Friday, October 8, 2010

Happy Ending - Farah's Adoption

Many of you may remember Farrah, the terrified Chow/Lab mix that came to OCAS on March 10. One day while volunteering at the shelter I met a woman named Marla who asked if we could help this dog. Farrah was cowered in the corner scared to death. Marla's heart went out to Farrah but she couldn't adopt her, so Will and I decided to work with her a bit to see if we could help. Eventually I asked ARF Shack Rescue if I could foster Farrah to see if it was possible to rehabilitate her to some extent, but we were all unsure of her future. She was petrified of EVERYONE, terrified to walk on a leash, afraid of cars, people, noises, leashes, almost anything. She would cower when you came near and flinched when you tried to pet her.

When I first got Farrah home I noticed an intense curiosity toward the other dogs. By the next day I decided to introduce her to the other dogs in my home in the hopes that it would help her confidence. She immediately developed a friendship with my largest dog, Abby, the Newfoundland. I heard that fearful dogs can be helped by other dogs to learn friendship, trust, companionship, and just how to be a dog. Over time, Farrah realized I was also a friend. I fed her, talked to her, pet her, and showed her kindness and love. Eventually she understood. And one day someone asked if he and his wife could adopt Farrah. We were excited for her and hoped this was a good home where her fears would be minimal.

The day before Farrah's big meet and greet with the adopters she was running and playing and feeling so happy. She plopped her paws in my lap and looked up at me. We looked directly at each other and I then asked her "are you ready to go?". At that moment we realized it was time. I took a deep breath, built up my strength to be able to let her go, even though she was so close to my heart and I would miss her dearly.

On September 6, 2010 Farrah went to her forever home with Bill and Cyndi in Palm Bay. They are a gentle loving couple who have a wonderful sweet dog for Farrah to play with and be a companion too, which is Farrah's best quality. There is no doubt in my mind that Farrah found the perfect home. Bill and Cyndi are experienced with fearful dogs and due to their calm demeanor, Farrah was not frightened, just cautious, like a "normal" dog would be.

Kudos to EVERYONE, Marla, Will, shelter staff, Janet, ARF Shack Rescue, and all the people who even considered adopting and extending your heart to an "underdog". Her chances of adoption at the shelter were next to none due to her extreme fears. I could go on and on about how wonderful this dog is, her incredible gentleness and the kind heart I found inside her. Every dog in my home new this about Farrah. She was very special. This is a testament to the realization that every dog is special and sometimes you just have to look for it inside them. They are inherently sentient beings with lives of their own and deserve a chance to live and be happy; each and every dog born to this world. We can't save them all, but we changed the world for this one dog and I can only imagine what this means to her.

Linda Rock
OCAS Senior Volunteer and Rescue Volunteer


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