SUNNY'S SHINING AGAIN
I had been
looking at local shelters for an Austrailian Shepard since losing my beloved
"Blue" in May of this year. While feeling kind of strange about
it, in late July I began a search on the internet and was amazed and saddened
to see how many Aussies and other sweet pets were abandoned, but also touched
and inspired to know that there are so many dedicated and wonderful people
devoting their time to saving as many of these deserving lives as they
we live in Northern California, we were planning to visit our son in Los
Angeles and scheduled visits with Aussies in Fresno (Animal Rescue), Bakersfield
Shelter, Palmdale and Victorville rescues and the Upland and Riverside
Shelters. We had also visited with 3 cute Aussies in Redding.
All were delightful, sweet and appealing in their own ways, but we were
looking for that perfect "chemistry". It may sound odd, but in our
area not so many, although still too many pets, especially Aussies, are
given up or abandoned.
"Sunny", a stray who had been at the Upland Shelter almost 2 weeks, using
your website, contacted the shelter immediately, and were told she was
still there but may not be available when we were able to be there.
us she still was. When we arrived, Cassie, a volunteer dog
runner and Katherine, a volunteer groomer, had just bathed her and Katherine
was trying to get all of the mats out of her beautiful long fur, some of
which had to be shaved. They were trying to make her pretty so hopefully
she would be adopted at Petco that weekend as her time was drawing near.
Sunny was so sweet and gentle and absolutely loved all the attention she
was getting. She even let me comb out some of her fur, then
went outside for a little walk where I learned she knew sit and stay!
At the same time, however, Sunny was also very frightened, shy and submissive-
I think from her distress and loneliness from being abandoned and confused
and fearful of what would happen to her next.
had her at home for only a week now and she is really coming out to be
the bright beautiful girl she really is underneath it all, not only just
the Aussie intelligence, but starting to romp and learning to play (even
though she is only 2) and to trust that she really is a BIG part of her
forever family!!! She loves her fluffy bed in the kitchen, big shady
yard with a dog door to the inside, runs in the park, rides in the car
(a convertible!) and hanging out in the mornings with me. She just
makes everyone smile with her Aussie wiggle and wit, not to mention her
soft licks and gentle paw on your hand.
want Sunny's story to be not just for her but all the others-- Of
course I want all of the "rescuers" to know that their tireless efforts
do really work miracles, but I also want others looking for pets to see
that it could actually happen for them too--- the pets in shelters just
need a second chance (if you get there in time!), the animal control and
shelter workers and volunteers bend over backwards to help the pets in
their care get adopted (against vast odds they know only too well), and
the rewards are so great, if people will just give it a try. And
for me anyway, 500 miles away, it all started with this great up-to-the-minute
website and the unsung heroes who created and maintain it.
for bringing us together. I hope these pictures of Sunny will brighten
Chris Read and Family
|update on Sunny:
The first day of Spring
is the perfect day to tell everyone how Sunny continues to blossom!
Now that the rain in Northern CA is pretty much over, Sunny, aka "Sunshine"
has started pre-agility and is a star performer, learning to "touch" in
two tries and the word "touch" in 2 more tries.
At first I was
just looking to socialize her to other dogs and learn how to teach her
cute dog tricks, but over the months we've had her, her energy level has
been amazing! She races around the backyard with a partially deflated
soccer ball, tossing it in the air and kicking it. At first she didn't
want (or know how ?) to play, and is still particular about toys.
Her favorite thing is to run along with me riding a bike as fast as I can...and
that's pretty fast!
Even before her
classes, without the use of food, she learned "watch TV" (go to den), "go
to bed" (hers and stay) "kiss" (no explanation needed) "not now" (too much
giving paws) and "go potty" (honest ! - but only if she has to go).
The last one has been great for all our Southern California trips, which
she loves. We're working on "say please" which is an extension of
her love of sitting up on her haunches and lifting one paw, but at this
stage she wants me to hold her paw or use my forearm as a perch.
Sunny also can "talk" by saying "wooooooh" when she sees me in the morning
and when we come home from work and she wants to be fed.
She has also
learned to get along with my daughter's 6 year old German Shorthair, Greta,
and just last weekend "the girls" went shopping with us in San Francisco,
a very dog-friendly city. Of course they got lots of compliments
and treats. Sunny has also found her way with Beau, my Los
Angeles son's 3 year old GIANT black Lab mix who will play all day if you
let him...I'm afraid the issue there is Sunny's tendancy to herd, bark
and nip while Beau charges around! It was really funny to see all
3 together at Christmas, lined up for treats, moving their heads in unison.
This has gotten
too long, but I wanted you to know what joy Sunny has brought to our family.
It all started with Aussie Rescue!
the good work- Chris Read