Just Jelly: A Foster’s Leap of Faith
Sometimes, the dogs we rescue have quirks that make them more difficult to place in a foster home. Jelly is one of those dogs, and had lived in our Emergency Shelter for over a year. Jelly struggled in the shelter, exhibiting guarding behaviors towards toys, food, water, etc. And the longer she lived in the shelter, the more she showed these behaviors. Until one day, a foster decided to take a chance on Jelly.
Shelly Gonzalez met Jelly at the shelter. She got to know her during walks, and while she saw some of Jelly’s quirks right away, she also noticed the sweet things she would do and how she would behave with the people she cared about. Shelly wanted to see what she could become in the comfort of a home, so she started bringing her home on short visits. Shelly was careful and patient, and worked through some difficult days and nights with Jelly. She worked hard to get to know her – her triggers, her likes and dislikes, anything that would give her a better understanding of the misunderstood dog she knew and loved. Finally, the two found a “groove,” and Shelly committed to fostering Jelly full-time.
Jelly and Shelly became roommates in September. It’s been just three months, but already Shelly can see a difference in Jelly’s behavior. Jelly is a complete sweetheart and just bursting with love. Shelly describes the changes in Jelly’s behavior: “I refer to Jelly as ‘Just Jelly’ sometimes, and it’s my way of acknowledging and honoring who she is outside of the shelter. ‘Shelter Jelly’ was a bit scary, but Jelly isn’t. When she is ‘Just Jelly’ she is such an amazing dog! She is fun and playful and loveable! I love being able to see her in a home environment and get to know ‘Just Jelly.’”
We can’t thank Shelly enough for taking a chance on Jelly and showing her what life in a home is like. When asked what advice she has for others considering a leap such as this, Shelly says: “DO IT! Seriously, do it. First of all, your dog isn’t going to be that big of an issue. They will adjust and become awesome, so do it. Second, the shelter is not a long term place for a dog. It is not supportive of their growth and it is not a normal living environment. If you foster, you’re getting a dog out of the shelter and you’re allowing them to show you who they really are, which is going to help their chances of adoption so much! And third, if you bring home a shelter dog, the outreach team can save a dog from Animal Control or from the streets. Our shelter dogs have their shots, have been tested with other dogs, and we know a little about their personality. So you’re not getting an unknown, you’re getting a rough draft that you will get to edit into a masterpiece.”
If you would like to mold a shelter dog into a masterpiece just as Shelly did, join our foster team by visiting www.gatewaypets.com/foster! Or if you’d like to give Jelly a chance in your own home, visit www.gatewaypets.com/adopt to learn more about what an amazing dog Jelly is.