This is the story of a wayward rocket who found her way home. Kaylee arrived at the Our Companions Sanctuary in February of 2014. She came to us from a local animal control office where she was being treated for a heartworm infection. She exploded into our lives with lots of energy and lots of love and joy. But for as much as she was all smiles, all the time, she was also lots work. She had no obedience training and had not been properly socialized as a puppy. She loved people, but had no idea about what was appropriate behavior. We knew we had a project on our hands.
The first step was to get Kaylee some serious exercise. Our dedicated volunteers would take her out two to three times a day for walks and playtime, sometimes even taking her for a jog around Ashford Lake or on field trips to a local state park. Then, there was the obedience training. Not only did Kaylee get training from the staff and volunteers as part of her daily life, but she was even taken to the Canine College classes that we offer at our Program Center in Manchester. She excelled at her class work, mastering all of her commands, and even progressing up to a Tricks Class, where she learned to dunk a ball in a toy hoop and even ride a skateboard. Her high skill level, along with her joyfulness and love, also made her a great candidate for our Buddy Project, where Our Companions dogs are paired with at risk teens to help teach them dog training skills. Kaylee’s perpetual smile and penchant for flashy tricks made her a favorite of the students. Then, with her exercise and obedience skills in place, we were able to work on her house manners. Again, our volunteers worked with dedication and patience to make sure that Kaylee knew how to properly greet people, how to ask to play, and the difference between what was and was not a toy. This little girl with rocket fuel in her veins was finally getting on course, and we knew our project was reaching it’s end.
Early this summer, we participated in a statewide “clear the shelters” event that brought lots of potential adopters to our door. Many were interested in Kaylee, but then she met “the one.” A couple who had experience with “project dogs” and who accepted Kaylee for the exuberant girl she was. Someone to guide Kaylee on the last leg of her journey. There were many misty eyes at the sanctuary the day Kaylee went to her forever home, but we all knew that this is what Our Companions is all about. A team of caring people coming together to help a dog like Kaylee find her way.