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!
Eve: Mama, that was hard work and now I’m really tired.
Me: You did good Eve. I am so happy that you are able to “tell” me which dogs are safe and which are not. You have been right about 99% of the time!
Eve: 99? Is that like a hundred?
Me: Nope. It means you can make mistakes just like mama can!
Eve: I knew Bellah was safe when I first met her. She likes to move around a lot but she didn’t want to hurt me. If they seem dangerous to me, I stay between your feet so they can’t get me.
Me: Are you ever afraid when you test dogs for the rescue?
Eve: No. I know you’ve checked them first and I know you would never let any dog or any person hurt me.
Me: We have open housing here whenever possible so we have to make sure all the dogs are safe. We don’t want dogs getting hurt. After you tell me they are okay, we still put the dog separate until we see them interact safely.
Eve: Mama, I like being a volunteer!
Me: Me too Eve and I love working with my Best Girl!
Eve; And you’re my Best Mama!
Eve: Mama! Mama! The people with the red shirts are here! Mama!
Me: You like those Wells Fargo folks, don't you?
Eve: Yep, I do. They are nice to me.
Me: Yes, they are. They help mama too. They clean and wash dogs and walk dogs and socialize dogs. They help in any way they can. Mama sure appreciates them.
Eve: They bring treats too Mama!
Me: Yes, they do. And you never miss the chance to get a treat Evie.
Eve: Am I a volunteer mama?
Me: Well, when I think about it....I guess you are. You help with the shy dogs and you "test" dogs when they first come in.
Eve: What are you mama?
Me: I am a volunteer too. Everyone at Second Chance is a volunteer. No one gets paid.
Eve: Who works for free?
Me: People who care....people who have giving hearts...people who want to matter in our world.
Eve: Mama, you said people every time! What about dogs like me?
Mama: You are right! Dogs like you work for free too! And Eve, you have a very big heart.
Eve: Yep, and I like treats too!
Eve: Mama, we are going to live together forever, right? When I grow up to be an adult, I can still live with you, right?
Me: You can live with me as long as possible Eve.
Eve: Mama, you would get rid of me?
Me: NEVER, unless I didn't have a choice.
Eve: I choose to live with you mama. Forever.
Me: Forever is a really long time Baby Girl. Forever has different time frames for everyone. If you're 100 years old, your forever is just around the corner. If you're 2 years old, you got a long time till your forever. You just never know. What if I get sick and have to go to a nursing home? Life changes for dogs and it changes for people too. People get married and takes vows about forever. But then they get divorced.
Eve: Are you going to divorce me mama?
Me: Divorce is just for married people and we're not married.
Eve: So dogs don't really get forever homes?
Me: When we adopt out a dog, we absolutely hope and pray that it will be a home that can keep them the rest of their lives and they will never have to be without a home again. However, the reality is that many times a dog does have to get a new home again. We wish it wasn't so, but it is. That is why we always tell people that any dog who has been at Second Chance ALWAYS has a home here if they need us. Any dog can come back if they need to.
Eve: Mama, no matter where I am or where I live, I'll always be yours. You are my forever.
Me: You are my forever too Eve! I love you Baby Girl!
Eve: Mama, I heard you call Rita a breeder released dog? What's that mama? And then you called Jasper a owner surrendered dog. I'm all mxed up!
Me: Rita came from a breeder. Jasper came from an owner.
Eve: So breeders don't own their dogs Mama?
Me: They do own their dogs. But their dogs are part of a business. Individual owners did not have their dog as part of a business.
Eve: So is Rita better than Jasper?
Me: No. Where they came from doesn't make them better or worse. It's just where they came from. It's their history.
Eve: Breeder released. Owner surrendered. What am I mama?
Me: You are mine! My precious baby girl that I love very much.
Eve: But what's my history? Does that make me be who I am?
Me: Your history does not make you Eve. You are unique Eve. You were born here at the rescue. So you aren't an owner surrendered dog and you are not a breeder released dog. Some dogs come to us as strays too!
Eve: I won't stray Mama. I love you. I will only stray straight to you!
Me: That makes me very happy Evie!
Eve: Mama, I feel sad.
Eve: She didn't get to stay in her forever home. She came back to here. They didn't want her. Mama can you send me back?
Me: You were born here Eve. There's no where to send you back to.
Eve: But would you?
Me: No Baby girl! I couldn't imagine not having you.
Eve: And that lady didn't feel that way.
Me: Sometimes things don't work out the way we'd like. Sometimes it isn't good for the dog either. We want people to bring the dog back if it is not working out for them.
Me: Because if they're not happy then the dog probably isn't happy either. Eve, you wouldn't want to live someplace where you weren't happy or weren't really wanted. Would you?
Eve: Don't know cuz everybody loves me!
Me: You're a lucky little girl and so is this mama!