Meet Makena! August 23rd was her deadline at the shelter, meaning her time was up and she was scheduled to be put down – at only one year old.
Transformed from day one out of the shelter, this long-limbed snuggle bug is all smiles, and she’s taught me a thing or two over the past two months:
- Life can be overwhelming – but if you allow yourself the love and comfort of those who care most for you, it’s not so bad after all.
- Patience will be rewarded.
- Even just an hour offline and detached from daily stimulations (tv, work, cellphone, laptop, you name it) makes for a positive recharge.
- Greet your guests.
- Waking up an hour or two earlier than you’re used to won’t kill you. In fact, there’s something calming about waking up with or before the sun and slowing your morning ritual.
- Stranger danger! (we’re working on this…).
- Take pleasure in the small things and seemingly insignificant moments. Turns out, these are what life is.
- There are squirrels literally everywhere.
- After a long, hard day (or walk), relax. You’ve earned it. Not in the mood to go out and socialize? Relax, you don’t have to.
- Stop and smell the roses (and bushes and leaves and puddles and trees).
Makena is my second foster pup with Sit With Me Rescue, an Ontario-based dog rescue established in 2012 covering Ontario and Quebec. There are a number of things that drew me to Sit With Me:
Firstly, Sit With Me focuses their efforts taking in pups from shelters who are at high risk of being put down due to time and space in shelters; a sad reality in overcrowded shelters. Sit With Me speaks up for pups who have no one left to speak up for them. They fiercely believe that shelter dogs deserve better than being abandoned by those who committed to care for them.
Secondly, Sit With Me understands and fights for the notion that the difference between a “bad” dog and a “good” dog is the result of the person holding the leash. You cannot fault a dog for their behaviour when they’ve never been shown right from wrong. Sit With Me and its 150+ volunteers are the people at the end of the leash that these dogs need and deserve. They take in deserving shelter dogs who pass their intake assessment in showing them that they want human companionship and are eager to learn.
Thirdly, Sit With Me doesn’t place timelines on the lives of their dogs; they are committed to working with their pups to get to know them and their needs. This is where foster homes come in. Foster homes are a vital part of the adoption process; they help the pups to become their best selves while getting to know them with the goal of placing them in the right home for them. There is no rescue without a foster home. Sit With Me is diligent in placing dogs in homes based on what is the best home for that particular dog. They have an extensive adoption process and always act with the dog in mind. Some deserving families will be suggested to look at other dogs because their favourite looking pup may not be the best match for them. With all of these measures in place, the dog will very likely remain out of a shelter for the rest of its lifetime.
Lastly, Sit With Me doesn’t discriminate based on breed, age, medical background, or current medical state. They often take in pups urgently requiring medical care and they are one of only two rescue organizations in Ontario that take in “pit bull” type breeds.
Sit With Me is in urgent need of foster homes and I can tell you first-hand how rewarding the experience has been. It’s a commitment with inherent challenges requiring a whole lot of time and love, but I don’t think there’s ever been a point in my life that I have laughed so frequently since taking in Makena. She is not without her (many) quirks (nose right up the butt at every opportunity or spiralling on the floor whenever I go to put her harness on) but its these quirks that melt away the day’s stressors and make life that much better.
If you’re interested in fostering (or adopting) with Sit With Me, check out their website and give them a follow on Instagram @sitwithmerescue. I’m also happy to answer any questions you might have – just reach out.
My first foster girl, Arkell, pictured below who was the best of company while I was forced to lie around at home all day recovering from surgery. Arkell has been adopted – happily ever after in her forever home.