Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I couldn't help myself..

Once Hogan came into my life, I couldn't help but want to know all about his breed. The more knowledge I gained, the more I wanted to know.  One day I was online and came across a Great Pyrenees Rescue, and it was located in all places, Atlanta! I was so excited that they were so close!! I began scouring the site and reading all about them and what their mission was. Then I came across their available dogs page and of course, couldn't help but scroll through and take a look. I then came across one of the saddest, heart-wrenching pictures I had ever seen…

There he was..his name was Tiny, and Tiny he was not. What he was however, was a frail, thin mess of a dog at 8 months old who hardly had any hair and had been tied to a tree his whole life. At that moment in time, I swear, God spoke to me and told me I needed to help him.  I immediately called Great Pyrenees Rescue of Atlanta and spoke to John Heldrich, the President. We spoke for a while about Tiny and he felt I was a good fit, so I filled out all the forms to become a foster mom to Tiny and waited to hear back. It felt like an eternity before I heard anything, yet the image of Tiny's pathetic picture was forever engraved into my brain. Then the call came that I had been approved..I was ecstatic!

I immediately planned to go to Atlanta that weekend to get him. I drove in late Friday night so I could go get him first thing on Saturday.  I asked my best friend Marlo to accompany me to get him so Saturday morning I swung by to get her. When we got to Pet Lodge in Alpharetta (which by the way, is the BEST place to board your dogs EVER) my heart began to beat so fast...I was excited and nervous at the same time. When I told the staff I was there to get Tiny everyone was excited this boy was getting out of boarding. A sweet girl took us back to the runs and when we got to him I just stood there, and then came the tears. I was not prepared for what I saw. He looked ten times worse than the picture and I was just in shock. How could someone do this to a dog? He had to be in pain, He had to just feel awful...Then the kennel door swung open and that sweet boy walked right up to me, tail wagging and begging for attention and love. How could this be?? This poor, gentle soul had been treated so badly by other humans, yet he still sought love and comfort from me. When going to take him to the car, he shut down. He coward to the floor and would not move and began to shake.  The girl from Pet Lodge scooped him up in her arms and carried him all the way to my car and away we went. The car ride home told me a lot. He stunk of infection and grime, yet the whole way home this boy rested his head on my shoulder time and time again in between his naps. Tiny had sarcoptic mange which left his skin and coat in horrible condition  He hardly had any hair, and had oozing sores from where he scratched so much due to the mange. With medicated baths and meds, he soon started to clear up and get a pearly white coat in. Putting weight on him was a daunting task as well because he was so thin and you can't just let these guys eat huge amounts of food. Over time, the weight started coming on as well and he was starting to look stunning.

Once we got home, he was so scared it took me 45 minutes to get him out of the car and into the house. And then in the house, Tiny didn't know what to think or do. It was obvious he'd never been in one. Hogan took to him right away and began showing him the "ropes". It was almost if he was saying "It's ok Tiny, we are allowed to do this" or "Come on, this is fun, let me show you how". Tiny blossomed into the sweetest lovebug ever. He loved to romp and play, and when he wasn't doing that, he was snuggling up next to you for love. He was so well behaved and full of life, I knew he would make a great addition to any home. Finding that perfect home though, was the key to his success.

I took him to Adoption Day in Atlanta in November, I was so worried no one would show interest in him. By this time, he had fattened up some and he no longer had exposed skin, but I still worried.  Then it happened...This precious little girl with bright red hair and adorable freckles came bouncing over and Tiny looked at her and immediately fell in love with her, and I believe, she fell in love with him too. The parents asked me a lot of questions about him as we walked around, and I began to get excited. I knew in my heart they were the family for him. They decided to think about it, which I understood. About 20 minutes passed and all of the sudden they were back! I couldn't believe it!  They wanted to adopt him and I couldn't have been happier. They were going on a trip though and couldn't take him immediately, so I offered to continue to keep him until the first weekend in December when I  knew I would return to Atlanta. It worked out perfectly! The night before Tiny went to our new home I cried. He was my first foster, and surely not to be my last. I had watched this frail, scared little soul blossom into this confident, bouncy, beautiful boy who was now going to flourish even more in his new home. The next day, we made the trek to Atlanta and dropping him off was so very bittersweet. His new family had everything all set up and ready for him. They couldn't have been more excited and neither could I. Not going to lie, I was a little sad, but in the best way possible. I also have been able to keep in touch with them through Facebook and get to see how they are all doing, and now I can share some of those pictures with you!

I encourage everyone to try to foster or adopt. It saves lives...If you can't foster or adopt, volunteer to help with transport, dog walking, aid in social media or donate! If you are especially interested in Great Pyrenees, consider becoming a part of Great Pyrenees Rescue of Atlanta. It honestly is the most incredible organization I have ever been a part of. Do something, make a difference..

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