I can’t get over how sweet and cute she is. Bella came to live with us from the Souda Shelter end of February this year, and is such a cuddler.
She adores Dog Training and is off the leash there now, she sticks with me through the exercises, and is very happy when she realizes she’s done it right. We never demand too much, it’s supposed to be a fun experience.
This is a very long Post.
About a year ago, we learned, that an organization from Southern Europe would not let us adopt a dog, they told us in an email, that they wished for something else for the puppy. We thought hard and couldn’t find what was wrong with us.
We are experienced dog owners, have a fenced in back yard of considerable size, go for walks at least 5km daily, unless we can’t because we are sick. We have a grown up daughter living close by as a back up, a dog friendly neighborhood in which we take turns dog sitting and we also have an exceptional dog trainer.
The only thing we could imagine was: we were sincere about our small senior dog Liska who was capable of dominant behavior and we also declared how we would handle it all, plus we’d have the help of our dog trainer.
Before I asked about the why, I started researching this organization a bit deeper and found a blog. And as a Mediator and Conflict Manager, I realized: „I do not want to be associated with this organization at all.“ and left things as they were and never contacted them again. Brushing us off, without even one phone call, FaceTime or home visit, they just weren’t the ones we wanted to communicate with, nor adopt from.
A few weeks passed and a friend sent Nori‘s description, that @sitaausdenia had posted, telling us: „I believe this will be your dog.“
I got in touch, we texted, we used FaceTime, we got perfect information, we set a date for a home visit and the rest is history. @sitaausdenia @gabick68 and @thesoudashelterproject trusted us with Nori who had anxiety problems. All of them thought we were a perfect match. And it turned out: Liska didn’t dominate Nori, she was nothing but sweet with her, setting only few boundaries, which was to be expected, when you match up a 14.5 year old senior with a 9 month old pup.
The Souda Shelter didn’t only trust us, everybody stayed in touch and helped us understand Nori. They love their animals, they want them to thrive and are a community who welcomes people.
Sadly Liska passed within four weeks of Noris arrival, she didn’t let us know how bad she was doing, blood works were coming out fine, she had pain meds for her arthritis and was happy until a few days before. It seemed like she was ready to go, when she knew Nori was there to take care of us. This was so very hard on us, it broke our hearts and it wasn’t what we wanted for Nori.
Nori wasn’t supposed to be a single dog and she didn’t do well without Liska, Nori started regressing. After almost 3 months we searched the Souda Shelters page daily for a 2-4 year old dog, until Bella turned up the beginning of January. We got videos and the evaluation of the team, that Bella would be a good match for Nori. We also learned that Bella could show a dominating behavior, nothing about her was held back. Bella arrived in February and after Nori was confused for two days, they bonded and became a team. Nori stopped regressing and did leaps in learning from Bella, who’s a year older.
The dogs are very different in character and behavior, which is taken care of by us in a loving environment, with an awesome dog trainer, heaps of patience and the time they need to learn. Having had and loving Liska for 14.5 years has taught us many things. First of all endless patience, she wasn’t an easy learner. Nori and Bella are quick learners they are focused on being with us, it’s less work to train these two compared to constantly training one Liska. And don’t get me wrong, Liska was a wonderful dog and we loved her to pieces, but she required constant training for things that Nori and Bella get right and keep on doing right once they understand it. Being patient with an anxious Nori and a very straight forward Bella is an easy and natural thing.
To think the other organization didn’t see us fit to adopt from them makes me laugh hard now. And it’s not our loss, because this way we connected with so many nice people from many countries, through the Souda Shelter Project.
Thank you Souda Shelter Project!
Bella, a girl, was born in July 2019.