It's not just about the dog itself, but the relationship you have with it!

ForPaws Helps Corgis and Corgi Mixes

Dedicated to Bart, who had the Most Beautiful Tail

"It's very simple. Dogs and cats and other talented animals have tails; their tails, with their thousands of flourishes, provide them with a wonderfully complex language of arabesques, not only for what they think and feel and suffer, but for every mood and vibration in their feeling tone. We have no tails, and since the more lively among us need some form of expression, we make ourselves paintbrushes and pianos and violins..."

Hermann Hesse

Saturday, June 6, 2009

This Made my Heart Smile!

Over the years ForPaws Corgi Rescue has placed literally hundreds of dogs. Every so often we hear from our adopters. They write to tell us that their new dog is a bona fide family member in a home where it is clearly happy and well-loved. These letters are the real rewards that come from dog rescue work.

But once in awhile we get a letter that qualifies as the Olympic Gold Medal of reports. Below is just such a letter, received yesterday from a wonderful man who has been instructing one of our adopters, and her little rescue Pembroke in the fine art of herding sheep!

The dog he refers to was one of four, taken from a puppy mill. This little guy was extremely shy and under socialized, but incredibly sweet. It has taken him some time to trust and the herding work as given him a lot of confidence.

Note: The letter has been slightly edited, and names have been changed to protect privacy.

Dear ForPaws,

 I just wanted to send a quick note and update on the Iowa “Castaway” Pembroke adopted by Joanne.

He has been, and continues to be, a great joy to work with.  The courage he has shown is truly amazing.  As you know, I have been working him on sheep for Joanne since late last year.  

Each time we work together he shows signs of improvement.  Each time he is a little more relaxed.  He lets me pet him, without cringing.  He is smiling.  Last night after working the sheep, he even gave me a little nuzzle.  As Joanne picked him up, I gave him tummy skritches and his little eyes started closing.  You could tell he was relaxing, that he is really starting to believe that this is his forever home and that he will have a chance to be a real Corgi.

Last night our work on sheep was to go in a pen with a mix of ewes and lambs and walk calmly around them, to reverse direction, to stop and turn into the sheep.  Only a couple times did he want to charge off and raise a little havoc (he wouldn’t be a Corgi if he didn’t).  The rest of the time he walked calmly by my side, on a very loose long line, with a huge smile on his face.

The goal has always been to get him to a point where he and Joanne could be a real team in the arena.  I am proud, and sad at the same time, to be able to say that we begin the transition next week.  

What this little guy may not know, is how much he is teaching me and the gifts he is giving me.  Then again, maybe he does. 

I really feel like I am the lucky one here.  What skills or knowledge I have been able to share with the rescues I have been around…seem insignificant when I look at what they have given me.


Thanks Made my Heart Smile!


penni said...

Now I'm all choked up -- definitely made my heart smile. Thanks for sharing this, Kathy.

Elbeepem said...

You're welcome Penni! My pleasure! I know there was a some message traffic about rescue dogs and the "baggage" that comes with them, etc. recently. I just couldn't comment because the subject of rescue dogs is SO much more complex than that. Unless you are intimately involved, you can't know that.

Like so many things, what we hear publicly always seems to focus on the limitations associated with adopting a rescue dog. In truth, the limitations play a very small part in the bigger picture. Most frequently, when rescue is done right, a dog finds a place where it is a great fit. I have had SO many people tell me that their dog became a member of the family almost immediately and it feels like it has always been there! There is no price on that kind of a relationship with a dog, and its breed doesn't matter.

From the perspective of someone who has actively been rescuing dogs, for over 10 years, there are SO many more positives that a rescue dog can bring than negatives. You don't hear people talk about those things - but trust me, they're there!

This letter so beautifully illustrates how this dog's new owner gave him the gift of trust and love. In return seeing him blossom and his confidence grow...priceless!