With an upcoming military deployment that would mean years of separation between owner and dogs – attempts were made to rehome all pets in the home. Sadly, there was one dog that hadn’t found a home, and it was with great remorse that the dog owner surrendered his beloved pet to IMHS. Puffer, a 7 year old malamute who had never known anything but her human and her pack, totally shut down upon arriving at the shelter. Hiding as far back in the kennel as possible, she shrank back even further whenever anyone tried to engage her. A beautiful girl, with soulful eyes – her situation was heartbreaking. Attempts to cheer her up seemed fruitless, special treats went uneaten, and while Puffer would tolerate company, the sadness in her eyes was hard to bear.
Lucky for Puffer, Stan Allen had already seen her on a breed specific rescue FB page, and was able to apply for her quickly. His two Huskies had just lost their 17 year old mom, and when thinking about adding another dog, Stan knew that a puppy would not be a great fit – but Puffer very well could be. And with her dire need for a forever home with an understanding family – Stan’s interest was more than piqued! Loading his two dogs up, it was time to head up the hill and pay a visit to IMHS for a meet and greet. For Stan, who knew how much Puffer needed a forever home, it was love at first sight when he “fell into her eyes.”
After about an hour with all three dogs in the play yard, Puffer finally started to open up just a bit. And since no red flags were raised at the meet and greet, Puffer was now off to her new forever home.
While many folks think that the moment a shelter dog gets a home, the dog relaxes and is free to frolic and play, it’s simply not true. For dogs with little or no experience with change, even going to a new home is petrifying. It takes an average of 3-6 months for a dog to warm up and show their true selves, and a dog like Puffer, suffering from trauma could take even longer. Puffer, now known as Powder, staked out a corner of the bedroom and stuck to it. Stan initially would just keep her company, petting and talking to her but making no demands. She was still unsure of going outside or leaving her corner, but Stan’s patience with her paid off, and over time she’s learned what ‘outside’ means and comes running if she isn’t already with her new pack. While she still spends some time in her corner, she now spends most of her time with her new forever family. She must be relaxing somewhat as she is beginning to show her goofball side. The newest habit is in the morning when Stan lets the pack out, she will do a couple circles, lean up against her new dad for morning scratches, do another couple circles, pounce at his feet and then roll over demanding belly scratches. No wonder her new nickname is 'goofy monster'!
IMHS would like to thank Stan for taking the time needed to allow Powder to adjust to her new life, and recognize that time and patience are keys to helping her relax. We all think Powder has found her perfect forever home! Looks like a great fit to us!