie is now a part of Dawn's "pack" and lives with her. She lives alongside other dogs who have had a difficult start in life, and despite their differences, they appear to get along well. She's growing to trust humans and has developed a strong bond with Dawn in recent months. She is still wary of unfamiliar sounds, but she is improving rapidly.
Dawn thinks she has the best personality. Sadie, she claims, is demanding, sassy, and rather amusing. Dawn recently took a trip. Gail Nordlund was requested to keep an eye on Sadie while she was gone. After a few days, Sadie calmed down and behaved well at Gail's house. Dawn claims she picked up Sadie and drove her home when she returned. She was so delighted to be back home that she got the "zoomies" for the first time. Sadie has made her decision about where she will spend the rest of her life.
Every eight weeks, Dawn takes her to be groomed, and Sadie is starting to like it. She's a normal breeder dog that will take her time to figure out what life is all about.
She will never know neglect, loneliness, starvation, or misery again, Dawn says. "Only love," she says.