(got your box of Kleenex with you?)
I wonder if any of you reading here today remember a foster dog of mine named Canyon. He came to me two years ago and stayed five months. He was taken into the shelter where my daughters work when another shelter was closed down. Here’s what I wrote in November 2014:
Last week, the shelter where my daughters work, along with some other shelters and rescues, answered a call for help. A shelter was closing and there were lots and lots of dogs who needed immediate placement. My daughters’ shelter would take what they could. Luckily, they’d just had several adoptions. This is why it is so important to adopt. Without those recent adoptions, they would not have been in the position to take as many of these dogs as they did.
One of the dogs they took was Canyon. As my daughters were reading about each dog in need, they came across a description that broke their hearts: Sitting in the corner, 8-year old Canyon never moves. He just looks down mostly. He gave us a glance but that's where he stayed. After taking his photo I noticed his pen door didn't close. When I brought that up to the folks there, they said it doesn't close but not to worry, he never leaves his pen. I guess he thinks anything outside of the pen isn't worth seeing, why bother... nothing out there for Canyon. Can we show Canyon the world? Can we show him lots of love and attention and joy to lighten his old bones and put emotion on his face other than existing? Can we show Canyon that beyond the gate there are great things to see? Let’s get this old fella a Rescue please!
My daughters put him on their list.
Here’s what I wrote about my initial experience with him:
When my daughters first told me about the emergency evacuation of this shelter, I told them to let me know if they ended up with any dogs who needed “a little more.” I’m sure you’ve guessed by now that they told me immediately about Canyon. On the very day he arrived at the shelter, my daughters brought him here. I was to foster him and see if he could be brought out of his shell. The first 24 hours, all Canyon did was hide. If I was inside the building, he would go into his outside run. If I went outside, he hurried inside. On the second day, I decided to just sit on the floor beside his bed and talk to the flap between inside and outside. I could see him just on the outside of that doorway flap (the flaps are partially see-through). I kept talking. Finally, a nose pushed through at the edge of the flap. Then one eye. When he saw me sitting there on the floor, he ran to the end of his outside run. But eventually he came back. It took a lot of one-eyed viewing on Canyon’s part and a lot of sweet talking on my part, but Canyon finally got the courage to come in. He was very nervous. He would only look at the wall, but he allowed me to pet him.
A month later I wrote this:
Canyon was shy, fearful, and depressed when he came here. He started coming around within a few days and started to show some personality. He is still fearful of quite a few things. He sits really really close to me. And Canyon has a particular mannerism that I could hardly wait to share with you. He has a pacifier. Canyon had been here less than two weeks when I noticed one day that he was carrying his food dish in his mouth. That probably doesn’t seem like such a big deal. And it wouldn’t have been if he had done it that one day and that had been it. But sweet Canyon carries his food dish around in his mouth now almost continuously when anything makes him excited or nervous.
In the spring of 2015, Canyon moved to the shelter:
Let me tell you about the sweet, sweet Canyon boy. He has left my care and made his transition to the shelter. I thought it would kill me to let him go. I know how nervous he gets and how sensitive he is. Do you know how LUCKY I am that it is my two daughters I send my foster animals to when they can no longer stay here? I’m not sure I could do it otherwise. Not only do I know their level of compassion, I also know that I can drive them completely crazy with constant questions about how one of my fosters is doing once he or she is living at the shelter. I can’t even remember how many texts I sent on the day that Canyon left here. But I know that I’ve asked one daughter or the other EVERY day, either in person or by text, how my Canyon boy is doing.
Canyon was heartworm positive. He got through the treatment and was posted for adoption. I worried because he was an 8-year old black lab mix with a graying muzzle - not the most adoptable description. My hope for Canyon was that some wonderful family would give him a shot at The Good Life. It never happened. He has lived at the shelter for two years. He’s had friend dogs in his enclosure come and go, but Canyon was never chosen. A ten-year old, black lab mix, highly sensitive dog who would more than likely live his entire life in a shelter.
But something wonderful happened. Canyon is periodically posted on the shelter’s FB page. Before the holidays he was posted (again) along with several other highly “unadoptable” dogs. A woman contacted the shelter immediately when she saw him. She remembered his story. She said she’d always had a special place in her heart for Canyon. She thought he’d been adopted long ago. She was surprised to see that he was still there. This past Saturday she came and adopted Canyon, and she reports that he is doing great! This boy finally got what he so so so deserved. A human and a home of his very own. (happy tears)
See you tomorrow for more good news about fosters.