Why did you decide to rescue?
I've had a heart for rescues since I was young. My first rescue was a neighborhood stray cat. Watching a rescue go from a neglected, unloved creature, to a happy, spoiled, loving member of the family...it's priceless.
Please tell us your story with rescuing.
One day, someone shared Gordon's ad on Facebook, and his sweet face got my attention so I started reading. Gordon was a stray living on the streets in Taiwan. He was hit by a car, paralyzed, and left to die. My heart sank - how could a dog go through so much pain, and not have a home and a family to love him? I didn't know what to do, but I thought about him a lot, prayed for him to find a family, and shared his picture with a few people. A few days later, I saw Gordon again, posted on a different Shiba Facebook page. I knew it wasn't a coincidence - and Gordon was not going to be without a home, I wasn't going to stop until he was adopted. I shared his story with my husband as I welled up with tears, and asked if he would be open to adopting him. I was certain the answer would be "no" and that I would be looking for another family to adopt him. But when I heard the words "we can look into it"...I had the application filled out in a mater of seconds and hit "SEND"!!! Yuki (our other rescue dog) went through professional big-sister training, we went through bladder expression training by watching a lot of You Tube videos and talking with our vet. We did a lot of prep and research to make sure we thought through all of his needs. After a few weeks, Gordon boarded a flight in Taiwan and headed for California. We picked him up at the airport, and that was the start of Gordon's second chance.
Gordon is happy - and not just regular happy-go-lucky-dog happy, but bursting at the seams with pure joy. He has fire in his eyes, energy, mischief, playfulness, and gratefulness. It's hard to look at him and do anything but laugh out loud. He's a total ham, and he knows it. He is also very determined, doesn't let him limitations slow him down, or get him down. He flies by the seat of his pants (literally) when he's inside, and runs 100mph outside in his wheels. He jumps over rocks, chases lizards, runs in the creek, and runs up and down hills without any fear. He inspires me to be happy, to smile, and to know that life doesn't always go the way we expect - but we can still choose happiness.
He LOVES food so much, we had him tested (twice) for tapeworm just to be sure. He eats like every meal is his last, no doubt from his days as a stray. We joke that he might try to eat his own foot if he doesn't realize it's his. He just loves to eat! He does laps around the couch while I scoop out his food, and it's the fastest thing you've ever seen...it's a blur and almost impossible to photograph. I still try :) He also loves toys - balls, plush toys, and anything that squeaks. He's on a mission to destroy them! Despite being high energy and a ferocious toy destroyer, Gordon is affectionate. VERY affectionate. He will drop even his favorite toy if I ask him if he wants to snuggle. He taps my leg or nudges me with his nose when he wants to be held. He's very demanding at times!! He loves to nap on the couch, to hog the entire bed at night, and to steal my pillow and blanket.
What was your biggest fear with rescuing and how did this fear play out once all was said and done?
Even though I did a lot of research, I wasn't sure what to expect by rescuing a paralyzed dog who can't go the bathroom on his own. It was hard at first, I was scared I was going to hurt him or that I was doing it wrong. But I was determined to get it down. It took a few weeks, but now, it's not a big deal at all. Instead of opening the door and letting him outside to do his business, I just help him with it. It takes about the same amount of time, and he is on a schedule just like "normal" dogs. Morning, after work, and bedtime. Accidents happen, but they are rare - usually several weeks apart. But he wears washable diapers that we call his "man pants", just in case. He seems to like them and doesn't put up a fight when I take them on and off.
Would you rescue again?
Without a doubt. Puppies and kittens are adorable, and so much fun, especially for families with young kids. But I'd rather take the ones no one else wants. Seeing them transform, and the bond that it creates, there's nothing like it. There are diamonds out there - overlooked animals, special needs, senior pets, etc. They deserve a second chance too.
What would you say the most positive part of rescuing is?
The transformation - seeing them thrive - seeing what a little bit of love can do. It works for humans, too. Love ALWAYS wins. And it makes a difference.
What would you like everyone to know about this topic?
Rescues come in all shapes and sizes. Some are easy, some take work. But without a doubt, they are worth it. Adopting a pet, whether it's from a breeder or a rescue, is a life-long commitment. Don't give up on them! There are resources out there if you need help. Just hang in there - you'll be glad you did...and your pet will be happy too.
Gordon is very active on Instagram! Please follow him and marvel in his joy for life. I promise he will certainly inspire you! His account is @gordons2ndchance.