Skiba and Gretchen’s Story

“In the middle of January 2012, a sheep farmer was herding his sheep when he noticed an emaciated pointer dog. She was almost frozen to death, so the farmer took her and put her in his garage to warm up. When he woke up in the morning to check on her, the dog had 10 puppies (9 survived). Knowing the dog was too thin to nurse her puppies, he called All Breed Canine Rescue. ABCR took them in and brought the mom and puppies (8 boys and 1 girl) back to health and kept in foster care until everyone was ready for their forever home.

At around the same time I was looking to adopt a dog. Already having adopted a cat from the Humane Society a few years earlier, I chose to adopt again. It made me aware of how many animals in rescues were in need of a home. I adopted Skiba, he was the last of the puppies left. And boy, was he a handful! I used to call him the energizer bunny! I decided to enroll him in positive reinforcement training, and he was definitely the ‘special kid in class’. But with lots of time, dedication and persistent training, he has shaped up to be the perfect dog!

Once Jimi and I decided to buy our first house together, we knew we wanted a home with a big backyard for Skiba and potentially another dog. We decided to foster for Animalert because we knew they were in need for foster families. After one successful foster, we got a call from Animalert saying our new foster would arrive for us on Sunday all the way from Kentucky. She was a stray, a 2 year old hound mix named Gretchen. When she arrived at her house, the volunteer happened to say, “She makes a really pretty statue!” We brought her into the house and she would not move.. We didn’t know whether she was afraid or she was not used to the Canadian climate. She was very shy and shaking all time time. Jimi and i decided just to give her her space, but we couldn’t help but secretly fall in love with her. She was a miniature Skiba! On the 4th day of fostering her, Jimi called me at work. He said, “Sandra, Gretchen isn’t the same dog anymore.. She has come out of her shell! She’s the one,” Once I got home, I saw Gretchen at the front door, wagging her tail like I’ve never seen before. Gretchen and Skiba have created a close bond, like a big brother and little sister would. Every day Gretchen surprises us, and its a joy to see her be so happy everyday.

Once Gretchen has settled in, we will still continue to foster. We both have a passion for animals. And knowing if we can help one dog at a time by fostering, it is so worth it.”  –  Sandra and Jimi

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