Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Anubis, the mind-changer!

"Anubis" | 11in x 14in Portrait

My clients are amazing! Not only do I have the opportunity to connect with other people that adore their pets, I am able to connect with individuals like Lisa, who after reading some stories from a post I put up on facebook, fell in love. Lisa had never met Anubis, and she has never read this story in full (until now), but the post that she did read, which described Anubis's rescue day touched her. Lisa purchased a portrait as a surprise for Anubis's family. So, I had to be sneaky and asked Shams to share Anubis's story for my blog. She did not know about the portrait until today and I cannot wait to hear how much she loves it! Thank you Shams for stepping up for Anubis and for sharing your story for other potential pet owners! -Stephanie Conrad, owner Pet Studio Art.

About a year and a half ago, Shams and her husband decided to adopt a dog. They already had three small dogs (A Peekapoo, a Cairn Terrier and a Havanese) that had been with Shams for years, but since they were her pups, it only felt right to adopt another dog together. Her husband was also hoping for a larger dog that he could play fetch and go on runs with. He had his heart set on adopting a black Labrador, because he had one growing up. We were referred to a litter of 6 black labs that were going to be available for adoption. They called the shelter to inquire about the puppies, were told that the puppies would be available for a few days, but (as it happens with many high-kill shelters) by the time they had arrived, the puppies had all been put to sleep.

They were heartbroken at the thought that these puppies had no chance at life but were determined to help another dog so they started the long walk around the shelter to visit the dogs hoping to be adopted. Of course, they had heard all about the bad rap that pit bulls received and shamefully, Shams admits that she believed in the stereotype. They passed many pit bull and pit bull mixes along with the many other breeds looking to find homes. One dog in particular caught Shams attention.

Anubis was cowering in the back of his kennel, head down and shaking terribly. He would not look up or move, even as Shams and her husband called him. He just looked so completely beaten down and hopeless.

After a few minutes and talking between the two of them, they asked the adoption counselor if they could meet him. She told them that he would be put down later that day and that they would not want him because he was a pit bull mix and dangerous. She didn't see anything dangerous about him, so Shams insisted on talking to a supervisor. He eventually told someone to bring Anubis out to meet Shams, which was easier said than done. Anubis was so frightened that he just shook and shook. Even when he arrived into the meet and greet room, he immediately peed on himself and cowered to the ground.

Shams and her husband agreed that they could not leave him there like that. After spending a little time with Anubis, they paid his adoption fee, but unfortunately the shelter would not let him leave until he was neutered, so they had to wait until the next Monday to pick him up. Shams stated, “Leaving him there until Monday was torture. I was already his mommy and taking him away from me even just for a few days broke my heart.”

Well, the weekend went by and they were able to pick Anubis up to bring him home. It was a new journey for their family. After arriving home, Anubis hid in the bathroom behind the toilet. His new family understood how scared he must be and allowed him to stay in the bathroom all night. Shams even slept on the bathroom floor, offering him food and water every few hours.

The next morning, they took Anubis to the Vet for a checkup. They discovered that he had a lung problem on top of being so terrified. The doctor told Shams that something or someone had abused Anubis and the trauma had hurt his heart and lungs. Learning that about his past completely changed their view, they weren't dealing with an ‘aggressive’ dog like the shelter had said. They  were looking at a dog that had been hurt and just needed some TLC.

It was hard for them to leave Anubis with the Vet, but he needed some medical care. He stayed on oxygen for a few days, which helps to alleviate the excess buildup in his lungs.

Once he was fully recovered medically, it was time for to help him out mentally. They worked with several trainers, and finally found the perfect one for their situation. Anubis started to respond well to training and open up emotionally.

Shams says that Anubis is now the most affectionate dog at the house! He cuddles nonstop and never misses a chance to give kisses. That big pittie smile of his is contagious and now, he loves going to dog parks, the doggie beach and could spend all day playing fetch. He is obsessed with his tennis ball and even wakes his mom up in the middle of the night by dropping the ball into her hands.

Nearly a month after Anubis joined their family, Shams received an email from a friend. It stated, “I know you wanted a black Lab and this one looks so sad.” It was all over, he called out to Shams through that picture. Anubis had opened up their eyes to the reality of a high-kill shelter. They started out as a foster, but quickly decided that he would be the perfect fit.

“Anubis made us realize the reality of the shelter world. Since adopting him we have volunteered with a few rescues primarily ICARE dog rescue. We love fostering for them and love sponsoring dogs too. We really hope to one day open a rescue of our own. We are such big Pit lovers now, they are such amazing dogs.  The biggest lesson Anubis taught us is how innocent every dog is. Yes some might require more training patience and love than others but every dog is capable of being rehabilitated and full of love. There isn’t a day that goes by that he doesn’t show me how much he loves me and makes me smile all day.” Shams, Anubis’s mom.

Stephanie Conrad
Pet Studio Art | Owner | Artist

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