*** Rocco's got some exciting barkworthy news *** but before he shares it, we want you to know why this is so exciting for the rest of us, too.
When Rocco arrived at our Sanctuary, we were just as confused as he was. He had been tied to our picnic table overnight, with no note and no explanation.
Just him, a leash and bed, and a bag things.
How scared he must have been!
He seemed healthy - especially for a senior.
He was silent that whole first day.
He showed no interest in food, play, or any "Sanctuary-things".
Day 2: He settled in while we searched for more details about his past. Luckily, some friends of the Sanctuary helped us find his former home and we were able to piece together a bit of Rocco's life before us:
- He was a loyal companion for the majority of his life until his elderly owner could no longer care for him.
- A younger family member took him in, and after some time, they realized they couldn't provide for him.
Day 7: Rocco settled into the #SanctuaryLife quite well. He claimed his favorite chair in our Lounge, he joined the "Men's Club" (a rag-tag playgroup where dogs mosey around and tell tales of their younger years), and, thanks to the generosity of Giant Food, he continued to enjoy the luxurious food he'd been accustomed to in his former life.
For the next couple weeks, Rocco had fun, but he still seemed to long for quiet spaces in solitude, because he'd get cranky and outspoken when things got too loud.
So, he spent many days on his favorite Lounge chair in the sun, with interruptions (that we call "being social") from staff and volunteers, and Wheel of Fortune on repeat on the TV.
He likes what he likes.
Day 40: Ms. Judy, a former adopter, asked if we had any dogs that were looking for her particular situation: a quiet home, with things to lounge upon, maybe some game shows here and there, and: homemade dog food.
>>> In rescue, we call this hitting the jackpot, the moon-and-stars-aligning, the clouds parting to make way for sunshine. <<<
You get the idea.
Day 77: We present to you a video of Rocco's last visit. We think, but aren't sure, that he's telling us THANK YOU in his cute cranky-pants way.
As animal-lovers, it's tough to understand how someone could leave a pet alone, tied to a table, in the middle of the night.
But here's what we imagine:
We imagine that the decision to leave a pet - as impossible as that decision may seem - was better than the life they faced at home.
We believe that Rocco's family wanted more for him, and thanks to our supporters and families like Ms. Judy's, were were able to provide that for him.
Senior dogs are never too old to learn how to live the #SanctuaryLife! Congratulations Rocco!
If you are struggling to keep your pet, please reach out for resources and an understanding ear: firstname.lastname@example.org
street life to sanctuary life
One year ago, we welcomed Harvey. His arrival marked the end of his street-running, garbage-scavenging career, and the start of a journey that would take him further than he'd ever been, without ever leaving our driveway.
Despite having no luggage whatsoever, Harvey brought his share of very heavy "baggage". Stubborn habits and inappropriate coping skills -- hard-earned from years of life on the run. He rebelled against fences, walls, and schedules. He shrugged off rules and held disdain for the dogs that obeyed them. It took him a solid month before he stopped fighting the leash.
He could take-or-leave people, for good reason because he was once a semi-successful, independent Street Dog.
There were tiny breakthroughs: he learned that the sound of his name meant meals and treats, and that at the end of that really, really long leash, was a friendly, patient human connection. He stopped trying to pull down/scale/go under our fences.
His pacing turned to sitting — and then to slumbering and to dreaming:
“maybe this big fence is to keep me home so I can finally take deep, long snoreful slumbers...”
You know, the kind of slumbers that only safe dogs take.
Three months later, he’d grown from tolerating us to seeking us out. The sound of his name meant Sanctuary-things: a soft towel after a stroll in the rain, belly rubs and bully sticks, and every single weekend: playing games with his nose.
The rattle of keys and an open door no longer meant freedom to this former Street Dog. No, to this Sanctuary Dog, they meant it was time to explore with his very best friend in the bright red truck.
Finally, no more running the streets alone.
#SanctuaryLife is a daily celebration of tiny breakthroughs, and it looks different for each of lives under our care. For Harvey, it means understanding the value of companionship and play, it means appreciating the safety of nourishment and care, and -- most of all – it means receiving the promise of forever that every dog deserves.
We don’t know how long Harvey will call our Sanctuary home, but whenever he moves on from this home to the next, we promise that he’ll continue to live a #SanctuaryLife.
A Senior Sanctuary Day costs $78 for each dog, every day*. Your support means we can continue to provide a #SanctuaryLife to even more deserving senior dogs.
More about Harvey: https://www.petfinder.com/.../senior-dog-sanctuary-of.../
(*average expenses, 2021)