I thought it was only fitting to have my first blog about a very dear friend. Kelly is a dog I had the true pleasure of meeting in my local shelter. Kelly, I will say was, because she passed over the Rainbow Bridge on Feb. 12, 2012. Kelly came into the shelter a German Shepherd approximately 7 years old with tons of fear, picked up as a stray. Her typical way of dealing with anyone was jumping, lunging, with lots of barking & showing of her teeth which was a serious warning not to get too close.
I spent several weeks getting to get Kelly to trust me simply by walking by her kennel fast & tossing small treats to her. I would then walk by slowly & wait for the barking to stop before giving the treat. I worked my way up to playing catch with her. I would toss treats & Kelly tried to catch them. We progressed to where Kelly had to make eye contact & sit, at which point I would give lots of treats & just as much praise. Slowly we worked to getting Kelly out for walks. As Kelly became more trusting, she got to meet more people, as long as her behavior progressed so did her training. Kelly was able to meet people on leash, at a slow pace, & was doing really well.
Once we were able to have Kelly meet several people male & female outside her kennel area we knew Kelly was ready to find her forever home. A progress that met with a rather large challenge as Kelly needed time to feel comfortable with someone new. This person had to want to work with Kelly as this was a process that would require time, much training, physical activity, love & lots of patience. Miracles do happen because RSVP Inc. (http://www.rsvpinc.org/) helped me to find just the woman for Kelly.
We started from square 1 with this new person having to do all that I did. It was important that Kelly would develop a strong trust with the person that she would be living with because we needed to teach Kelly that when she was unsure she needed to look to her owner for guidance as to what to do. Kelly was building trust for her new owner & her new owner was falling in love with Kelly the way I did. Sadly, Kelly passed away before she got out of the shelter.
I am sharing Kelly’s story with you because there are many Kelly’s out there. They were either taught incorrectly, not taught at all, abused, or were just neglected. Kelly did not want to be fearful of people, someone made her that way. With time Kelly gave me her trust, devotion, & love. I will never forget the last day I saw her. I kneeled down, patted my leg, Kelly came into my space, put her head down & leaned into my chest, searched out my hand & kissed it. I know she was grateful for the time I gave her. I will forever be grateful for the love & affection she gave me. Kelly has left what I call her forever paw prints on my heart.
Second Chances are important to us all. There are many dogs waiting in shelters for their second chance…