UPDATE: GUINEVERE HAS BEEN ADOPTED!
This is a story of perseverance.
Guinevere (The Beautiful) earned her nickname through belief in the end result. Labs & More fosters take dogs into their homes believing in the dog they CAN be, no matter the condition or pre-set story. Foster Michelle tells us about her journey with Guinevere.
You’ve had Guinevere in your care since her beginning (February 18) with Labs & More, tell us how you got her as a foster.
I received the foster-needs email and Guinevere’s sad story was on there. After a full day of no takers, I finally couldn’t take looking at her picture any longer. I told LAM’s foster director, omg, I’ll take her, and my husband agreed to pick her up.
He wasn’t prepared for the condition she was in. Calling from the car, thinking Guinevere was going to die, he said “This is the saddest dog I’ve ever seen”. She was skin & bones, had very little hair, skin from the mange was scabby, crusty and she smelled horrible. Amazingly, she didn’t fight being put in the car but was more resigned that this was her lot in life.
That first day we got her home we had to hand feed her to get her to eat. Sad and depressed, the light had gone out of her eyes. She almost seemed like she was giving up on life and was resigned that this was the way it was going to be. She didn’t ask for food but would slowly take it when you gave it to her. Through the next 2-3 days we laid on the floor next to her, talking gently to her, giving her yummy treats – anything to get her to acknowledge that we were there. Within a week she began to eat on her own. Slowly the nutrition got her body fueled again and it wasn’t long before she would greet us with a gentle tail wag at the door – but always from the back of my pack. Within the first month she began playing with my other dogs and toys – the toys were a treat for her to behold. She finally found joy in becoming a real dog.
Within 2 months her hair began to grow back. Her fur, although patchy, was coming in. She became the first one to ask for food, prancing excitedly at feeding time. This is when we began to train her for regular dog manners, which she happily does now.
What do you know about her history?
She was pulled off living on the streets and was pregnant when we got her. She immediately went into labor and was in extreme distress. Anemic, she was not healthy enough for the necessary c-section as her puppies were premature. Her condition was so dire that the treating vet used her own dog to administer an emergency blood transfusion to stabilize Guinevere enough to get her into surgery to perform the operation. Sadly all of her puppies perished in birth, but Guinevere survived. 3 days later she was released from the hospital.
How did she react to you as a new home?
She was always sweet. Never shy or standoffish, but more indifferent and resigned that this was going to be her lot in life. It took her a month to realize that being in a home with a family and other dogs – plus all of the things that come along with being a regular dog were great! She probably didn’t have any of those things before and is now the sweetest dog; a big time leaner and loves her kisses.
What did she struggle with?
She is not adventurous, she won’t willingly leave the front yard. She’s perfectly happy to be a good old house dog with a family that loves her. She may not be the dog that enjoys hiking and being adventurous, but you never know as she progresses. She will chase the ball when you throw it, but then lays down and chews on it.
What do you think her life was like before LAM?
I think she was a street dog that either ended up there because her family couldn’t or didn’t want to care for the mange, had multiple litters and was doing everything she could to just survive.
What do you want to make sure her adopting family knows about her?
That she is a super special dog. She is one of those dogs that will love you whole-heartedly but not ask for anything in return.
Describe the perfect home for Guinevere.
A quiet one. She loves a family and loves her quiet time with them. She loves having a dog buddy but doesn’t have to have one. She’d be perfect in a couple that is home a lot with time to simply spend with her. She likes to just hang out with you. It would give her a sense of purpose that she can follow you around and provide company.
How long have you fostered with LAM? What made you accept this foster?
1.5 years and I mainly take medical cases.
What will you miss about her when she’s adopted?
Her wiggly butt when I come home at the front door.
What would you tell a new foster about deciding to take a special needs dog?
Be open. Don’t force the issue. Let them adjust, give them the time to figure it out. They will; I’m always surprised at how well and quickly they bond. When I get an update from their new family I’m always pleasantly surprised at how quickly they integrate & bond with their new family. I always worry – will the new family love them as much as I do? But I realize that these dogs are resilient, you just need to give them the time to blossom and figure it out, because they will.
What do you think Guinevere would say about this story?
“I’m glad to be where I’m at today, and that someone took the time to notice a dirty, old, ugly dog and give her the chance to blossom into Guinevere The Beautiful.”
UPDATE: GUINEVERE HAS BEEN ADOPTED!