Dear SCARS, I am putting paw to keyboard to let you know how things have been going since I was placed in a home almost three years ago. I was rescued from a northern community where I had maxed out my time at the local pound. SCARS arranged to pick me up and transport me to the city where I was placed with my foster mom, Brenda. She was welcoming and kind, and I played with her dog and cat who helped acclimate me to all the scary changes taking place.

I did not stay with Brenda long as she arranged for my Helpful Roommates to meet me. When we met, I accidentally peed in excitement and climbed up onto the larger Roommate’s lap because their coat had fur on it that I wanted to gnaw.

For the first few months of living with my Helpful Roommates, I stayed under the radar, because I wanted to know what kind of Roommates they were going to be. I was reserved around visitors that came to the house, and would greet them but otherwise kept to my bed and let them walk around. I was also an adolescent dog at that time, and even though I looked big, I had not reached full maturity (or my weight) yet.

As I’ve grown to be my fully fledged dog self, my Helpful Roommates have come to understand that I am selective about the kinds of dogs I prefer to be around and greet (preferably smaller than me, and preferably female). I also do better with a regulated amount of stimulation, so that I am in control of my behaviour. Working with doggy professionals has also revealed that I can be quite protective towards the women in my life, and when I’m home alone with the smaller Helpful Roommate, I let anyone that comes up to our home know that there will be hell to pay if they try and cross me. My Helpful Roommates appreciate that I am very intelligent and like to be trained, and that while I am wary and alert to everyone else, I will trust my Roommates with anything, including: teeth brushing, nail clipping, and going to the vet when I have to.

Not long after I first came home with my Helpful Roommates, I was letting them pet me (and get close to my face – which only they are allowed to do!) and they discovered the big scar that circles my neck and is hidden under my fur. I can’t tell them how I got it, so they have to make do with guessing if it was an embedded collar or if I was tied up for some length of time. Although it makes the smaller Roommate sad to see it, they both say the scar reminds them to give me kisses and neck scratches there, so we have turned it into a positive. I think that sums up what SCARS did for me, and what they do for all the other animals. Sometimes people can become sad and disillusioned by the way other people behave. But you only need to look at the ‘Rescue Stories’ or ‘Look At Me Now’ section of SCARS’ website to be reminded that there are all sorts of people, living in this province, who will take the time out to make a phone call about an injured animal; drive long distances to help bring one into care; overcome social stigma to ask for help for one of us when they’re unable to help us themselves; or, like my foster mom did, share their bed and home to give us a safe stop on our journey to our forever home. Thank you very much, SCARS.

Thanks for all you do, Smaller Helpful Roommate