The money was used to send me, Jessica Walker, to the Dog’s Playing for Life mentorship program at the Longmont Humane Society in Colorado.
Through this grant I was able to attend the Dogs Playing for Life program, which we would not have been able to go to without it. What I learned I was able to share with our volunteers and employees, which has helped the dogs in our care. We have been able to put many more dogs in playgroups and more accurately understand dogs, which also helps us in finding them the perfect forever homes. The dogs have loved the implementation of the playgroups and we’ve seen many of our dogs blossom and shy dogs gain confidence. It’s wonderful to see how big a difference it has made for our dogs.
20+ dogs and counting
Calypso is one of our dogs who greatly benefited from implementing the skills and methods I learned from the Dogs Playing for Life program. She first came to us with a litter of puppies and was placed into a foster home. Her puppies all soon found forever homes. Calypso, however, was extremely shy and distrusting. She didn’t like to be touched or handled and was shut down, not even wanting to take a tasty treat from anyone. She would flee to a corner or somewhere far away from people. We worked with her for over a month and eventually she would timidly take a treat, but we didn’t make a lot of progress. She still ran away from us out in our play yards, so we had to keep a long leash on her just to catch her.
After the Dogs Playing for Life mentorship, we started implementing playgroups, something we hadn’t done much of before. As we started bringing dogs out to play, we decided to see how Calypso would do with other dogs. Much to our surprise and delight, Calypso blossomed! She adored the other dogs and loved to play! She went from shy and timid to happy and playful almost instantly. It only took a couple of playgroup sessions before we started to notice a huge change in her. She quickly grew a lot more confident around people she was familiar with. She started letting us handle her and pet her without fleeing to a corner, and happily taking treats or food from us. While she is still a bit timid at times, she has come a very long way in a short time. When we are getting ready to let dogs out for a playgroup session, she excitedly waits her turn, and she has a sweet doggy smile as she bounds after the other dogs. The other dogs were able to help her relax and gain some confidence. She’s a very sweet dog and we hope she will find her forever home soon!
Calypso has not yet found her forever home and is still available for adoption: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/40084375