Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Phoenix - Resilient soul rises up from the ashes

Yes, all of the dogs that come through Pet Haven's foster program are special ... all have their own story and all deserve to be loved and cherished by their own special family.

Phoenix is a boy who has touched the hearts of so many, including his foster Meagan. We/Pet Haven are fortunate to have such incredible fosters like Meagan who give up so much of their time and their heart and provide these innocent creatures the second chance they so deserved.

Here's an update from Phoenix's foster:

"Over the last four years I have fostered six dogs, and have had the opportunity to watch each of them grow and develop in their own special ways.  Even with that said, when Phoenix first came into my family I was skeptical about how quickly he would turn around in our quest to help him become a "normal dog."  He was skinny and had no coordination.  He was terrified of everything new.  He had endless energy and loved to use it up by exploring the world with his mouth.  He liked to pick on the puggle of the house and didn't understand that his old, crabby Australian Shepherd brother's warning growls did NOT mean "play harder."  He was absolutely incapable of entertaining himself, so he required constant attention.  And he loved shoes; like to a crazy, abnormal extent.

As I sit here thinking about the transformation Phoenix has made, I am tempted to look up what "Phoenix" even means.  According to the "Internet's Bible," Wikipedia, Phoenix is a greek character that is reborn from its own ashes.  Wow.  What a perfect name for this guy.  Coming from a situation where he was looking death in the face, Phoenix certainly represents a reborn version of his previous self.

In the short two months since Phoenix arrived at my house I have truly seen a Cinderella story unfold before my eyes.  The scrawny, wiry dog who picked on his Puggle foster brother is now a muscular (although still lanky), beautiful boy who knows the boundary between "forcing" someone to play and mutual play.  He only takes a couple minutes to warm up to new women, and once he is comfortable with them he wants nothing more than to snuggle and be pet- and he knows just how to flash those warm chestnut brown eyes that are impossible to say no to!  He can entertain himself for an hour or so before he remembers he needs his human(s), and although he is hesitant about new things and situations, he is also inquisitive: a great sign that he is making huge strides.  Shoes are still a guilty pleasure of his, but at least now he knows that they are forbidden as a chew toy.  Phoenix's "mouthy" tendencies will be the primary issue his forever family will have to correct, but we have already made progress in this area as well.  Although he still likes to touch everything with his mouth, he is learning that this is not a desired behavior, so it has minimized greatly (and is almost non-existant on the days he receives the appropriate exercise for his energy level). 

All in all, I want other people to know what a gem this handsome man is.  Who would have known that an emaciated, scared, banged-up pup could transform into such a wonderful dog?  I am honored to have been one of the many people over several organizations who have experienced this story firsthand, and I'm excited to see what new opportunities unfold for this boy."

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