Not every dog who comes to Pets Alive is socialized and ready for adoption. We also take in very shy animals who have had little or no human contact. That’s the backstory of Laura, part of a litter of 8 puppies from North Carolina. With much training and patience on the part of Pets Alive staff and volunteers, all but three of the hound mixes have been adopted since 2011. Laura is now ready to find her forever home, too!
Lucky for her, she has been fostered by Wanda Vogel and family for the past 1 ½ years. The Vogels had experience with acclimating shy dogs, as they had already adopted Laura’s sister Brandi (originally called Blondie) in 2012.
Wanda wanted to make a difference in another dog’s life, so she returned to Pets Alive in 2017 and offered to foster Laura. She couldn’t bear the thought of Brandi’s remaining siblings spending the rest of their lives at the shelter. By bringing Laura home and working on her socialization skills, the family’s goal was to help the shy girl get her own happily ever after.
Before the Vogels could foster Laura, they committed to getting to know her better, traveling from their home an hour away to spend some 10 weekends at Pets Alive — a couple of hours each time — to get Laura used to walking on a leash and being around them. After several months, Laura went home with the Vogels to continue her training.
Since summer of 2017, the transformation has been remarkable. “Laura started as a little lady who couldn’t tolerate touch to one who will let us pet and scratch her,” says Wanda. “She is still shy, even around us, so we are careful to not startle her. She will tolerate a bath, brushing and wiping muddy paws. She wants to be in the same room but is not ready to join you on the couch — yet. She loves to walk, and walks beautifully on a leash now.”
Wanda describes Laura’s nature as “sweet and gentle.” She gets along with most dogs, and is also fine with cats (her foster family has 2).
As for the best home for the girl? “I think she would blossom in a quieter home with no children, someone or a couple who are okay that she won’t be a cuddler right away, a home with or without other animals,” Wanda says. “I just look into those soft brown eyes and see the gentle old soul inside and I know she deserves a family.”
While it won’t be easy to let Laura go, the Vogels say her placement in a forever home will allow them to foster another shy pup. “I tear up whenever I think about it,” says Wanda. “But I know that the right person to adopt her will give her a great life. Then we take Laura’s brother or sister and start again.”
Help Laura, one of our 12 Strays of Christmas, find her happily ever after this holiday season. Can’t adopt at this time? Share her story.
Please donate to Pets Alive so we can continue to provide a safe landing spot and loving environment for strays in need. A donation today to our GENERAL ANIMAL CARE FUND will receive a matching donation towards our KENNEL BUILDING PROJECT thanks to our very special supporters Joe and Kelly Sicari.