Deena is a sweet, wonderful Yorkie that has been with us here at Emerald City Pet Rescue for a handful of months. She came to us very fearful, but we could tell that more than anything, she desperately wanted to love and be loved. She needed to learn through positive daily interactions that she was now safe forever and our staff worked hard to show her that there was nothing to be afraid of. Slowly we watched this timid girl come out of her shell and begin to take treats from us, tolerate human touch, and then ask for pets. She went from cowering when approached to approaching those she learned that she could trust and asking them for attention.
Our staff does such wonderful work with the challenges some of our pets present when they first arrive, whether it be medical challenges, or behavioural/emotional. Our behavioralists guide our staff to work with our animals and help them gain confidence using practices by Sophia Yin using positive reinforcement, the “learn to earn” program, and more. We cater specific training plans to the animal’s individual needs, and with Deena, what she needed most from us was time, patience, and the gentle touch of kindness.
A potential adopter approached us with a lot of interest in adopting Deena. Because Deena is a flight risk as well as a climber/jumper, we had concerns that her potential adopter’s backyard fence simply wasn’t high enough for Deena to be safe in while romping in the backyard, but the adopter felt a special bond with Deena and very much wanted her. She hired a contractor to build her fence up higher so that Deena would be safe, and came in to visit with Deena in order to build a bond. When her home was ready, Deena was still available so she was able to then move forward with the adoption.
Our behavioralist Farrah took Deena to her new mom’s home for the home check. She was very touched by how relieved the adopter was, and she told us that Deena’s mom looked at her new dog and said, “She’s staying? She’s really mine?” Then she looked at Deena and said, “You’re finally home!”
We can’t express enough how much it meant to us that someone loved Deena enough to literally build her a safe yard, and to come and visit her regularly to build that crucial bond between them. Working in rescue can be tough on our hearts. We all bond with the animals that we care for and when we work extra hard to help an animal, seeing them find a home is both an amazing moment of triumph, and just a touch of sadness because although we know this is what we’ve been helping them work toward, we will still miss them. It helps so much to know that a special dog like Deena has an amazing adopter who has already gone above and beyond to meet her needs, we know that Deena is in safe and loving hands for the rest of her life. We’re so grateful to Deena’s new mom. Happy endings like this remind us of why we do what we do. Love can save lives!