Arriving at the shelter can be confusing, overwhelming and frightening for pets. At the Dumb Friends League, we do everything we can to ensure these animals know they’re in a safe and nurturing place until they find their new families. Here is one such story of compassion about a dog named Penny, who arrived at the shelter not once, but twice before she found her match.
Penny found herself at the Dumb Friends League for the second time this March, she had been at the shelter once before after being transferred from a partner out of state. Her first adopters tried to make things work with Penny, but it wasn’t the right fit, and that’s okay. Bringing her back to the League provided Penny with the opportunity to meet the home she was meant to be in.
Penny was scared when she arrived at the League. When greeting staff, the 2-year-old Australian cattle dog mix would retreat to the back of her kennel, cowering and growling. Although these behaviors sound concerning, Dumb Friends League behavior specialists recognized that the young dog was not being aggressive. Instead, her behavior reflected her fear. Penny was enrolled in a program called Canine Courage. With positive reinforcement, patience and time her affectionate personality began to crack through her frightened exterior. It wasn’t long before Penny was approaching staff, placing her paws in their laps and asking for kisses.
After graduating from Canine Courage, Penny was sent into a foster home to continue her progress. According to foster parent Shannon, “once it was time to go, she seemed pretty excited to get in the car and was immediately very clingy with us at home.” Penny also got along with the resident pets in her foster home, but had other priorities, “our dogs played well together outside, but Penny mostly wanted to be with us. One of her funniest quirks was if you were sitting on the couch, she would sit next to you and then proceed to put her face on your face. It was ridiculous.”
Penny’s potential adopter was carefully counseled by behavior specialists about the initial fear seen at the shelter. This counsel ensured that the third time was a charm and that Penny’s new people would be set-up for success before welcoming her home.
And, as fate would have it, that’s what happened. Penny was adopted and has settled in comfortably with her family. Penny’s person, Kyra reports that, “she is the sweetest girl” and has fit perfectly into her new family’s adventurous lifestyle. According to Kyra, “Penny has gone on many hikes and two camping trips in the past month. She is so fun to have on the trails, and it is amazing to see her so happy!”
We couldn’t agree more. It warms our hearts that Penny has settled into her new forever home.
Did you know the Dumb Friends League has a library of behavior resources available online? Also, our behavior specialists can help with any pet-related behavior concerns through our behavior helpline, learn more here.
Have a story you’d like to share? We’d love to hear it, click here to share your story!