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April 27, 2011

Even Feral Dogs Deserve A Chance

I have a friend named Patty who recently moved to the Okotoks area and lives in a house with good sized yard. A perfect set up for someone who loves dogs and cats!

After moving there she quickly found an awesome rescue organization based in Okotoks called Pound Rescue. Believing in what they do, Patty ended up fostering a loveable little pup named Charlie who had met with some very bad luck early in his life. Due to his injuries, Charlie ended up losing one of his rear legs. The three-legged dog soon made his way into Patty’s heart and she went from fostering him to adopting him. I always meant to blog on this story because Patty’s dedication to Charlie was amazing as she nursed him back to health, created a loving home for him to feel safe in and eventually making him into the confident, fully functioning dog he is today.

Yesterday, Patty sent me a note on a new Pound Rescue foster she has dedicated her time to, a feral puppy she named Bear. She received this puppy only a week ago, he is only three months old and is believed to have never interacted or even been touched by human hands. He and his siblings were found on April 18th covered in porcupine quills.

Below is an email update she recently sent to Pound Rescue to let them know how Bear is progressing with his rehab into a home filled with love, food and a safe environment. Keep in mind, Bear is a wild puppy and has never known life with humans.

“I picked up the puppy on Thursday, April 21st in the AM, feeling sorry for him from the start when the vet picked him up and he defecated all over himself because he was so terrified. I got him home and into the kennel where he cowered into the corner.

I spent most of Thursday leaving him alone; Charlie and the cats spent lots of time in his room checking him out, I would walk in the room occasionally and just talk to him. Thursday evening I was able hand feed and he even let me crawl into the kennel to spend the night petting and scratching!

Friday I picked up an X-pen, which I set up in the living room by the TV (for people noise), in front of the window (for viewing) and right where he could see the other animals and myself all the time. This allowed me to also sit in the pen with him and Charlie while watching TV and I could pet Bear for hours!

Saturday we progressed to outside in the yard, I felt like the poor guy needed a stretch! I left a leash on him but let him run in the yard and just be a puppy. He came running to me on the deck with Charlie when I held out a treat and called. After that he started to come up to me over and over again to see if and whenI had any more to hand out. Turns out Bear loves the squeaky toys, and runs after this one special dog ball I have in the yard. Saturday night was spent in the pen again, all three of us, getting pets and loving!

Sunday was the best! We went in the yard again, Bear ran and played with toys and with Charlie, and even remember to come running to me to check my hand for treats again. My friend Chris came by with his dog, Bailey. They all three played and played, Chris could not believe his eyes! Sunday night in the pen again (need a bigger pen), Bear enjoyed getting pets until he fell asleep.

Monday I left him in his pen with Charlie roaming free in the house. While I’m at work, they have the window to look out and each other for company and when I get home we'll go outside for more play time.

If you can believe it, he's even started using the dog training, pee pads! Whew!”

This is just the beginning for Patty, Bear, three-legged Charlie and the cats. Patty’s goal is to be able to trust the newly rehabilitated Bear and Charlie with the run of the house in about a month. This is another example of people’s dedication and love for the unwanted and unfortunate. What would we do without folks like Patty and the people who run rescue organizations like Pound Rescue?

Keep it up Patty, we’re rooting for you and Bear! I think she’s actually thinking of renaming him from Bear to Teddy.

For more information on Pound Rescue visit their website at or "Like" them on their Facebook fan page.

1 comment:

  1. That's awesome!
    I've had the pleasure of fostering a semi-feral dog. He was 2 though, and required a little more work. Luckily for me, he was also very, very curious and very hungry.
    He had a 6ft buffer zone for months and would flinch every time we tried to touch him, he would also start to salivate if we put to much social pressure on him. Salivation can be a sign of stress in dogs.
    He's since transitioned into a wonderful family pet. Anyone who has had the privilege of fostering a dog like this would know the joy and happiness that can be found in teaching a dog to love humans again. It's such a great feeling.
    Keep up the great work Patty! It will pay off in spades!