located in Edmonton
Once upon a time, there was an adorable puppy born with 22 toes.
This sweet puppy lived in a foster home with her mom and litter-mates, and for the first months of her life, she was named Ocho. Pretty soon, a family saw her photo online and decided to adopt her, and they called her Luna. Luna grew up and learned many things with this family, but one day, when Luna was two years old, her family decided they weren’t able to keep her. They knew that AARCS would be able to help, so they brought Luna back to the shelter in Calgary.
Luna did NOT like the shelter. She was accustomed to couches and dog beds, and even big, soft human-beds with fluffy pillows. She was used to running in a backyard and playing fetch and tug, and snuggling up to her humans. She was used to being the only dog in the house, so bunking with other dogs who could be very noisy was not her cup of tea at all. To be honest, Luna was a bit scared and didn’t understand this new place one bit. So she withdrew from it all – she decided she didn’t want to trust the new humans who came to feed her and walk her and pet her. And they weren’t sure what to think of her either – she didn’t seem to like pets or treats, and she stayed far away when people came to feed her and fill her water dish.
One day, Luna was loaded up into a car and a volunteer drove her all the way to Edmonton to go to a place called a foster home. Her foster mom had prepared a space for Luna in the dining room, but Luna did not want to come out of her crate. This was a big change again, and she didn’t know if she could trust the lady and her dog. For three days, Luna watched them – she watched as the lady brought her food and water, she watched as the dog played with her toys and snuggled on the couch with the lady. She saw how much the dog trusted this lady, and decided that maybe she could trust her, too. So Luna came out of her crate and let the lady pet her and walk her. After a few more days, Luna decided that maybe she would enjoy playing with the dog as well, so they became friends, too.
Luna was so happy to be in a home again, she went for walks, she fetched balls, and she loved playing with all the toys in the toy box (especially the squeaky ones). She practiced her tricks, like ‘sit’ and ‘lay down’ and ‘paw’, and she learned new ones, too, like ‘say please’ and ‘touch’ and ‘go to your crate’. During the day, her foster mom would go to work and Luna would go in her crate, but she didn’t mind at all because she would get special treats and lots of play when the lady came home.
All was well, but Luna still didn’t know if she should trust other humans or dogs. So, on walks, the lady taught her new things, too. She taught her about not pulling on the leash, and she would take Luna across the road when dogs came along so Luna could have some room to observe them. Sometimes she barked at them if they were excited, too, but sometimes she stayed calm and kept on walking.
Luna’s lady also helped her to enjoy meeting new humans – she even told the humans what Luna liked so they wouldn’t come right up to her and reach for her ears. When they stood still and let Luna approach and sniff them, Luna would get a treat and then she could decide if she wanted to keep walking or let them pet her. More and more, Luna was learning that most people were trustworthy and just wanted to touch her soft ears. Plus, Luna would get a treat in exchange, so it wasn’t such a big deal, after all.
Then one day, Luna’s lady started crying – she said she was going on holidays for a whole month, so Luna had to go back to the shelter again. This time, Luna knew it wasn’t a permanent thing, so she wasn’t as scared, and they got her favourite food and treats to make her feel better. And then, just like that, she was back in Edmonton again with her foster mom and the dog. It didn’t take long for Luna to remember the routines again. Now she’s even learning some new thing called ‘impulse control’.
Although Luna is very happy in this home, Luna’s lady keeps telling her that her life will get even better. She says there is a prince and/or princess out there who are looking for her and waiting to bring her home with them forever. Maybe they will have a bigger dog to play tug and chase games with, and they won’t have any smaller fur friends in the house. There will be squeaky toys and stuffed toys there, balls to fetch and bones to chew on. They will have a comfy couch and a dog bed, and maybe they will even share their pillow with her at night. They will give her belly rubs and snuggles on the couch when she climbs onto their laps. They will tell her she is a good girl every single day and advocate for her when humans or dogs come into her space. They will be kind-hearted and patient and help her become more and more confident. “One day,” she says, “they will find you.”
If you think you might be Luna’s ‘happily-ever-after’ home, please click ‘Adopt Ocho’ to learn more about her.