Happily Ever Afters >
Short of winning the lottery, the possibility of adopting a rescued German Shepherd didn't exist for me with my lifestyle. I was content with being a foster for the Northwest German Shepherd Rescue under the condition that I would be able to bring the dog to work. Having fostered four other dogs in the last two years, I know that virtually every rescued dog that comes into the Rescue has an unknown history and some have been traumatized to varying levels.
'Petra', was one of eight dogs rescued out of what I call the urban jungles in L.A. Petra was apparently picked up as a stray and quite likely a feral dog. When she arrived here, she was physically shutting down. She was skittish and wouldn't eat or drink and stayed curled up in little hair ball in the back of her kennel. She was taken to the Rescue's vet for evaluation and place in intensive care for about a week where she started to eat again. She was then able to be spayed and returned to my care for fostering. This was the first dog I had fostered that had showed no interest in doggie toys or treats and seemingly didn't bark for or at anything. Still very skittish. A quick move of any sort would send her with her tail tucked between her legs into any small space she could find. I knew I had my work cut out for me with this one, but I was determined. I worked with Petra for the next five weeks or so, taking her to work with me every day and exposing her, with caution, to an environment where she could interact, and be around dog friendly people. She showed slow but steady improvement, and displayed growing trust around the other co-workers. There was one point when my workplace became a little hectic and not conducive for dog in recovery. So I decided to try leaving Petra at home during the day. To my surprise, or should say to my relief, Petra was find with it showing no signs of anxiety and happy to see me on my return. My original goal in fostering Petra was to build on her trust with humans and provide an environment where she felt at ease. I knew there would be a time where the Rescue had to decide on Petra's future. I felt at this point that if Petra was placed with another foster her trust level would be erased, my time with her all for not, and the odds of finding her a forever home slim-to-none. I'm a believer in 'things happen for a reason' and I realized that Petra coming into my life was indeed, better than winning the lottery.
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