In April of 2018, I lost my best friend, Becky. She was my 13-year-old beagle I had loved since I was 8 years old. She was my whole world, and when she passed away, my heart was empty for a long time. I never thought I’d have another dog again.
In September of 2018, I started my final year of college in the veterinary technician program. At the beginning of that year, I had my first “kennel duty” with the new rescue dogs we had at school. I grabbed a leash to walk the first round of dogs, and as I walked into the kennels, I was drawn to the small cage in the back. I looked inside and saw the most beautiful female beagle puppy, and right away, I cried. I was overwhelmed with emotions and instantly fell in love. You could tell she came from a place where she was never socialized and probably neglected. She was never given a name or a birth date (from my knowledge) although we guessed she was about a year old. She was very timid and shy. For a while, she was scared to walk outside with the other dogs and was depressed to eat most days. I spent almost every day with her. I would walk her even when it wasn’t my day for kennel duty. After a while, I was the only one she really trusted at school. We became best friends in a very short amount of time. Finally, I decided to name her… Babs!
When Babs arrived at our school clinic, she knew very little. She didn’t even know how to sit. Once she was comfortable at school, I decided to foster her and start taking her home to see how she would do outside of school. I walked her to my car, sat her on the seat and turned the car on. Right away, she was panicked by the radio and started crying and hiding under the seat. After turning the radio off and finally calming her down, we proceeded home. I brought her to my front door (as she was too scared to walk), and we sat at my front door for almost an hour. She didn’t know what a house was and was very uncomfortable with the doorway. An hour passed, and I finally convinced her to go inside. Inside, she was scared of the TV, sounds of things cooking in the kitchen, pretty much anything that made loud noises. As the night went on, she became more and more relaxed in the house. I wanted to show her the wonderful life I could give her that she deserves. In January 2019 it was official, I adopted her and brought her to her ‘fur-ever home’!
Babs is the sweetest little girl I’ve ever had the pleasure of raising. She came from almost nothing and was never mean, destructive or harmful. She was just a little girl who wanted love. After months and months of hard work together, she finally learned how to be herself. She’s learned so much over the past year, and I am so beyond proud of how far she’s come. I never thought I’d get another dog again, and there is never a day that goes by that I don’t think about Becky. When Babs and I first met, you would tell we were both missing something in our lives. She has filled my heart with so much love and happiness. I am forever grateful that she came into my life, and now I can’t picture living without her.
It takes time and patience to raise any dog, but adopting a rescue dog takes a special kind of patience. It takes understanding and unconditional love to remind these pets that they deserve a home full of love and that they don’t have to fear life. I taught Babs a lot about herself that I don’t think she ever knew, but Babs has also taught me a lot about myself, and that’s something I’ll be forever grateful for! I LOVE my rescue dog!!
Written by Kaela, RVT