Because of you, pets like Wookie have the chance to find their confidence AND their new homes! Click here to make a gift today!
I can’t foster dogs often – my small townhouse is pretty full with a dog, cat, hamster, and husband – but when I saw Wookie, my heart melted. It wasn’t just that his name was a perfect nerdy fit with my dog, Obie (Wan Kenobi), but he was just so, so scared.
When I first met Wookie, he was tucked into the corner of our COO’s office, staring at me with big, brown eyes. He didn’t move, he didn’t make a noise, he just…sat there. In almost 3 weeks in the shelter, this is all he had done, no matter what we tried. He wasn’t interested in food, toys, people, or other dogs. He was truly and completely shut down.
The first night in our home, Wookie was so quiet that we would sometimes forget he was even there. He stayed in his crate, pushed all the way in the back. The only interaction I had with him was to take him outside to go to the bathroom. But on the third day, while I was upstairs, I heard a new sound – Wookie was squeaking his toys! That was the glimmer of hope we needed to know that Wookie was going to be okay.
From there, Wookie’s confidence grew every day. He started following my dog around, he ate in front of us, and one day – he got crazy zoomies, running back and forth at top speed in our hallway. He started allowing us to pet him and eventually started asking for pets. He decided our bed was the best place in the world, and spent most of his time lying there, watching the world go by out the window.
The true proof of his new-found happiness was the day he wagged his tail for the first time. I came into the bedroom to check on him, and he jumped off the bed, put his paws on my legs, and wagged his tail (just a little). I almost cried, but I was too happy for him. He had come so far in just a month from the terrified dog shivering in the corner.
Wookie eventually moved on to a new foster home (my cat was not pleased with his attempts to play with her), where he had two new dog friends to play with. And play he did! The ability to run around a yard and chase other dogs helped Wookie make huge strides in his confidence with new people and environments. His new foster mom embraced his needs and quirks and helped him navigate new experiences, like contractors, walks on busy roads, and more.
Finally, the big day came for Wookie – he found a family! He was adopted by an extremely patient and kind woman who loves him for who he is – a little shy, a little stubborn, and a lot goofy!
With your support, we can help more pets like Wookie find loving homes. Your gift today will go twice as far thanks to a generous friend who is matching every donation this season up to $25,000: www.awla.org/donate/2023social/
Seeing first-hand the transformation that an animal can make with time, understanding, and love is the best part of my job. It is a privilege to be even a small part of a pet’s journey, and a joy to see them move on to bigger and better things.
Thank you for making stories like Wookie’s possible.
Chelsea Jones, Sr Communications Specialist