Whether we want to want to excel in our career, train for a marathon or write that book we’ve been putting off for years; to reach our potential as people, often all we need is for someone to believe in us.
The same can apply to abandoned and unwanted animals, who are just looking for one person to see their potential. For the deserving cats and dogs at our shelters, extending a hand of understanding, compassion and commitment has the power to transform their lives — and yours in return.
Earlier this year, a timid nine-month-old Chihuahua mix named Buckley was patiently waiting at The Lost Dogs’ Home’s North Melbourne shelter for an owner who would invest time and love into helping him overcome his timid ways.
While browsing the Home’s website, Sarah came across his profile and immediately had a good feeling about him. Coincidentally, she was keen on adopting a dog that would need some extra TLC and wanted a companion who would love being included in her daily activities.
“I just happened to pick the right time to take a look on The Lost Dogs’ Home’s website for the very first time.
“There was something about him that seemed so vulnerable. Looking at him, I felt that I could build up his confidence. I wanted to take him on runs, socialise him and boost his self-esteem, which he didn’t seem to have much of.”
On completing the adoption process and walking towards her car and a new beginning, Sarah was overcome with positive emotions.
“The moment I walked out of the shelter, I was so overwhelmed that I was carrying a new little life in my arms, that would be with me for the rest of his life. I felt such joy and love and excitement! “I kissed his tiny head and felt my life about to change. It was one of the happiest moments I have ever experienced.”
And change it did. From that moment on Buckley would prove he could not only persevere through his timid ways, but would bloom into a confident canine with unique characteristics and antics that would make Sarah laugh.
“While we were in the car on the way home, I started singing a Madonna song to him that was playing on the stereo. At this very point, I saw him smile at me for the first time!”
In order to help Buckley settle into his new home and life, Sarah spent plenty of time at home with him away from work.
“We spent the next couple days together around the house, cuddling and allowing Buckley to adjust to his new surroundings. Within a few days he was answering to his name.”
She discovered fairly quickly that little Buckley was a big music fan and not afraid to show it.
“I came home one day and put on some music and Buckley all of a sudden jumped on his two back legs and started dancing! This was the first time he did this, so I was quite shocked. Now we dance together all the time!”
A professional boxer, Sarah regularly engages in exercise and now she has a gym buddy.
“He has become very well known at my gym and is loved by all who train there.
“In such a short period, he has been given so much love everywhere he goes, he is no longer that shy, little pup I first saw. He has certainly become a valued part of the family!”
An advocate for adoption, Sarah maintains the motivation to welcome a pet into a home should never be skin deep.
“I feel very strongly about people adopting from a shelter rather than buying from a pet store.
“There are so many lost and abused, innocent animals that just need a home and loving people to take care of them. It’s not about whether they are cute, it’s about connecting with each other. There has to be a bond felt before you pick any animal because of their looks.
Now radiating with confidence, Buckley warms Sarah’s heart and home every day.
“I love his beautiful, loyal and loving personality and my heart melts each time I see his gorgeous brown eyes. He gives me smiles that are so wide — every day I see him growing in confidence.
“All it took was for him to know that he is completely loved and taken care of and he is now a radiant little being. My life is so much brighter and joyful with this little munchkin now in it.”