Unemployed No More

jessie-090216bWhat, more than anything in the world, makes for a happy German Shepherd?  A job, of course!  And our Jessie was no exception.  Jessie came to us from a local animal control office, where she had been found stray.  She was not spayed, had a touch of frostbite, and worst of all, had a heart worm infection.  We took her in at the sanctuary, knowing that our staff and our volunteers made us well equipped to guide her through the arduous recovery process.

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Once Jessie arrived, she quickly won everyone’s hearts with her endless affection and lighthearted demeanor.  And boy, did she love to work.  Like any good herder, she always kept a close eye on her flock, namely the staff and volunteers.  She loved meeting and jessie-041916aworking with the other dogs and made some great friends.  Her most valuable job for us was as Henree House hostess, since she could always be counted on to graciously greet any visitor, even small children, and put on a little show.  She also excelled as a Buddy Project dog, helping at risk teens learn dog training skills.  But I think her favorite job could best be described as “tennis ball herder.”

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While Jessie loved all of these jobs, she was definitely missing the one job every dog aspires to:  life long companion to a person of her own.  That person finally came along this summer.  Tim had a traumatic brain injury that had damaged his short term memory.  He was moving into a new home and, while he had great human caretakers, thjessie-071216aere was one vacancy he needed to fill:  a dog to help him through the rough spots and make his life complete.  And we had just the girl for the job.  Jessie and Tim bonded immediately and after a few visits with her, we knew it was the perfect match.  Jessie is now permanently employed, giving her guy unlimited love and support, and of course, chasing down every tennis ball she can.

 

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The Rocket Has Landed

Tkaylee-2his 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.  kaylee-6kaylee-072216a

 

 

 

 

 

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 kaylee-040116bProgram 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.kaylee-052016d

kaylee-021316aEarly 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.  kaylee-home

Never Too Late

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It’s never too late for a happy ending.  At 11 years young, Bonnie is turning back the clock with every day she spends with us.  She came to the sanctuary a few months ago at a whopping 47 pounds.  She had a tough time getting around and, to make matters worse, had a very large fatty tumor obstructing her movement.  But under the gentle care of our staff and volunteers, she’s dropped several pounds and had a successful surgery to remove her tumor.  She now jogs down our hiking paths and leaps into chairs and couches with ease.  Every day, she gets a little smaller and her joy for life just grows.

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Black Beauty

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Jessie is the picture of canine grace.  And she has an inner beauty to match.  Attentive and affectionate, she never saw a face that she didn’t want to kiss, and her belly is always available for some rubs.

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Jessie came to us from a local animal control office.  She was sighted running loose in the town in winter and, though it took some time and several attempts, they were able to catch her and bring her in.  Once they had her safe and indoors, they saw what a joyful teddy bear she was.

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Unfortunately, she had a few health care concerns that needed addressing.  She needed to be spayed, her skin and coat were in poor condition, and, worst of all, she had a heartworm infection.  We took her in to the Our Companions Sanctuary and, with a little TLC, she quickly blossomed.

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Now, Jessie is a volunteer and visitor favorite.  With her health concerns behind her, she tears around the play yard fetching tennis balls, and has a great time with her doggie friends, Hera and Brody.  She’s well on the way to her fairy tale ending.

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Piper Update

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We’ve gotten our first report back from Piper’s new home!  She’s doing great and settling in to a much deserved life of love and care after her rough beginning.  Read her whole story here:  https://ourcompanionsblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/02/piper-the-indestructible/

“Our family is so happy to welcome this little girl into our family. We have re-named her Abby and already she responds to her new name! She joins our cat, Sophie, who really wants nothing to do with her, and two goats, Firefly and Paprika, who are both very curious about her.

She has adapted well to our routine. She has learned to “give paw” and we are working on “stay” with some success. She will soon be going to school to learn even more. In keeping with her recovery from surgery, we take short walks, which are always an adventure since she would love to chase every bird, chipmunk and squirrel she sees.”

Adventure Time!

 

Here at thadventure Aggiee Our Companions Sanctuary, we’re always seeking ways to give our dogs the most normal and home-like life that we can.  One thing that goes a long way toward that goal is the “field trips” we take them on.  Being located in Connecticut’s Quiet Corner, we’re very lucky to have a number of trails and parks in the area that our staff and volunteers can bring our dogs to for some exploration and adventure.  And as the weather warms, it opens up so many possibilities to give our pups a fun day away from home.

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Piper, The Indestructible!

Piper 011816bMeet Piper, the indestructible dog.  Piper has been with us at the Our Companions Sanctuary since January.    She was caught by the animal control officer of a nearby town where she had been running loose for weeks.  She was scared and, even worse, had suffered major damage to one of her hips in some kind of accident.  But she was very social and friendly, so we took her in and started the process of getting a good assessment of her physical and emotional condition.  As soon as she entered our home-like environment, she blossomed into lovable lap dog ready to shower volunteers and visitors with snuggles and kisses.  Her physical needs were much concerning, though.  There was some concern that the damage to her hip was going to cause her to loose her leg.  However, after consulting severPiper012216aal veterinarians, we found that we could get her back to healthy mobility with a single surgery and extensive physical rehabilitation.  So that’s what we chose to do.  Piper had her surgery in late February and we got right to work on her physical therapy.  It has been tough work for us and for her, and has included not only several exercise sessions every day, but twice weekly trips to a canine physical therapist.  She’s been a trooper through it all and her recovery has been amazing.  Within days, she was beginning to use her foot for walking and, after just a month, she’s back to taking regular walks with our volunteers.  The doctors have been so impressed with her and with the dedication of our staff and volunteers to her rehabilitation.  She still has quite a journey ahead of her, but she’s well on her way to a happy healthy life.

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Mr. Popular

So as we do withWatson 120415a any new dog here, we’ve been taking our newest guest, Watson, on walks with the other dogs to see how he does. Watson came to us with a neurological disorder that affects his balance and movement, so I was doubly interested to see how the other dogs would react to Watson’s small size, strange appearance, and erratic movements. Over the last few days, he’s walked with everyone but Lucy and Gidget. We’re in no hurry with either of those two, thinking that both of them would be far too stimulated by his peculiar movements.  So far, it’s all gone very well.  He seems very dog social, though we didn’t want him to actually meet anyone until after his neuter and recovery. Aggie was confused by him, but quickly figured out to ignore him. He sparked a little bit of prey eyes from Jasper and Kaylee, but nothing dangerous. They took a little longer than they would with other dogs to calm down and just walk, but they eventually did. Lila and Mae were curious about him, but quickly ignored him and followed their noses. We gave them the opportunity to sniff, but Lila and Mae wanted nothing to do with his crazy energy when they got up close. His best walking partner was actually Hera. She was only mildly interested in him, but his presence was enough to get her moving. So, we’ll keep you posted as Mr. Popular wins over the dogs and people here at the Sanctuary.

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Echo’s Going Home!

GreaEcho 8-25-15 et news today!  Echo is heading off to his new forever home.  Echo came to us just over two months ago after the passing of his previous owner.  He’s a fantastic dog who loved people, got along great with the other dogs here, and had extraordinary obedience skills.  It actually took us several weeks just to figure out all of the tricks he knows and I’m still not sure we got them all.  He did have some anxious behaviors around bright lights and loud noises that we had to work with him on, but he made great progress while here.

The volunteers were all so taken with him that many talked him up to friends and family and he is now going home to a relative of one of our volunteers.  He’ll have a nice quiet home to show off his skills and shower affection on his new mom.  Good luck, Echo!  We’ll miss you!