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A letter from your adopted dog...

I have finally found you! I have waited so long to be part of your family. However I will need your help during these first weeks, as I will no doubt be feeling sad and frightened. I have been at the shelter for so many months! I have just lost my home again. At the Sava's Safe Haven shelter I had got used to the smells, sounds, and the other dogs some of whom became my friends. I will also miss my care giver & the volunteers who spent time with me. I will now be in a new world and have different routines to learn. Some of my friends have never had a home. But, I can do this. This is my job for the first few weeks I am with you. Please help me: Give me at least two weeks for us to get to know each other and for me to feel like I am truly at home. Please do not venture out with me on busy streets and areas with lots of dogs and people my first week. It might overwhelm me and I will get scared.

Picture me as an empty bucket. I am a bucket that holds stress. I added to the bucket with each of the changes I mentioned. It takes weeks for some of the stress hormones to leave my body. Add to all that stress, the fact that I was not socialized well as a puppy which means I may not have learned the necessary skills to adjust to new things. My bucket is already nearly full! If it overflows I might overreact to events and growl, snap, or bite. Please do not worry if I do not sleep in the new bed you gave me right away or want to go for walks. I have not had a bed and the new sounds might frighten me. And please do not yell at me or punish me in a negative way, as I might become more fearful. And if I chew on something I am not supposed to it is because I do not understand so give me something else to focus on and chew that is acceptable. Please help me progress but do not rush me or push me into doing things.


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