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How One Photo Changed Everything: Happy Tails from Social Media

How One Photo Changed Everything: Happy Tails from Social Media

Saving Tasha: A Shelter Dog’s Transformation

It was a frigid February morning when I first laid eyes on Tasha. She was cowering in the corner of her kennel, her dark eyes filled with fear and mistrust. As I approached, she let out a soft whimper, her body trembling with every step I took. Little did I know that this timid, unsocialized pup would soon capture my heart and change the course of her life forever.

I had been scrolling through my Instagram feed when I came across a post from a local shelter, featuring a photo of Tasha and a desperate plea for a foster home. The image showed a scrawny, disheveled dog with a matted coat and a haunted expression. My heart sank as I read the caption, which described Tasha’s difficult past and her dire need for a loving environment to help her overcome her fear and anxiety.

Without hesitation, I reached out to the shelter, offering to open my home and my heart to this troubled pup. The process was quick, and before I knew it, Tasha was curled up in the backseat of my car, embarking on a journey that would transform both of our lives.

Tasha’s Journey to Confidence

The first few weeks with Tasha were challenging, to say the least. She was skittish and mistrustful, shying away from any sudden movements or loud noises. It broke my heart to see this once-vibrant creature so broken and afraid. But I was determined to help her find her way back to the light.

As the shelter had warned, Tasha would often retreat to the safety of her crate, refusing to come out and engage with me. I couldn’t help but wonder if she had been subjected to abuse or neglect in her previous life. Gaining her trust would be an uphill battle, but I was ready to take it on, one small step at a time.

Slowly but surely, I began to see glimpses of Tasha’s true personality. When I sat quietly in her vicinity, reading or working on my laptop, she would gradually inch closer, her curious gaze fixed on my every move. Over time, she started to accept treats from my hand, her tail wagging tentatively as she savored each morsel.

Tasha’s Transformation: A Social Media Sensation

One day, while on a leisurely walk around the neighborhood, I snapped a photo of Tasha that would change everything. Her eyes were bright, her fur glossy, and she was walking confidently by my side, no longer the cowering, fearful pup I had first encountered. I uploaded the image to my Instagram account, accompanied by a heartfelt caption about Tasha’s journey from a trembling shelter dog to a loving, loyal companion.

The response was immediate and overwhelming. Hundreds of people flooded my inbox, sharing their own stories of rescue dogs and expressing their admiration for Tasha’s transformation. Shelter volunteers and adopters reached out to me, sharing their own “happy tails” and offering words of encouragement.

It was then that I realized the power of social media to connect rescuers, adopt
ers, and dogs in need. Tasha’s story had resonated with so many, inspiring them to open their hearts and homes to animals in need. I knew I had to continue sharing her journey, using my platform to raise awareness and inspire others to get involved in animal rescue.

Tasha’s Happily Ever After

Today, Tasha is a confident, well-adjusted dog who loves nothing more than cuddling on the couch, chasing squirrels in the backyard, and going on long hikes with her beloved human. Her transformation has been nothing short of remarkable, and I feel honored to have been a part of it.

Through her social media fame, Tasha has become a symbol of hope for countless other shelter dogs, showing the world that with patience, love, and a little bit of creativity, even the most timid and fearful pups can blossom into happy, healthy companions. Her story has inspired others to adopt and foster, breaking down the stigma that often surrounds rescue animals.

As I reflect on the journey we’ve shared, I can’t help but feel grateful for that fateful day when I scrolled through my Instagram feed and saw Tasha’s photo. That single image sparked a chain of events that has not only changed her life but has also touched the hearts of countless others. And for that, I will be forever grateful.

If you’re considering adding a furry friend to your family, I encourage you to explore the incredible adoption options available. You never know when one photo might change everything.

Happy Tails from McCall Pets

The 2020 pandemic has brought many changes—in our case, it brought us Lucky! As the pandemic situation unfolded and the possibility of a stay-at-home order emerged—which would necessitate the shelter being emptied— the shelter requested emergency fosters. I put my name on the list—honestly never thinking such a thing would actually happen—and on March 26 I received the phone call. Game on! When I swung by the shelter Christa came out with Lucky in his carrier and put him in the back of the car, just like a drive-through. I never saw or met him until I got home. I had been warned that Lucky would be skittish, so I set him up in the back bedroom and left him alone. In the evenings I would go in with him for a while and before long he was creeping out from under the bed, eventually becoming brave enough to check out what I was doing. This became our evening routine and before long he was no longer “skittish,” but instead was aggressively friendly as he purred and stomped all over me. I thought Lucky might be with us for a few weeks, but weeks turned into months and he was still here. I already have two cats at home and had no intention of adopting another, but as time went by and Lucky graduated from the back bedroom his superpower emerged—he gives absolutely the best hugs ever! In addition to being a wonderful lap cat, he loves to get up on the counter and then reach up and HUG, purring like a fiend the whole time. Who can’t appreciate a great hug during the uncertainty of 2020? In addition to his role as therapy cat, Lucky is also my self-appointed defender. I can always count on him to rush to my defense if he sees our puppy or either of our two cats get out of line, thus earning him the nickname, “Sheriff.” I’m a pretty firm believer that things work out the way they’re supposed to, and it didn’t take long to reach the conclusion that while Lucky needed a home, we needed him as well.

After being dog free for nearly 3 years, I decided it was time to find a new dog buddy. And of course, MCPAWS stepped up at just the right time, having received a “donation” of 16 puppies or so from 2 litters. Having had Malamute crosses for nearly 30 years, I wasn’t sure how a short-haired dog would work in McCall and my lifestyle. Rory, a Husky/Border Collie/Lab blend, has turned out to be fantastic! And no more bags and bags of shed fur like my Malamutes produced.She loves her daily walks, meeting her buddies on the railroad trail where we walk frequently, and enjoys meeting every 2 and 4-legged animal crossing our path. She is great in the back country, enjoying herself fully, but staying close and checking in often. She does not chase deer, but did have an encounter with a skunk this spring. She especially adores women, going bonkers whenever my housekeeper or friends visit. She is extremely vocal, having different “voices” for different people/animals.She loves another MCPAWS alum, a pitbull, for whom she has a special excited bark-yip-throaty utterance that begins as soon as I turn down their road. She dives out of the truck going full speed to find her friend.In the house she is ideal–well behaved, calm and does not bark–except for visitors. All in all, she has been a fantastic addition to the household, even enjoying playing with my Siamese cat (another MCPAWS alum).

Finding Forever Homes

You may remember Maggie, a German Shepherd at MCPAWS in recent months. Maggie had anxiety that presented in OCD-like behavior where she would repeatedly chase her tail. In the beginning it was so bad that she would get preoccupied spinning when she’d try to play with toys, interact with people, and would even distract her from eating. We started her on medication, a different high protein food, and a routine, which all helped her a great deal. By the time she was adopted her spinning was minimal and usually only happened when she’d get really excited (playing fetch in the yard, or with toys) and she would only spin once or twice and then refocus her attention. She found her forever home in early January. Here is the update: Maggie is doing really well, here are some pictures of her. She is a lot calmer, she does not spin much, and I’m in a process of taking her off of the medication. Today was her first day of school, actually our first day, lol. We both are going for classes with a professional dog trainer once a week. Maggie is a sweet and loving dog, she is super smart and gorgeous! I am very happy to have her.

Kenji is a very special dog. He was quite shy and aloof at first. If you want to get his attention, you need to leave him alone instead of showing him how much you love him. Most of my friends have met him and I told them to ignore him when they first meet so Kenji can be less protective. After almost four months, he is finally comfortable around me. Now he knows that I’m the one to take him home after playing, so he comes to me after he is done at the dog park and waits by me to take him home. I love him a lot! He looks like a little fox (actually somebody insisted he is a fox). He is a great emotional supporter. Whenever I come home frustrated or tired, he will wait patiently to be walked and occasionally smile (with treats). He loves a lot of things. His favorite toys are the ones that squeak. He would get them and destroy them to a point where they can’t squeak anymore. He also LOVES walking and nature a lot. He will try to get out whenever he has a chance and he cries a little when you say no. He has lots of friends at the dog park in our neighborhood. He prefers small dogs over large dogs. His best friend is the other Shiba Inu that lives here. He is also a famous dog now on my social media among my friends and family. A friend of mine drew a very cute picture of him that features three cute photos of Kenji. He was scared when we put a sweater on him and froze for five minutes without moving a bit. Then we took him to Starbucks to get a Puppuccino. He was also being cuddly by showing his belly.

Happily Ever After

Bailey, formerly Hazel, has been in her new home for almost four months. Even though she is an inside dog, she has her own fenced in yard with bunnies, squirrels, and birds to chase when she is not busy playing ball. She also loves to go fishing and hiking. Bailey is the best. She is extremely smart and so loyal. She is still quite wary and nippy with strangers, but seems to be improving. Her smiles and kisses are never ending and free to give out after her brushing at night before bedtime. I was very hesitant to keep her at first because I had just lost my black Lab that week. Chelsea, my granddaughter who works at MCPAWS, called to tell me she had the perfect dog for me that needed a special home (quiet with no dogs or children.) I am so grateful to her for Bailey. She has really been such a blessing for me. She is loved as much as she loves, which is endless. Thank you Chelsea, and the staff at MCPAWS. I have the most precious, smart, beautiful, loving, and loyal girl in the whole world. May God bless all of you for blessing Bailey. XXOO – Mary & Bailey

We first found Chester in January when he arrived at MCPAWS. We had just moved into our apartment and were unable to adopt him right away, but we kept our eye on him until we were able to. He eventually came home with us on February 12th. It took a few weeks of gentle coaxing to get him to quit hiding from us, but now that he’s comfortable, spending time with us is his favorite activity! Chester loves to play with fling toys and strips of leather,take long naps and eat lots of food. He is very spoiled, and only drinks the finest Brita filtered water! He is very cuddly and is often times found napping on our laps. Chester never turns down pets, and the quickest way to his heart is by scratching the base of his tail. His eyes close halfway and his tongue starts to flap and hang out every time! We love Chester and could not have asked for a better kitty!

It’s been a joy helping/watching Louie gain his confidence. The world outside the shelter is big, new and sometimes very scary for him, but he’s facing it head on. He couldn’t wait to see Christa (the manager at MCPAWS) and show her that her faith in him wasn’t wasted. I have to say, after the two little bits in the first few minutes of our meeting, I had wondered if I was ready to take on the task. And I questioned myself as I was signing the papers with white knuckles. But, some believed me to be a bit of a hard case too, and where would I be if no one believed in me and took a chance? I often wonder what was going through his head when I took the picture of him on our drive home. Louie is growing into his own and in leaps and bounds he’s doing well facing a new world. Louie has learned several basic commands. Sit, stay and lay down are his best and he’s wonderful on a leash. His favorite thing, besides treats, is our hikes together. He loves to run and explore the new world around him. And Louie has a girlfriend.

Next month will be my one year anniversary as an employee at MCPAWS. While being an employee here is wonderful, one of my most favorite parts of the job is getting to foster kittens! That brings me to my failed foster Freckles. Freckles was the 13th kitten that I had fostered and I can truly say it was love at first sight, or first hiss if you ask her. I had finished my dog kennel shift and I had heard that we had a pretty cute little yellow kitten upstairs. When I approached her kennel she started hissing and spitting and falling all over herself while head nudging and purring! It was quite the combination of emotions, if you can imagine. It was in that moment that I fell in absolute love with this darling, overly dramatic kitten. I took Freckles home to foster and it was quite clear she had cattitude. She did pretty much whatever she wanted, when she wanted, and it didn’t matter what got in her path. She quickly made friends with my other cat and my dog Sid. The more time I spent with her, the more obvious it became that she was home, and none of us had any intentions of her leaving. She really is the best. She loves to snuggle with us, the dog, and the other cat. She gives the best kisses. She is always making us laugh with her silly antics and uncoordinated demeanor. She’s a lot more doglike than she is catlike, but it makes her unique and it makes for some funny entertainment. She is just the best and fits right in with the rest of us!

A couple weeks ago Lumber was brought into Donnelly Veterinary Hospital, which is where I work as a Veterinary Assistant. He was brought in by MCPAWS for a tail amputation and a neuter. I fell in love with the little guy’s spunk and personality from the moment he got here. I talked to the staff at MCPAWS about the possibility of fostering him while he healed from surgery. During the week at my house, not only did my dogs (Mo &Rocky) fall in love with him, but so did my roommate! I had to explain to her that we were only fostering and legally, he did not belong to us. That did not stop her from going to McCall Pet Outfitters and buying a collar and enough toys to last him a lifetime. Lumber’s spunk and sassy personality fit into our crazy lives so fast and easy! It was inevitable that we make his stay permanent! Thank you MCPAWS for allowing me the opportunity to adopt this little guy and give him a forever home!

Stan joined our family in May 2013. We fell in love with him the first second we met him at MCPAWS. Stan was kind enough to consider us as decent people for a few hours, but only definitively decided he was going stick with us when he saw us cooking bacon for dinner. Stan spent quite a bit of time at the

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