Dear Readers, From time to time this column will feature animals from Stray Hearts where a shelter volunteer has taken a special interest in their progress. The Taos Bark will always be available to a Stray Hearts volunteer or staff person asking for help in finding good adoptive homes.
Ron Hagg is a shelter volunteer who would like to share his experiences with two dogs he feels are very special. He hopes they can be adopted together to a safe and loving home. Here is Mr. Hagg's story:
"I have been sitting with the sisters Eliza and Spike five days a week for around three months at Stray Hearts Animal Shelter in Taos. I sang them a song I made up and sang to my children when they were young. Eliza would shut her eyes. Some of the other feral dogs shut their eyes as well. I like it that they don't complain about my singing.
"Spike is holding on to her sister, Eliza, occasionally licking her ear. The love they have for each other is powerfully strong. I know what they are thinking, 'How in the hell did I get here!'
"I have been telling them that they need to make their great escape. But yet they were still very fearful, and it took a long time to gain their trust. Then along came Tad Schmidt. He is so fantastic with feral dogs. His motto is 'movement.' Get the dogs out and about.
"Tad and the kennel manager, Zack, took the sisters out on a walk. It was very traumatic and hard on the girls. Tad and Zack had to be patient. Eliza pooped herself, but they did get them out on a walk. The next time I did this with Tad, Eliza peed, not as traumatic as the first time, but nonetheless, hard on the girls. The third time was less difficult, though still tough on Eliza and Spike, [and tough on us] getting collars and leashes on them. But it was an excellent walk. Now I have a tool in 'movement.'
"Being leash-trained is a huge step in their escape plans. I continued to sit right next to them in their outdoor kennel. I still sing to them. Putting on collars and leashes has gotten to be very easy, no stress. They are 100 percent cooperative now. I take them out on walks around five days a week. They are curious, sniff, poop, pee and are getting relaxed. They are being dogs.
"Now when I approach their outdoor kennel, they jump up and down in excitement. They have made great progress. The other day when I was leaving the shelter I looked over. Eliza and Spike were playing with each other. My heart goes out to these girls.
"They need to be adopted together. They are not yet quite ready, but are getting closer every day. Best estimated guess of their age is two years. If you have an interest in adopting or fostering these two wonderful girls, I will help as much as I can. They deserve a life together in a forever home. Whoever does this will get their 100 percent love.
"The staff and volunteers at Stray Hearts are the kindest, most caring people you'd ever want to meet. Thanks, Stray Hearts."
Every dog and cat needs the same attention and deserves to be adopted. The more dedicated the volunteers, the more the dogs and cats can be ready for their new homes and families.
Please consider volunteering for our animal shelter. The animals need you so much. Many volunteer positions are available. Dog walkers help socialize the dogs with walks and interactions with the world outside of their kennels.
Stray Hearts Animal Shelter now is on the radio: KNCE-FM 93.5. Every other Thursday from 9 - 10 a.m. the program will feature the shelter's executive director, Cynthis Lucas and Raven, a shelter staff member. Various shelter subjects will be discussed with invited guests. The next program will be Thursday (April 26) and future shows every other week.
For more information or to provide a tip, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (575) 613-3448.