Sugar’s Story as told by her Foster Mom, Susie
I first set eyes on Sally at the Helotes Humane Society Paws on the Patio fundraiser at Floore’s Country Store in October, 2010. A man had picked up 3 puppies that been dumped on the side of the road out in the country. At first he thought they were deer, but taking a second look he realized they were dogs and he stopped and put them in the back of his truck. He brought the three emaciated puppies to Floore’s that day and tied them up to the front gate in hopes that someone would want to take one home. We were all very curious but kept our distance when we saw that these dogs also had ringworm. I went home that night and could not get them out of my mind. I located the man’s phone number, gave him a call and went to his house to see the pups. He and his sons has been sitting outside their gate with the dogs tied to the fence holding a sign that said “dumped dogs need home” every evening in hopes of finding these dogs a home. Unfortunately, I was only able to take in one of the pups so I chose the most emaciated and the most timid of the bunch.
It took about a month of special baths and a good diet to get Sally looking like a healthy dog. She allowed me to handle her, but she did not like it. When I went in the pen with her, she would go to the back corner and cower. When she was no longer contagious, I let her out with my dogs and she got along great with them but she wanted nothing to do with me. She would stay on the outskirts, circling while I would pet and play with my dogs. When I would look at her or talk to her, she would duck her head, cower, and wouldn’t make eye contact with me.
When I took her to her first adoption event, she curled up in a fetal position and would not make eye contact with anyone. She slept the entire day. Despite this, someone wanted to adopt her. I let her go on an overnight visit and the lady called me the next day and asked me to come and get her because she growled at her and her little girl every time they got close to her.
Her second adoption event was completely different. Every time a dog got anywhere close to her or her crate she would lash out and was very aggressive. About mid-December I received an application and I explained that Sally had fear issues and would not be ready for a new home. They lady said for me to call her when I thought Sally would be ready to be adopted. At that point I was certain that Sally would never be adopted. A couple of Helotes Humane Society members stepped up and offered to help me since I had no experience with this type of behavior. Amanda Evrard took her to her home for a few days to evaluate her and took her to a couple of Nature Hound outings. Sally continued her aggressive behavior and Amanda advised me to take her on long walks and continue to desensitize her to traffic noises, etc. Sally began to trust me, but would still show fear aggression with dogs. Lena Ferguson met me and Sally at OP Schnabel Park with her dog and we went on a walk and she coached me through any situations we encountered. I continued taking her for walks and working with her.
Soon I felt comfortable enough for Sally to meet her potential adopter. I called her in February and she was still interested in Sally. She brought her dog, Scout, to the park and with Lena’s help the dogs seemed to settle down and Sally seemed comfortable with Scout. After that visit, I noticed a big difference in Sally’s behavior at home. She became so friendly and would actually approach me for petting and attention. Sally was doing so well that I took her to Scout’s house for a trial visit. After a week, Scout’s mom called me and said she wanted to adopt her. She said that Scout and Sally were inseparable and she didn’t think Scout would be able to live without Sally.
I had Sally for 5 months and became very attached to her in the end. It took a long time and a village, but she is now a well-adjusted, happy girl who has a wonderful forever home. When I think about how happy she looked in her new backyard with her new brother, Scout, I start to tear up. Makes all this so worthwhile. Her new name is now Sugar because she is such a sweet girl.
Olive’s Story as told by Foster Mom, Lois T.
In May on an early morning walk in OP Schnabel Park, I heard meowing. I went in search of the cat hoping it wasn’t injured. Thankfully it was not injured but a very frightened six week old, 1 lb 2oz black/grey mackerel tabby kitten. She was on a branch in a tree just waiting for someone to find her. As I walked toward her, she came rushing to me. She was happy to see me and very friendly. She was unsure about my dog so climbed to my shoulder and settled in. We finished the walk with her purrs in my ear.
I named this little lady OP and she was my foster for about two months. She learned about cat toys and having fun being a kitten. She did explore but she preferred to be with me. She liked to rest on my shoulder while I was sitting down. It took her a little while to figure out what the dog was. When he went toward her or made a noise, she would go into her big cat stance and makes noises. When the dog ignored her, she was left standing there staring after him.
A family fell in love with OP after one visit. The adoption went through after her spay surgery. Her new family has named her Olive. Her new home has a playmate named Edward. It took Edward a little while to adjust to Olive but now they are best friends. Olive enjoys her new family and her family is very much in love with her.
Charlie was a pit bull left to die on a chain in the hot Texas sun. Charlie was only two years old when his family moved out of their house. Charlie waited patiently for his humans to return. He knew they’d come back and feed and love him if he waited long enough. After awhile, Charlie began to lose hope. They’d left him all alone in the backyard. No one came to play with him, pet him or even feed him. Just as Charlie was sure he was going to die, his guardian angel showed up in the form of Chandra. She was a neighbor who saw him all alone in the backyard and brought him food and love.
Helotes Humane Society’s foster coordinator, Anne, sent him to the vet only to find out he had arthritis in his knees and was missing a few toes on one of his feet. He tested positive for Heartworms, a devastating condition that is fatal to many dogs. Combine all that with being severely underweight and Charlie wouldn’t have lasted much longer alone.
Thanks to donations from many members of the Helotes Humane Society, Charlie was able to get the medical attention he so desperately needed. His long struggle wasn’t quite over yet. Charlie had never been walked on a leash, been in a house, or felt love from a human before. He was a quick learner who, despite everything he’d been through, gave his all to his saviors. He was nothing but wagging tail for those who came to see him. Charlie had learned to love again.
Now that Charlie was in tip-top shape, the next task was to find him a ‘fur’ever home. Who would want to adopt a dog that someone else had thrown out? The answer came from a family who only adopted rescued pit bulls for their pets. One year after Charlie was abandoned in a back yard, he was placed in a home where he never has to be worried about being left alone again. Charlie only knows love and happiness where he will live out his years playing with his big ‘brother.’ Please consider donating to the Helotes Humane Society to help us save the other Charlie’s in this area.