Home Animal Rescue My Journey Into Rescue – What I Learned From Riley

My Journey Into Rescue – What I Learned From Riley

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My Journey Into Rescue – What I Learned From Riley

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When I turned 23, I adopted my first dog from a rural shelter in Louisiana. During my screening, the adoption counselor told me about the short time periods the dogs had to be saved from the county and what happened if shelters like them didn’t save them.

Then there was my dog, who she said they had rescued from the street, and had been with them for almost a year. I was determined to save him and on day 364, he made the transport! Riley was mine and finally getting his home.

When Riley came off transport, he was terrified of every noise, of me, of dogs and struggled with his new life. I remember it taking months, just for him not to be afraid to walk down the street, and he never quite got over his reactivity to other dogs.

Yet, I was determined to help him. Every day was work, but I had made a commitment to him and was determined to figure it out and everyday got a little better. Nothing could have prepared me for bringing Riley home, but he taught me so much in the 13 years together. 

After losing Riley, I adopted my cat Arabella because I just wasn’t ready for another dog. Fast forward to 2021, I still wasn’t ready to adopt again but wanted to help more dogs like Riley.

I happened to see on Nextdoor that Lucky Dog needed help handling dogs at an event that day, so I headed to PetSmart.  After seeing so many dogs find homes, and meeting all the volunteers, I quickly found myself volunteering every weekend wanting to help as much as I could and doing whatever needed to be done to help out.

The events weren’t enough for me though, and I soon found myself fostering dogs. The more I got to see how great these dogs were, the more I felt the desire to help them anyway I could. So, I became a puppy adoption coordinator.

The feeling of being able to give a dog a safe place to stay and to be a part of their journey in learning to trust people and learn to dog is like no other. Being able to also be a part of the process that helps them find their forever family has been an extremely rewarding experience, and I owe it all to my first little man … my cat who patiently tolerates every foster dog and is extra sweet to the ones that need extra tender loving care and snuggles, and the 20 plus fosters and counting that let me continue my rescue journey. 

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