Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Adopted Dog Update: Ahnung - continuing to shine

It's been over a year now since my last "foster failure" (in animal rescue term that translates to ... the foster can't let go of their foster dog and adopts their dog!! ... fyi, this last foster failure was my third one with Pet Haven so I am officially on the DO NOT LET MARILOU FOSTER!!) ... On January 3rd, 2009 I officially adopted Ahnung (pronounced ah-NUNG and means star in ojibway). Ahnung came to Pet Haven from Red Lake Rosie's Rescue .... dumped along with her litter of 8 puppies in October, 2008. She has come a long way since then ... she arrived with heartworm, lymes disease, coccidia, and no front teeth (grinding her front teeth down to her gums in search of food) ... after adopting her and getting a thorough check by our vet we learned she had also been shot and has remnants of a pellet in one of her nipples. There is so much to her story, and to mine, as we have walked this incredible journey of healing together. And as we have done we have expanded that circle of healing to include youth at a program of St. Paul Public schools called The Lab that serves youth in special education, grades 7-12 and are committed to providing creative and experiential learning opportunities that support long-term social & emotional health for urban youth.

Last year Ahnung and I spent many hours and months bonding and going through training. At the end of 2009 Ahnung officially passed the Delta Society therapy dog test and we are now a Pet Partner team as we volunteer doing animal assisted education at The Lab. I wrote a reflection piece that was posted on The Lab's website that shares more of the work we are doing at The Lab. I named my sweet girl Ahnung because I wanted her to have a name that will always remind her of her roots ... I wanted her to know she came from Red Lake reservation and to be proud of her ojibway roots. I also wanted her to know that she is my north star and as she works with youth at The Lab I have witnessed over and over again the birth of a star as I witness the connection and healing that takes place between a youth who has been through so much (just like Ahnung, and many of us) and an angel with four legs and lots of fur! :)

Ahnung and I will continue our work in the community and at the end of April will be going through training so that we can volunteer at hospices in addition to schools.

If you would like to read more about her journey and her adventures, she has her own blog: http://ahnung-northstar.blogspot.com/ and you can also find her on facebook ... search for "Ahnung".

I have been blessed and honored to be serving my third term as president of Pet Haven. And I share with you just one story of the gift I have been given through the work of Pet Haven ... there are many more, and I am sure all of you have many to share as well. If you have adopted a dog or a cat from Pet Haven we would love to hear from you. Email us at editor@pethavenMN.org.

No comments: