Unfortunately it’s quite common for dogs not to be themselves in shelters. They may have come from a bad situation and because they are not in a stable home environment they are not receiving the best love, care and attention that they need. As such they can develop undesirable behaviours, become scared, stressed, anxious, and sometimes even act out or become aggressive. The problem with this is, this is the behaviour that becomes the basis for whether or not they are deemed suitable for re-homing or get chosen to be adopted. But more often than not, this is not their normal behaviour. It is often a behaviour based on their reaction to this living situation they have been placed into and often not a true reflection of the dogs real personality.

This was very evident in Lucy’s story from my second fundraising photo book project – Longing for Love – telling the heartwarming stories of Melbourne Rescue Dogs.
Lucy has to be one of the happiest dogs I’ve met who simply loves life and her new owner, Todd and who’s face is always plastered with the biggest Staffy smile. However you wouldn’t have known this from how she was acting at the shelter, but thankfully Todd decided to take a chance on her. Here’s their story…

“To this day, finding Lucy, has been the best thing to ever hapen to me.”

I’ve always been a dog person; I had family dogs when I was a kid. So after I bought my first house and fixed up the yard I was eager to search for a furry companion of my own. My Nan actually got me on to the idea of adopting a dog rather than buying a puppy, as she said, “When you adopt a dog, you’re saving a life”.

After looking at several different dog rescue websites, I came across Lucy. Unlike the other profiles, Lucy’s only had one picture, but I had a good feeling about her. I rang the RSPCA, and she was still up for adoption. The only issue was that she was in Broken Hill and I was in Frankston, approximately a 10 hour trip away. So, not knowing what I was really getting myself into, I packed the car and headed to Broken Hill.

When I got there they told me what they knew about Lucy’s background. She was taken off her original owner because he cut her tail off with an axe when she was just a pup. Lucy had then been adopted out and brought back as that owner ‘didn’t have time for her’.

When I first walked out the back to see Lucy she was scaling the wire fence and barking her head off. My initial thought was what the bloody hell have I gotten myself into, but as soon as I took Lucy away from the shelter she was like a completely different dog. She was only a year old and I hate to think of the amount of stress she went through in her first year on this earth going through all that she did.

In the seven years Lucy and I have been together she has needed very little training to be the perfect dog she is today. I’ve heard her bark only twice, she doesn’t dig holes, chew my things or terrorise visitors. She’s great with people and other animals. All she ever wants to do is be shown affection; belly and butt scratches are her favourite. She also loves napping in the sun, chewing on big marrow bones and chasing birds away when we go to the park.

To this day, finding Lucy has been the best thing that’s ever happened to me. She’s my best friend. When I tell people Lucy’s story they often say she is so lucky that I adopted her, but the fact is, I’m the lucky one.

You can read Lucy’s story as well as many other inspiring and heartwarming rescue stories in this book. Have your very own keepsake limited edition coffee table book which can be purchased here

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