Today’s pet adoption story is from Marije and her adopted dog Anuska. Marije went above and beyond to give this little dog a home, and the world needs more people like Marije! Whether you adopt from a shelter or rescue a dog from the street, you’re saving a life and enriching your own. Meet Marije and Anuska:
One of the first photos I ever saw of my dog Anuska showed a dirty, skinny, poorly animal. I was tagged in the photo on Facebook, so it popped up on my timeline as I was mindlessly browsing my updates.
A friend found a dog, hit by a car, and left for dead in a hole by the roadside. The local council pound had neither the funds nor the capacity to help her. Bringing her to the overcrowded pound in her situation would have added insult to injury, so he decided to foster the dog and turn to his friends for help.
Anuska was in a bad state. Her front leg was broken in three places and it shocks me now to see how thin she really was, just over a year ago. The anger I felt about the dismissive attitude people often have towards animals, in particular hunting dogs like Anuska, fuelled my desire to help.
$500. That’s how much was needed to pay for the operation to insert a pin into Anuska’s leg to fix the fractures. No matter how much I wanted to, I couldn’t just cough up $500.
I set up a crowdfunding campaign which I shared via Facebook, Twitter and email (I even got my other rescue dog, Skippy, involved. Cuteness adds extra power to social media…) and it paid off: Just past midnight, within 24 hours of setting it up, the campaign not only reached its goal, it exceeded it! Anuska could be saved! For the second time since her rescue, Anuska’s fate was decided by social media.
Bearing in mind I had not even met the canine subject yet, I couldn’t wait to visit my friend to tell him the good news. On the way there I bought a token gift for this very lucky dog, to celebrate the start of happier times. I had no intention of taking her home… but I did. The short version is: She loved me, I loved her. Sometimes that is all there’s to it.
Adding a new dog to your family is lovely, but it can often unsettle matters. Anuska’s first few weeks with us was a worrying time. As is often the case for rescued animals, I didn’t know her history, but it was clear from her behaviour that she wasn’t used to living in a home. Presumably she was a puppy of a discarded hunting dog, or dumped because she herself was not good enough to hunt. As if that wasn’t bad enough, she also got hit by a car and left for dead. It’s understandable these experiences left their mark on her, both physically and emotionally.
At the beginning, most of the focus was on getting Anuska’s leg better and getting her to gain weight as well as some trust. She had no interest in play and wasn’t sure what to think of her doggy brother. Skippy is always happy and playful, and wanted to play with this strange dog that had so rudely intruded his life, but she was not interested.
She growled and snarled at Skippy when he came too close. She also growled and snarled at me. Even though her responses were understandable, it upset me and I thought things may not work out.
The snarling went from bad to worse and her leg got better but her attitude didn’t. She was loving towards me, but extremely jealous, nervous and hyper. Sometimes she would randomly attack Skippy, viciously, and not let go. Those moments were terrifying and many tears were shed in desperation over the situation.
I was determined she wouldn’t be abandoned again and tried to get her the right help. With the help of dog training, animal communication and a lot of patience, we are now a year on and Anuska has adapted well to living in our home. She is a real character. She is young and still learning every day, but she is intelligent and has come such a long way that I now have faith in her becoming a happy, well-balanced dog… one day at the time.
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