Friday, February 8, 2013

Pet of the Week - Adoption Success Story: Twister

We never meant to get another dog. Dad had said several times that one dog was enough.  However, Mom had others ideas. Whenever she wasn't working, she was looking at animal shelters. I liked to look with her - it was something we could do together. It started off innocent, but then mom found a pitiful chocolate lab at the Animal Services Centre. She had one eye (her left eye was removed because she had a cyst) and scars all over her face. Her left ear was torn and ragged at the end and she was scared of everything and only wanted the hide in her kennel at the pound.
Twister the dog

On the way home from work, my mom would go and see her. You can tell immediately that mom was attached to this dog. She asked us one day to come and see her. Me and my brother agreed eagerly while dad was a bit more sceptical. I was so excited to go and see her I could hardly sleep that night. We left early and headed to the shelter. The dog was taken to a backyard were we could meet her. She seemed so scared and constantly ran to one of the doors leading to her kennel. We brought Spinner, our current dog, with us to see if they would get along. They did, ignoring each other as we hoped.

Dad wasn't happy. We could all tell that he thought this dog wasn't right. He said we would need to think about it but we knew it was a no. When we got home, we had a family discussion and it seemed to be leaning towards the "no" side. I was miserable.

The next day, the topic of the new dog seemed to disappear. But I knew that was all that we were thinking about. My mom asked us not to bug Dad about getting the dog. She said it was a family decision and everyone in the family had to agree. Dad was not in agreement. This was a Wednesday. Thursday night I saw my dad whisper something to mom. She then looked at me and mouthed, "He said yes!” I could hardly contain my happiness. She came up to me and said that dad said it would be okay to bring her tomorrow. Tomorrow couldn't come soon enough!

Mom had work and was going to pick up the dog on her way home. I tried to keep my mind off of it but it was hard. When mom finally came home, we were jumping with excitement. We had thought of a lot of different names, but our favourite was Sable, so we called her that. However, as the days went by we decided to change the name of the new from Sable to Twister because when we took her for walks she would constantly look back to see where mom was. Because she only has one eye she would have to twist her body around to see mom. We also thought that the name Twister was a good compliment to the dog we already had, named Spinner.
Twister and his buddy
The next few weeks Twister slept beside me on the couch all day. At night she slept in my brother’s room. We set up two kennels for her to hide in, one in my brother’s room and the other in the living room. She got two walks a day. She didn't seem to have much personality and she never barked. We thought she was the best behaved dog ever.

We have many theories about what happened to Twister before she came to live with us. She has a lot of scars both physically and most of all emotionally. That dog that we thought had little personality started to gain more confidence. As she started to gain confidence the devilish personality started to emerge.

We took her camping, for lots of walks in the country, to a swimming hole in Watervalley and to off leash parks with other dogs (something she is still not very comfortable with). We found out that she is protective of her kennel and loves food, lots of food. She also likes to swipe shoes, toys, balls and anything she can get her mouth on and sneak them in to her kennel. Most of the items she swipes are immediately chewed to bits.

We have become really attached to her. She is starting to come out of her shell but it'll take a while to her to fully truly trust us. She still gets scared when it gets noisy, so she escapes upstairs and falls asleep on the bed. She still cowers when one of us raises a hand around her and she is nervous when we move to fast near her. The two dogs get along very well and we have not issues between them for months.  However, we still watch when they have toys or food around because that seems to be what cause the first scuffles.

Twister has inspired us. I have even started a blog told from Twister's point of view to raise awareness about animal cruelty. We all love her so much. She is a perfect addition to our family. She makes us laugh and smile and act like idiots when we try and get her play with us. Even our dad, the man who said he didn't want another dog has fallen head over heels for the one-eyed sweetheart.

Do you have an adoption story to share?
Do you have a City of Calgary Animal & Bylaw Services adoption success story to share? Email stories and pictures to our Public Education Team and you and your pet may be featured on www.calgary.ca.

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