The first seven months of Dusty’s life must have been stressful. When he and his two siblings were surrendered to an Animal Protection Officer on February 8, 2023, he was very fearful.
At the BC SPCA Parksville-Qualicum Beach Community Animal Centre our staff worked with this sweet, shy Australian Shepherd until he would take treats from their hands and start playing with toys, but the work would need to continue in his new home. The perfect match for Dusty would include a confident canine companion and calm, patient adult guardians who would bring him out of his shell and teach basic skills like walking on a leash.
On March 23, 2023, Dusty’s forever family showed up to take him into his new home. They have written to share how Dusty has settled in:
“We decided to get a rescue to add to our family as our Yellow Lab Cross, Miah, was 13 and we knew she’d be an excellent foster mom to help settle another dog.
Dusty came to us at seven months old with many fears and anxieties. He was terrified of everything—sounds, movements, people, etc. Even walking up or down stairs was a challenge.
Miah helped him settle into our family quickly. Within three days, he slept through the night in his soft-sided crate. With lots of love, positive reinforcement and treats, he overcame most of his fears, including walking past parked cars or going for car rides.
He is still quite fearful of strangers, which is something we are working on with an AnimalKind trainer. When we go out without him, even for a couple of minutes, Dusty welcomes us home with a toy in his mouth and is learning not to jump up on us. Dusty has been a joy and a challenge, but we love him and couldn’t imagine our lives without him.
Unfortunately, our beautiful Miah had to be put to sleep recently. We had her as part of our family for 3 ½ wonderful years. She was full of life and had an abundance of love to give. Even though we had her for a short time (which turned out to be longer than expected), we wouldn’t change anything. She was a joy to have with my family and we are all heartbroken with her passing, but we know we gave her the best life and all the love possible. I strongly support adopting senior pets. Although they may not be with us very long, the love, comfort and companionship they give are worth it. Knowing you gave the best final years to an animal in need can be a very rewarding experience for both the dog and their adopted parent.
Unless a person needs a papered purebred for shows like the Canadian Kennel Club, I believe everyone should adopt a rescue. They deserve love and a forever home. Even if you adopt a dog with issues, working through them is rewarding for both the dog and the owner and you will have the unconditional love for the rest of the dog’s life.“
We are very sorry for your loss! It sounds as though Miah was a wonderful big sister to Dusty, in their time together. We suspect that Dusty will continue to blossom over time, especially with such a loving family. Thank you for opening your hearts and home to him.
Have you adopted an animal from the BC SPCA and want to share your joy with others? Submit your adoption story!