Eve: So what did my mama teach me and how big was I when she went to her new home?
Mama: Well...you were about 13 weeks old when Emily went to her new home. You really missed her at first but I gave you tons of love so you wouldn't feel so bad. Your mama loved you too and she taught you all kinds of things. Your mama taught how to be social with your siblings. She taught you about boundaries and what is safe or not safe. She also taught you how to play nicely. She taught you about biting and showed you how to not bite hard. That way you will get along with others, including people.
Eve: Did it take a long time to teach me all that stuff?
Mama: At least until you were about 10 -12 weeks old.
Eve: I had two good mamas, you and Emily too!
Mama: You are right Eve and they both love you very much!
Me: Eve, it is so hard when you get calls about dogs that either you know you can't help or you have no room for them.
Eve: Mama, I thought we could help all the dogs. I know there are sometimes we don't have room for everyone.
Me: One of the hardest things for me to accept is that we cannot help every dog. Some dogs are beyond help. It can be a health issue or behavior issues. We always have to think of everyone already at the rescue and not just the one dog. That is very hard to deal with.
Eve: So you have to say no sometimes? I don't like it when you tell me no.
Me: No you don't like it Eve. I hate it when I have to tell someone no. You don't want to take a dog that will have to live in a kennel for the rest of its life. That feels even worse than saying no at the very beginning.
Eve: It makes you sad mama.
Me: Yes Evie. You have to focus on the good and what you CAN do. That's what gets you through it!
Eve: Mama, am I your daughter?
Me: Usually I say you're my little girl but I guess it's the same thing.
Eve: I have to be your daughter cuz you're my mama, right mama?
Me: You are family Eve. I never knew how much I could love a dog until you came along. You're my special girl Eve and I love you heart and soul.
Eve: Mama, are the dogs at the rescue our family?
Me: Absolutely! I was just thinking about that. The dogs are like our children and the volunteers are mamas and papas and aunts and uncles, just like in a human family. What we do here at the rescue, dealing with life and death situations on a regular basis, makes for an emotionally charged environment. We depend on each other for support when times are hard and we look to each other for smiles when things are easy.
Eve: I like being a part of a family! I have lots and lots of family.
Me: Yes you do. You don't have to have the same bloodlines to be family. You just have to have the same respect and the same love. That's family. I am blessed to have you Evie and I am also blessed to have the Second Chance family. It feels good to be a part of something bigger, a part of a place that is making a change in dogs lives every day.
Eve: I have dog blood and you have human blood but you are my mama!
Me: That is right!
Me: Eve, what did you think when I first put a leash on you?
Eve: Hmmm, I have to remember. That was a long time ago. I was just a baby.
Me: You are still a baby, my baby! Were y6u afraid?
Eve: Not really. It seemed like we were going to kind of play a game. I knew you wouldn’t do anything to hurt me Mama but I hear my friends say other stuff.
Me: Like what?
Eve: They are afraid of collars and leashes. They think people are going to hurt them. I try to explain but they are so afraid they won’t listen to me. You always tell me my collar is a pretty necklace but they try to tell me it’s so you can catch me better. I tell them my mama doesn’t have to catch me. I go to her on my own. The leash is really scary because you could hang them with it.
Me: You know I could not do that right?
Eve: Yes, mama, but they don’t know you. You could be an awful mean person. They don’t know you.
Me: So what’s your advice on leash training Eve?
Eve: Make it not be so scary. Show them the leash. Put it on and then take it off a bunch of time until they aren’t scared anymore when you do that. Then let them walk around with it on but you not touching it.
Me: You think that would help.
Eve: Yep because they would see it doesn’t hurt them. And people can’t get mad when the dog doesn’t like it. They are just afraid. Have you ever been afraid mama? What if someone put a collar and leash on you?
Me: I’d really be scared but I’m not a dog.
Eve: Mama, we don’t think like that. We don’t think we are dogs. We just are.
Me: And what’s next?
Eve: Then let the dog lead you around. Let them have fun with it. Don’t be so serious Mama. Laugh and you have fun too. Then when the dog feels safe you can gently start trying to get it going in your directions. Treats help too!
Me: What made it so easy for you to learn to walk on a leash?
Eve: I wanted to be where you were Mama so I just followed along. When I see the leash now, I know that you and I are going somewhere so it makes me happy and excited!
Me: So there we have “Leash Training” straight from the dog’s mouth!
Me: Joanna Gaines says "it's a good day for a good day."
Eve: You mean that lady on the house show?
Me: Yes. Fixer Upper. I feel like that today. Only it was a great day for a great day! Did you have a good day Eve?
Eve: Yep. Mama, I got to eat almost a whole hotdog!
Me: That's because you stole it from Candace when a Well's Fargo volunteer gave it to her!
Eve: I couldn't help it.
Me: I know Eve. So the hotdog made you have a great day?
Eve: Yep! What made your day great Mama?
Me: All the people here loving and caring for all the dogs. Hearing laughter. Seeing smiles. Watching dogs being held and talked to...walked...played with...enjoyed. Great day! Sometimes we look at our problems so much that we forget those moments that make days great!
Eve: Are you going to paint it on the wall?
Me: No. I'll just paint it in my mind. "It's a good day for a good day!"
Eve: Mama, what does "flipping" mean? Is it a cuss word?
Me: It depends on how you use it. Flipping means turning something over, usually kind of fast...like a pancake!
Eve: Pancakes are good with strawberries on top!
Me: Pancake flipping is pretty tasty and good. But not all flipping is good. Flipping today means people buy things and then try to resell them very quickly to make fast money. It's always been done but now they have a name for it. People flip just about anything. The bad thing is when someone is trying to flip something really quickly, they tend to take shortcuts and things might not get done like they should.
Eve: So how do people flip dogs and does it hurt the dogs?
Me: People get dogs off the internet, especially free dogs and then they sell them. Sometimes they get the dogs from a rescue IF the price is low enough that they can resell the dog and still make money. The rescue doesn't know what they are up to and think they are sending their dog to a real home. And still others actually steal dogs from people's yards and sell them. When people get dogs off websites like Craigslist, they pretend to be someone who wants to give the dog a home but then they just sell the dog afterwards.
Eve: But mama, the dogs still get homes, right? So why does it make any difference?
Me: Because the dog could be going to an awful place. Nobody checks because they are just trying to make money.
Eve: Do we flip dogs mama?
Me: Oh my no!
Eve: But we get them from other people and then adopt them out...
Me: True. The difference is we don't lie about what we are doing. AND we check the people that want to adopt a dog from us. Huge difference Eve. We also take care of all their medical needs. Many "flippers" don't do that. They just don't care.
Eve: Mama, I think people should just flip pancakes...and then put strawberries on top!
Me: Sounds good to me Eve!