So many good people want to adopt a rescue, even better to adopt an adult. It’s a wonderful thing when it happens, and we at the Oconee Regional Humane Society, of course, encourage these kinds of adoptions. Many dogs up for adoption came from good homes and, due unfortunate circumstances, were surrendered to ORHS. These dogs have no real issues other than finding another good family to love and care for them.
Too often we see dogs that have issues. They might have been surrendered for a reason, or perhaps they ran off and became a stray, or they just never had the attention a loving family might offer. These dogs have special needs. Hopefully it doesn’t take much to “fix” what is wrong. But when they are adults, and when they’ve been neglected or abused in some way, they have so many hurdles to jump over. Most of the time, with kindness and patience, these dogs become wonderful members of the family. There is truly nothing better than seeing them soak up the love and attention they never received before.
Sometimes these dogs need a little more work. Special needs dogs are so worth the time and effort. They are so obviously grateful and loyal to those who give them a chance. The reward for us at ORHS is seeing them go off to live the rest of their lives just like any other beloved member of a family.
So just what is a special needs dog? We have a “special” girl right now. Sasha has been labeled “special needs”, but that doesn’t have to be the case forever. She is frightened of strangers, all men, loud noises, and she needs time to settle into new situations. She may have been abused. However, perhaps she was simply never socialized as a young pup.
Sasha came to us with 7-week old puppies, pulled from animal control just in time. She was weaning her beautiful pups, and separating from them was likely an emotional experience for her. She saw them go to their new homes one at a time, while she was left behind. Then, when she was spayed we learned she was already pregnant again – that meant another dog got to her while she was still nursing her tiny puppies. Just imagine the hormones rushing through her body! She was very frightened and would cower back in any corner she could find.
There were a few of us who Sasha loved and trusted. We wish everyone could see her the way we do. She is a joy to have around – happy, playful and she can be a real clown! She has a few dog friends that come to play with her and she runs until she is dog-tired. We believe this is the real Sasha, hiding behind those frightened eyes.
So what could we do for her? It was difficult to find a foster home because of her fear of men and strangers. But one of our experienced volunteers stepped up and has been her foster family for over a month, and she is making progress. We’ve had help from an animal behaviorist and after five or six visits, she was in his lap wanting to be petted and loved. At home, Sasha is still frightened of men, but each baby step is progress. She will take treats and even walk on leash with her foster dad, but it’s taken time and incredible patience to get to this point.
Sasha’s ideal home would be with an all female household, a fenced yard and either one, or no other dogs to start. She needs to learn to trust and build a relationship with humans. Once she can trust again, we feel she could be introduced slowly to other people and animals and live a happy life.
This is one sweet little girl who deserves a chance. She has so much to offer – so very smart, and her kisses are precious gifts.
Please contact us at 404-550-5503 and ask for Bonnie.