Fostering… it takes a village

Odin, our foster pup, has been with us for almost 4 weeks. We kind of expected fostering to be challenging but what we did not expect is the support and kindness being shown to us by others.

With social media being what it is, the news that we were caring for Odin travelled fast. Many have been quick to offer their support and good wishes.

Into our first week, I received a facebook message from my friend Pauline. She had recently lost her two dogs and was wondering if we would accept their Kuranda dog bed for Odin. Oh my gosh, how generous is this!

It turns out that Odin loves this bed and it will travel with him when he finds his forever family. Thank you Pauline, so very much!

Odin’s Kuranda bed

We have found that Odin loves bully sticks. I love them too as it keeps him occupied and gives us all some quiet time.

On my way home from Animal Services last week I stopped in at Leo & Co Pet shop to replenish our supply. Stacey, the proprietor, and I first met about 4 years back when I photographed her two beautiful dogs, Leo and Remington. We got to talking and I mentioned that I was thinking of getting Odin a martingale collar. Did she have any for sale?

“Just a sec,” she said as she stepped into the back room and come out with a cloth martingale collar. “Will this work?”. Her beautiful Great Dane pup, Denver, had outgrown his and she wanted to donate it to Odin.

Well… not only does this work… it fits perfectly! Thank you Stacey! Thank you Denver!

Odin’s martingale collar

This week I contacted a local dog trainer to see if Odin and I could attend some of her puppy socialization classes. I was hoping to drop in and pay as we go as I am not sure how long Odin will be with us. I am not even sure if Odin has the confidence to participate but my thought was, that even being an observer would benefit him. And I really think he would enjoy the other puppies.

Even as I typed my request, I thought I might be asking a bit much. So imagine our surprise when Ashley responded, “Please feel free to bring Odin out! No charge. Let’s see if we can get this boy a home!”

Wow!! is all I can say. So… next Tuesday Odin and I will be attending the Puppy Socialization classes at Tess’s Dog Training. To say I am happy and excited for our boy is an understatement. Thank you Ashley!

There really are so many good people out there… bless your kind hearts.

“… there are more good people on this earth than bad people, and the good people watch out for each other and take care of each other.” ~ Isabel Pullman in the book “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio

Odin – In Foster

Odin is a 5-month-old Lab mix who had a bit of a rough start to life but is now doing so much better. This young pup was brought into rescue from a northern community where he was living on his own at the garbage dump. How he managed to survive the winter we will never know.

A kind heart from that community was eventually able to feed and capture him. He was then given to a rescue who in turn placed him with Winnipeg Animal Services as part of their Northern Outreach Initiative program.

I first met Odin at Animal Services while doing the adoption photos. He was terrified. It was very evident that human contact was new to him. The thing is… even though he was very frightened, he showed absolutely no aggression… he simply shut down and became very still. It was soon apparent that the kennel environment was not the best place for this pup so Roland and I decided to foster him and took him home.

Initially, he was very leery of us… but he absolutely LOVES Lacie, our 7-year-old dog. He follows her anywhere and everywhere… she has become his safe place.

Odin’s confidence is growing and he is slowly coming to trust Roland and me. We are simply taking it slow and letting Odin set his own pace.

Odin will need a special home… a safe place where he will be allowed to set his own pace as far as human interaction goes. He has spent time with my grandkids and really seemed to enjoy them, so we feel he would enjoy a family with kids as long as the kids are dog savvy and understand and respect that human contact is new to him and things need to be taken slowly.

He and our dog, Lacie, play very well together. We believe that Odin would do best in a home where there is another dog for him to play and interact with.

Odin’s progress in the short time he has been with us is remarkable. He is a gentle, good-natured boy who will be a most wonderful addition to the right family. With a little time and a little patience he is going to grow up to be the most phenomenal dog and companion.

Odin is now available for adoption. We have no doubt that he will be a very loving companion for some lucky family.

If you would like more info on Odin please contact Winnipeg Animal Services by calling 311 or email: animalservicesagency@winnipeg.ca

We are hoping to find Odin the very best forever home.

“Hi,” I said. She came over, licked my hand discreetly, allowed herself to be scratched for a time, chased her tail in a dignified circle, lay down again. I remember thinking: “There are times God puts a choice in front of you.” I often had such thoughts back then. We took the dog. ~ Stanley Bing

Project 52 Week 9 – No Place Like Home

The theme for week 9 of the Project 52 Pet Photographer’s blog circle is “no place like home”.

Home means different things to different folks but for many, home is our safe place… a place where we are accepted and loved.

This sense of “home” is as important to our pets as it is to ourselves but sadly, for the many shelter dogs, a home is not something they have recently known.

Lacie is home
The majority of dogs that end up at Animal Services, where I volunteer, enter as unclaimed strays. Some may have been living on the street for a while, some may have suddenly and unexpectedly found themselves lost and alone. All of them have their stories, many of which we will never know.

Every effort is made to find their families by every means we have. If no owner is found, (and I am so often amazed when no owner comes forward. Why is no one looking for this dog??) the dogs are vet checked and placed in our adoption program.

Lacie was one of these dogs. Four years ago she somehow found herself at the shelter, a timid little gal, unsure of her new surroundings. Happily, for all of us, we found each other and she became part of our family… our home became her home.

I still remember the day we brought her home. All of our crew lined up to meet the new girl. First came Sadie, then Coco and not far behind Bear, the man-cat, bursting with curiosity as he peeked around the corner.

Lacie was fortunate, her time at the shelter was short. For many of the dogs, this is not the case.

It is difficult to determine why some dogs are repeatedly overlooked for adoption. For some, it is that they are nervous, scared and present badly in their kennels. For others, they may simply be the wrong colour, too big, too vocal… but for most the “why” remains a mystery.

So they wait, some for days, some for months.

The good news is that eventually, they will find homes. The real joy comes when a long-timer, a dog you begin to think will never leave, ends up in the best possible home. It’s almost as if the wait, although long, has been necessary so that the very special someone, their perfect match, can find them and take them home.

And we are left smiling and marvelling at their good fortune as we wonder if maybe there really is a plan, maybe things do happen for a reason.

When these dogs leave through the front door with their new families for their new forever homes, it is indeed the best of times.

These are the days and the times when we know why we do what we do.

These are the days I get to delete the dog’s photos from the adoptable dogs album on our facebook page. Happy deletes!

But the reality is, the flow of lost and stray dogs entering the shelter is never-ending.

So we keep on doing what we can and try to remember the happy stories on the days that are hard.

Here are just some of this week’s faces, all hoping for forever homes and their own happy tales.

Aspen

Cashew

Chia

Goldie

Hudson

Moxie

Nutmeg

Timber

Jazz

So many great dogs needing good homes.

“For me a house or an apartment becomes a home when you add one set of four legs, a happy tail, and that indescribable measure of love that we call a dog.” ~ Roger Caras

Project 52 _______________________
This post is part of the Pet Photography Project 52 blog circle. To see what the next photographer is sharing for the weekly theme, “No Place Like Home”, visit Tracy Allard of Penny Whistle Photography fetching portraits in Coppell and surrounding communities in the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex Continue to click the link at the end of each post in the blog circle until you eventually find your way back here. Enjoy!

Related Links:
City of Winnipeg Animal Services
Winnipeg Animal Services – facebook page
Winnipeg Animal Services Petfinder page

Volunteering at Animal Services

I can honestly say that volunteering with Animal Services is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I feel so fortunate to be able to work alongside people that I respect and with whom I share a similar mindset. The staff and volunteers at Winnipeg Animal Services work together as a team to make a difference in the dog community by promoting responsible pet ownership through public education and adoption.

To be passionate about something and to be able to feel that what you are doing is making a difference, is priceless.

“Meet Colleen! She is a retired nurse and photographer. Colleen volunteers her time weekly and takes pictures of our dogs to help them get adopted. She is also part of a small team that helps maintain our social media channels. Thank you!”

“Be the change… Volunteer.”

Adopt a Shelter Dog

These are the faces of this week… each one hoping for a forever home.

Bruno

Hooch

Kip

Rudy

“It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.” ~ John Grogan

Related Links:
City of Winnipeg Animal Services
Winnipeg Animal Services – facebook page
Winnipeg Animal Services Petfinder page

Adopt a Shelter Dog

Here are the hopeful faces from today…

Bartholomew

Beau

Bennett

Jenna

Sadie

Sawyer

Titan

Toby

Sonny

“Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love can make him wag his tail.” ~ Kinky Friedman

Related Links:
City of Winnipeg Animal Services
Winnipeg Animal Services – facebook page
Winnipeg Animal Services Petfinder page