What’s that, a smile?

To promote our push for fosters, we are sharing some stories from our fosters throughout the years. They all have unique and wonderful experiences – some short-term, some long-term and, yes, some permanent.

Just a little over a year ago, Hannah spent her days, pacing nonstop in her kennel, unable to look at or trust anyone. You may remember the story of how we finally “caught” her and, slowly but surely, began working with her. She had heartworm (or so we thought at the time; the records were incorrect) and needed to go to foster care for treatment, so Pam and Bonnie took her in, in January and began integrating her into their pack. By February, she was already showing improvement.

It’s now been five months, and we know everyone is wondering how she’s doing, so … Here’s the scoop! Go, Hannah, go! There’s no way she could have advanced like this without dedicated fosters. Hannah and we are all so lucky to have warm, loving people (and dogs!) like Pam and Bonnie, who are willing to open up their home and give dogs like Hannah the space, time and understanding she needs.

Hannah 2.0: New and Improved

by Pam Holland

About a month ago we reported that we were seeing “Hannah 2.0.”  The update in a word is “MORE”:  More relaxed, more trusting, and more confident.  More playing, more nub wagging, more accepting of affection.  More time outside of the crate.  More eye contact.  More engaged.

At mealtime, she routinely runs to her spot, sits, and wiggles excitedly as she waits for her dish.  She is just as excited to go for a walk and seems much more aware of her surroundings.  She will consistently sit for a treat, although it is sometimes hard for her to contain her eagerness, wait for her turn and wait for the treat to come to her.

Gradually with more frequency, Hannah is joining in games of chasing the ball.   More often than not, if she reaches it first, she plops down and chews on it for a bit before relinquishing it for one of the others to bring it back so that it can be thrown again.  A few times, she has brought it back herself. Most recently, she participated in bobbing for balls in the doggie wading pool.

With the “new” Hannah, new challenges have emerged as she learns the rules of play and engagement with other members of the pack.  This may be the first time in her life that she has had the opportunity for group play or being part of a pack for anything more than mere survival.

She’s had a few successful outings, such as going to City Dog Market and dog-friendly Second Life thrift shop, but the most significant was going to the Blue Tarp beer pouring event where several GA JRT volunteers got to see her for the first time since she entered foster care.  She approached Cara for the first time ever, even if very briefly, and later let Cara hold her and smother her with affection.

Another significant step occurred this past week when we had house guests for the entire week. Hannah was definitely more willing and able to adapt to changes in her routines. Our guests knew her story and just let her be herself.  In her own time, she sniffed each one and at one point, she even accepted some touches from one of them.

Want to Foster?

Have questions about your commitment as a foster? You can find out everything you need to know on our Foster A Dog page. We do need to mention that, although we appreciate the offer from other states to foster, all potential fosters should live in the Atlanta area to make vet runs and/or to bring the dogs to adoption events or to meet prospective parents.

Think you might be a good fit for Hannah?

While Hannah is doing well in his foster home, a permanent home is our ultimate goal. If so, please download, complete and return our adoption application. Finding a forever home for Hannah will give her the ultimate, secure help she deserves in her second chance at life.