Many of you will remember Leyla, the two year old husky mix who spent her entire life as a stray dog. When she came to PAWS in March, she was petrified of people and could not even be touched. She would run for the nearest corner when people entered the room and face the wall shaking in fear of what was to come. She was one of the most nervous and traumatized dogs PAWS had ever encountered.
Leyla spent six months in PAWS foster care. The Schmidt family in TN first fostered this special dog and spent two months working with her. They were endlessly patient as she would hide in her crate all day and made incredible progress with her. She was then transferred to, me, PAWS Cofounder Kelly Parker. The whole Parker family (most especially our two furchildren Suki and Zoey) worked tirelessly to rehabilitate this special dog. I will never forget picking her up from transport- Leyla was so frightened that she urinated all over me and then buriedherself under my front car seat. It took me two hours to get her from the car into our home. Over the next four months, we watched this amazing creature learn that there was no reason to be afraid anymore. She was safe now and no one would allow anything to happen to her ever again. This beautiful story of courage and perserverance are documented in this blog.
On August 22nd, Leyla began her new life with a lovely young couple and her new furbrother Tyson. Leyla’s new Mom Lindsey was not at all dissauded by a shy dog like Leyla and said that she had spent many months working with her own dog Tyson to overcome his fearful nature. Lindsey won me over in her first email. She said, “I have spent the last two hours reading Leyla’s blog and I have fallen in love.” Lindsey and her boyfriend Matt did not even bat an eye when I explained that Leyla was living in Washington DC with my husband and I. They quickly offered to drive all the way from northern New England to Washington DC simply to meet Leyla.
It was heartbreaking to let this little angel go, but the moment Lindsey and Matt walked into our home with Tyson- it was clear that this was the family Leyla had dreamed of. She didn’t run away like she typically did when strangers entered our home. And within minutes of arrival, Leyla and Tyson where play wrestling and snuggling on the floor.
Leyla has been doing wonderfully since moving her new home. She has now been boating in New Hampshire, vacationing in Maine, and even accompanied her new Mom Lindsey to work. The updates from her family make the pain of saying goodbye to this beautiful dog worth it. Even though my husband and I were devastated to see her go, we will hold a spot open in our home for another traumatized animal that needs a little extra time and patience to learn that there life will never be the same now that they are a PAWS dog. I encourage everyone to open their homes to a foster dog. The experience of removing a dog from a life of hopelessness and pain and being with them the first time they experience love and kindness if something that everyone should do at least once.