A Shelter Full of Hope and Promise

Sally – Adopted January 2015

Before arriving at WAG, Sally was found living outside. She was freezing, arthritic and in need of surgery. Sally was so thrilled to be invited inside WAG that she refused to leave her warm kennel for the first 2 days. Eventually we were able to coax her outside with the promise we would let her back in. Sally was about 12 years old when she made her way to WAG and had a huge mass the size of a baseball on her stomach as well as dental disease. She had surgery to remove the mass and fix her teeth and was then ready to be adopted.

Sally’s mom wrote us a great update describing her journey from the start of adoption to how her life is now:

My partner and I had a senior cat that we adopted from the BCSPCA, Wu Cat.  Sadly we only had Wu in our lives for 4 years as a hard life caught up with him and his kidneys failed. Although our time was short it was honestly the most rewarding experience of my life and I learned a lot of valuable life lessons from Wu. The way he overcame adversity, always had a great attitude and loved life even when his health was deteriorating. 
Even though many people said I was crazy for wanting a senior animal knowing that our time together would be short I knew when I was ready to adopt a dog that it had to be a senior. 
Growing up I had always wanted a German Sheppard so I searched Petfinder.com for a senior Sheppard and found Sally (a Sheppard mix) at WAG. 
After applying online and completing a telephone interview I was invited to drive from Vancouver to Whistler to meet Sally.

I was told that 12 year old Sally had been a guard dog, living her life outdoors. She was found outside in freezing temperatures with fleas, damaged teeth and large tumors.
I knew there may be challenges bringing home such an old dog who had never lived a city life but the crew at WAG are very thorough and put a lot of effort into ensuring their animals find not just any home but the right home so I took my chances.

From the day I brought Sally home she has been a dream. She’s great on and off-leash, she never barks, she’s friends with all the neighbourhood dogs and she loves meeting new people. Especially if they have food. She’s mostly a big couch potato and loves snoozing with her cat sister, Mary. 
Sally is a silly girl, always smiling. She makes everyone she meets happy and I wanted to share that with other people.  In May 2015 Sally and I passed our evaluation with St. John Ambulance and began volunteering as a therapy dog team. We visit a recovery center and it’s so rewarding to see the positive impact Sally has on the people we visit. Sally didn’t always have the best luck in life but she was given the second chance that she deserved just like the people we visit. For me, that’s what makes our visits so special. Sally on the other hand appreciates all the belly rubs and treats.

To anyone looking to adopt a dog, please consider a senior. Senior animals are often overlooked in shelters. A lot of people think they need to adopt a puppy to build a strong bond with their dog but that’s not the case. Sally is my best bud and I can’t go anywhere without her on my heels. Animals are smart and they know when you’ve given them a better life. Sally is grateful and it shows. 
I’ve often hear people say that it takes a big heart to adopt a senior animal. This is super cheesy but if my heart is big it’s because Sally fills it up.