I Support Pet Adoption

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Shelter Chronicles: the dog, formally known as Nala (now Nora)

It's hard to believe that Nora is still looking for a home!

Here is the back story. Nora (Nala) was a WLA shelter dog. She had a hard time at the shelter as it was much too stressful for her. She ended up getting into it with another dog and had to have her head shaved so she ended up looking kind of scary. So between being stressed out and looking kind of ugly, no one was showing any interest whatsoever.

I'm always amazed at how a dog's expression can completely change when they are under extreme stress. We see this all the time at the shelter, especially when we get to see one of our dogs after its adoption (see Bruno's story & pix).

Back to the story.... The wonderful WLA volunteers took Nora under their wing and soon she was doing a lot better. We started to see her soft side and what a love she really was. Her hair started to grow back so she was looking much better! Then, a great thing happened; Nora was adopted! The new people seemed very nice, took our phone numbers for support and went on their merry way with our good girl, Nora!

The first week for Nora was tough as she was recovering from her spay surgery and getting used to her new home. At first she didn't want to eat and basically just slept a lot. The new owners being newbies were very concerned about her and called me and other volunteers several times to ask questions and voice concerns. My feeling was that they were too worried about everything but I was glad that they were calling us to ask about dog behavior.

Once Nora was doing better, the folks hired a dog walker to take out Nora during the day when they were at work. This seemed a step in the right direction. As it turned out, the dog walker was involved with the rescue group, Much Love, which later was a BIG factor in Nora's rescue.

Then, a new turn of events. Turned out that Nora was left at a vet's office by the new owners for a couple of weeks where she caught phenomena. When the folks returned and found that she was sick, that was the last straw for them! They brought Nora back to shelter where they pleaded for her to be euthanized! I guess they felt she was damaged goods unfit to be a pet. Fortunately, the shelter will not euthanize dogs on demand so she was now just a very sick dog at the shelter. Poor girl.

Thank goodness for the volunteers' involvement, the big heart of the dog walker and the generosity of Much Love rescue. Nora was bailed out by Much Love, fostered by the dog walker, nursed back to health and brought back to being her vibrant sweet self. Nora is still up for adoption and you can see in this video that she is a great dog.

Um, by the way, another black dog folks... It's no coincidence.

To me the interesting aspect of this story is that the original adopters seemed perfect at first glance. They had no other pets so Nora would be their one and only. They could afford a dog walker so they obviously had the necessary financial resources to take care of the dog. They seemed nice enough as people. So, what went wrong? Here are some ideas on why this adoption failed:
  • They didn't do any research on dog care and training.
  • They didn't have the patience for a shelter dog (or any dog probably) who had some issues.
  • They weren't realistic about the responsibility involved with having a dog.
  • They did not LISTEN to one word of advice that the volunteers offered.
Thankfully, Nora is alive and well despite how wrong this adoption went. One of the lessons we learn at the shelter is to NEVER judge a book by its cover. We often think, uh-oh, this won't work and we are happily proved wrong (Bruno). It's just a hit and miss situation with adoptions and all we can do as volunteers is try to educate every person who adopts a pet.

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