by Joanna D. Samson, FOTAS Vice President
“Heaven works on favor. If it worked on merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in”
Why Katy had not been adopted was a puzzle to those of us who knew her. The pretty, 2-year-old, black and white short-haired Collie cross was a real lady—calm, self-possessed and dignified. She didn’t bark in her cage. She was sociable with people, children and other dogs. She was smart. She was house-broken; in fact, she waited patiently every morning until a volunteer came to take her for her walk, to rather than “do her business” in her kennel.
Katy was, in all respects, a darn-near perfect dog.
Yet somehow, by May of 2016, Katy held the unfortunate distinction of being the dog who had been on the adoption floor the longest. Those of us who loved her (FOTAS volunteers and Shelter staff) began to fret, not because she had been taking up precious space at the Shelter for too long, but because we could see that the stress of shelter life was taking its toll on her. You could see the sadness in her eyes, and who could blame her? No matter how polite and composed she was, potential adopters walked right by her, choosing silly, unruly cute dogs instead. It was discouraging.
When Katy became short-tempered and intolerant in the daily dog play-group, we shifted into FOTAS overdrive to get her out of the Shelter. Enter Chenoa Shields, an Augusta resident who fosters puppies and hard-to-place dogs in the greater CSRA. Chenoa had come to the Shelter to observe our newly enacted play-group program, and we took the opportunity to chat her up about our love of Katy and our concern for her well-being. Chenoa could see Katy’s many virtues, and even though she had witnessed Katy’s increasingly short temper in play-group, she agreed to take her as a private foster if Katy could get along with Chenoa’s two Pugs.
She could. Katy was the kind lady we knew she could be, treating the much smaller, affable, energetic little Pug Yasmeen with playful tenderness. Katy went home with Chenoa as a foster until we could find her a home.
She is still there today.
Why? Because everyone fell in love. Katy fell in love with Chenoa, Yasmeen, and even Chenoa’s dog-selective Pug, Layla – and they fell in love with her.
Moreover, Katy turns out to be the perfect mama dog for Chenoa’s fosters, and to date, Katy has fostered 22 puppies and underdogs and (are you ready for this?) four kittens.
Here’s the takeaway. When you find a dog you like at the Shelter, but you are not certain she is the right dog because she seems anxious, distant or timid, remember this: shelter life is stressful for even the calmest, most affectionate dogs. We’ve placed thousands over the years, and we can say with virtual certainty that a safe place, companionship and love turns every dog into a loyal friend and companion.
They just need someone, like you, to give them a chance.
Their lives are in our hands.