In an effort to show you how amazing rescue can be, we wanted to start sharing more real-life experiences of our process as told by our actual homes! Rescue is a truly selfless act that is uncomfortable for so many. Putting a process first, above yourself can be scary. So many unknowns and a total loss of control. But, one thing we know for sure is these angels are worth it! Is the work hard? Yes! But, is it the most rewarding thing you may ever do? Yes!
One story we love telling is the adoption of Wally. Wally is a Tibetan Mastiff, a breed most rescues wont touch because of their aggression risks but Wally’s situation was fate and we are so happy we took the chance on him, look at him now! Wally here was actually someone’s pet dog that a couple traveling found while exploring Beijing. This couple was already planning to fly dogs home from us so we were in touch!
One day after exploring the Great Wall, they had messaged me how heartbroken they were to witness themselves the cruelty many dogs are faced with in China. They sent me photos of Wally sitting in a cage surrounded by snow. Long story short, I reached out to some of my contacts and we put together an urgent rescue mission based on the traveler’s map. We convinced his family to surrender him over to us and we rushed him to the vet.
When we found Wally, he was starving with nothing but a horse skull in his cage. Can you imagine the life this animal was living? Isolated, outdoors, and being tossed a horse skull for food? We were nervous to get him picked up because once we got closer, we noticed he was a Mastiff and who knows if he was aggressive or not. Luckily, we had a brave volunteer just load him up in her car, and off they went!
After some time passed, the people that found him told me that they actually wanted to adopt him and I felt it was just too good to be true, what a story that would be! And, years later, here we are with a brand new Wally!!! This is rescue! His story is so important I had to share what his family experienced with our process.
Why did you want to adopt from Bunny’s Buddies?
We chose Bunny’s Buddies because we believed in the mission. After finding them on social medial a few months before we were going to China we were about ready to adopt but our landlord told us no to a dog so we started house hunting. Shortly after closing on the house we went to China and had coordinated with BB to be flight volunteers, this was such a rewarding experience for us. We got to meet the vet and some volunteers and that made it a done deal.
Was it hard for you to trust BB to match you with a dog instead of being able to pick it out?
We applied for Wally since we actually were the ones to find him in China while traveling. It was a long road to get us approved but if we had not been approved for him I would have trusted the BB team to match us with the right dog. Even getting matched with the dog we “chose” made us so nervous.
Were you nervous at any point and how did you get through it?
We were nervous but we also know that whether we rescued at a local place vs Bunny’s Buddies we would also be met with the same challenges of rescuing a dog. You never know what to expect. Actually I always only wanted a puppy for that reason. So that I could train the dog properly. But once I saw Wally all that changed. Now I think I would sway towards middle-aged dogs because of how hard they are to adopt.
What challenges have you had to deal with and how did you work through them?
When we got Wally, he is was super reactive towards any and all other dogs. He would pull, snarl and lunge at other dogs. CBD was a huge help to us as was patience. Each day we went on a walk and every single day with every dog we would pass, we would outright tell them that he was being trained and socialized and to keep a safe distance. We would have Wally sit and allow him to watch the other dogs go by. As time went on, he would pay less attention to the other dogs. Now he rarely lunges and only occasionally barks. It took 13 months of consistent work but now, he can be in the same room as another dog and has even initiated play for the first time with another dog! We still tell people with dogs on walks that he may still react like he used to just so they are not caught off guard but he has been doing so well.
What has this experience taught you?
To only rescue if you are open to anything. Also, older dogs are amazing and have so much life in them. Sometimes they just need a new lease on life to be shown to them. It taught me that older dogs are as capable and open to love as a puppy is.
What is the best advice you could give someone considering rescue?
Only rescue if you are truly ready for a dog with any personality or issue. Only rescue is you consider yourself a patient person. Dogs’ personalities and actions change! Dogs do naughty things and don’t know they did anything wrong but they do need to be taught and they need to be taught by a person who has a lot of patience, understanding, and grace.
Has the BB community been helpful to you during this process? If so, how?
This community is so different than anything I’ve experienced. No one is sugar coats anything, but at the same time, everyone is willing to help you in any way you need. The BB community wants to see you succeed with the animals they brought to this place. They want your home to work out and they do not want you to fail because if you fail it means it is time to rehome the pup yet again. We are still in contact often with our freedoms flight friends and we are hoping to meet up with the new BB dogs in our area soon! There are various dog mom group chats where we ask each other questions so that we can help each other out and see if there is any way we can help each other.
Here is Wally now! With a fresh Summer haircut, living the good life now as a big brother. Love you Wally & fam!