Fresa came to us under difficult circumstances. This poor girl was brought into the BC SPCA Victoria Community Animal Centre by ambulance when she was surrendered to one of our Special Provincial Constables as part of a cruelty investigation.
It was November 27, 2022, and Fresa was only about three years old. She had probably had several puppies over her short lifetime and had just given birth to a litter. She had a virus, parasites, kennel cough and a lot of pain from arthritis from what looked like a previous traumatic injury.
She went directly into foster care until she was healed and spayed. As Fresa came from difficult circumstances, she needed to be socialized and trained. She was with us for almost a year before the ideal human match opened their heart and home to her.
And from her adoption day of October 5, 2023, Fresa’s story just keeps getting better. Read on to find out how Fresa is doing now:
“After graduating from university and moving to Vancouver I knew I wanted to get another pet after my last dog passed away five years previously.
For the last month before I moved, I was browsing the BC SPCA and other organization websites looking at cats, dogs and rabbits. For some reason though I kept coming back to Fresa’s page.
Fresa was a long-term resident, reactive, had medical issues and needed a home without other pets. When I called up the BC SPCA Comox Valley Community Animal Centre they were so excited about my interest in her. They all loved her but she was having a hard time getting adopted. So I booked a ferry reservation and headed on over.
I will admit, Fresa is a quirky girl. She loves to growl and that scared off a lot of people. She needs to work on her manners and as her trainer recently put it, “she is a dog who likes to consider her options” before she will do anything asked of her.
Her quirkiness is also apparent in her appearance. I honestly can’t tell you for certain any of the breeds in her. Her hind legs are three to four inches taller than her front legs, giving her a sloped back. She has the softest ears, a nose too small for her face and thickly webbed feet.
But I found all her weird quirkiness charming and I knew I was in a unique position to be able to offer a home that could meet her needs.
Within a week of taking her home she completely stole my heart. She is a goofy girl who loves to bounce more than run, leap in tall grass, and stretches and groans when you wake her up in the morning. She is also a very smart pup and already we are seeing huge improvements in her reactivity to other dogs, bikes and some men.
She picks up on everything so fast that at just two months I feel like she and I are in a flow and can communicate fairly well. Finding a positive reinforcement trainer (certified by the BC SPCA) has been a huge help.
Fresa recently discovered swimming. I thought my last dog (a golden retriever) liked swimming, but Fresa takes it to a whole different level. She is normally very good on the leash, but when we get close to her favourite swim spots she starts whining and pulling (we’ll work on that sometime soon).
The first time I took her she tried to breathe underwater and started coughing, but then proceeded to dip her head under water over and over again until she figured it out. Within the week she was swimming across the river and fetching any stick I tossed in.
This journey I’ve been on with her hasn’t always been easy. There were days when I was frustrated and tired trying to handle her reactions while we were walking. There has been judgment from other people for having a reactive dog, or for not “letting her play” when I ask people to give us a bit of space in parks.
But it is always worth it when at the end of the day we are cuddling on the couch with her falling asleep with her head on my lap. I am so excited for all the adventures we will have together.”
It isn’t usually the most straightforward journey when we adopt a companion animal who’s had a difficult start in life. But there’s something extra rewarding about becoming a hero to such an animal, showing them how wonderful life can be under the loving care of the right guardian(s).
We wish you many more joyous years together. Thank you for adopting dear Fresa and opening up her world.
Have you adopted an animal from the BC SPCA and want to share your joy with others? Submit your adoption story!