How do you know a dog has been through more hardships than any animal should have to endure?

Carter’s looks were just one disturbing clue …

When the Shetland Sheepdog came to us he’d been shaved right down, everywhere except for his face and ears, a sure sign his matting must have been terribly painful.

A bald Sheltie is not a pretty sight, but his fearful manner was even more disheartening. Carter was so scared of everyone, he hid at the back of his kennel. He even refused to accept delicious hot dog treats from anyone.

Our vet technicians described him as “shut down.” Poor Carter. He’d clearly been through so much. Just how much we’ll never truly know, because we know nothing about his life before he came to us as a stray.

But we were sure of the fact that Carter deserved a new chance. A new life. A new home where he would be cherished. And that was the greatest gift we wanted to give him for the holiday season … and for the rest of his life.

I have to tell you that his anxiety was so bad, he just wasn’t doing as well as he could have been at the shelter. He needed peace and quiet to make good progress on the desensitisation work he’d done with the behaviour team. A foster home was his best bet. It’s not surprising that when he got there he found a quiet spot and settled in for a long, deep sleep.

From there it became obvious that Carter was nervous about so many things … he didn’t like going up and down stairs, he wouldn’t jump on furniture and it seemed like he’d never seen a TV.

Carter’s foster mom gave him the tender loving care he needed, which included feeding him by hand to gain his trust.

This tremendous care had a wonderful effect on Carter. His affection for his foster mom grew to the point where he would paw at her when she stopped petting him, gently asking for more of her loving touch. His coat began to grow back in. And while new people and noises still caused him to pace, he began settling down more often and would finally take treats from people!

When he came back to the shelter for his neutering, he was more accepting of handling by staff and showed a lot less anxiety.

In the meantime, Carter’s foster mom decided she wanted to adopt him. She wanted to be the one who would give him his forever home … his chance to snuggle up on the couch next to a loved one, with the snow falling outside the window and the warm glow of holiday lights cheering his soul.

This is Carter’s new life.
This is the gift you gave him.

The holidays are a special time and a wonderful opportunity to remember our community’s homeless and abandoned animals, like Carter. Please improve their lives dramatically with a meaningful holiday donation. Thank you!

You can give animals like Carter the greatest gift possible this holiday season… a new chance and a forever home!