Ailie Jenkins #2- Rescue an Animal from a Shelter

2. Rescue an animal from a shelter, May 13, 2010

When my friends first read this item I think they pictured me donning a black jumpsuit, sneakers, and a balaclava and scaling a barbed wire fence to scoop up a puppy and run off into the night with it. As exciting as that sounds, I have to admit my rescue wasn’t quite that dramatic. I began my search online by looking up websites of various animal shelters in NYC. I sent off a few adoption applications but didn’t expect much since I’d heard from my family and friends that it can take months to have your application accepted. I was pleasantly surprised when I received a call the very next day from Steve, a foster volunteer for Waggytail Rescue.

They had a dog called Carlos who needed adopting. An abandoned Pomeranian cross Chihuahua, about 6 or 7 years old, with some behavioural issues resulting from an abusive past. I went to meet him that night and whilst I was a bit anxious I couldn’t help but fall in love with his frightened little face. One of my best friends came with me, and we spent over an hour with Carlos learning his little traits.

Carlos with his signature expression

After doing a bit more research throughout the following week, I had become convinced that Carlos was the dog for me. He was small enough to live happily in my 1 bedroom apartment, and more than anything, I knew he would struggle to find a home. The older dogs that end up in shelters (especially with behavioural problems) are much harder to place in homes and I couldn’t stand the thought of this little dog being without a permanent home.

Health wise he’s pretty good. He has elevated pancreatic levels which can be easily managed with a low calorie diet, and even though his extra long tongue is always sticking out of his mouth it doesn’t seem to cause any problems, it just looks a bit odd. But I think it’s endearing, and it totally suits him! I brought him home a few days ago, and we’ve been spending a lot of time getting to know each other since. At first Carlos was very wary of me, and didn’t want to come near me or let me pick him up. He would lash out if I tried to pick him up and he would shake and stare at me when I fed him, like he thought I was going to do something bad while he wasn’t looking. But now he follows me around the whole apartment and whenever I stop to look down at him, he lifts his paw or rolls onto his back for a belly rub. I pretty much have my very own little stalker now who follows my every move! I can pick him up whenever I want to now, and he’s turned into a super affectionate dog who loves to sit on my lap and be cuddled. He still has issues around new people and food but we’re working on it.

Carlos and I bonding

I know it will be a long road, but I’m so glad to have Carlos in my life, and to be able to give him the love and care he deserves. Every little step forward and every bit of confidence he gains makes me incredibly proud, and it just warms my heart to see him coming out of his shell.

Carlos enjoying a belly rub

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