Seeing the Real Sookie

Sookie is sweet, cute, healthy, a wonderful size, and previously spayed so I’m expecting her to be adopted before we have time to see her true personality shine through. I think I’ve captured a little of it as she plays on the bed.

Click here to see Sookie playing a little with Tic Tac.

What I’m really trying to say is that Sookie is going take a long time to get used to her new home and completely relax. Actually, according to her previous family she may not ever be COMPLETELY relaxed – the patio furniture was rearranged once and Sookie wouldn’t go out the back door; she had to sniff each piece of furniture before she was good with it again.

We are seeing little glimpses of playfulness. Tonight I even got her to play a little game of catch and chase with a pink bunny stuffie that I got for her at the dollar store. It was so fun to see the little prance in her step as we ran from the dining room to the living room. Up until this point I’ve only seen this when she’s in our bed first thing in the morning.

Beautiful Sookie

Sookie is the extreme case of timidity in feeling happy and relaxed in a new situation, but I think it is something that every adopter (and foster) needs to consider when bringing a new animal into his or her home. It can take more than a week or two for everyone to get comfortable. There may be “accidents” even if they’re house trained – after all, they’ve spent some time in the shelter where there isn’t as much of a choice to “go outside” AND the schedule you set for him or her is probably quite different from the schedule in their previous home. Even the sounds of your neighborhood will be strange to your new family member.

It seems like we’ve had quite a few quick returns at the Wake County Animal Center lately. I think we’re all expecting an instant bond, appreciation, and settled family routine. It will come, but it’s not going to be instant. It’s just another aspect, like the lifelong commitment, that needs to be taken under consideration when deciding to add a dog or cat to your family.

If you have thought it through, check out the gallery at the WCAC or stop by any day of the week between noon and 6:00 PM.

Check out Tic Tac messin’ with Sookie.

2 thoughts on “Seeing the Real Sookie

  1. Goose heard Sookie’s tags clink and rattle on the video and she started barking and went tearing around the house, looking for Sookie! You say a lot in this piece. My second dog ever, a border collie mix who was taken from a hoarding/abusive home, took a solid 6 months to relax. And at his most relaxed, he was still a bit neurotic. Some wounds leave scars. He was a great, loyal, eager to please dog and pal for me though, and well worth the patience he required in those early months. xoxo SJ

  2. I think one reason there have been so many returns is that 72 hour refund period that we tell everyone about. On one hand, we’re hoping that if they just take the leap, they’ll fall in love and won’t bring them back. On the other hand, they have a safety net and are sometimes less inclines to work past those three days. Three days is not nearly enough time to know a dog and get it settled in a new home. Policy is policy, for better or worse.

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