Gretel is five years old. I adopted her five months ago from a shelter. Gretel’s background is one of life’s biggest mysteries to me. Her kind nature made us feel like she had come from a loving family, even though she was found as a stray. Physically, her body looked like she had a litter before. Perhaps, this could explain her calm and tolerant nature.
There’s also little things that play in everyday life which make us wonder about her previous life. For example, when there’s a thunderstorm, she will make sure she finds a way to sleep on our bed (showing her old sleeping patterns). She is also incredibly well-behaved and knows basic demands like ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ (showing that her former owners spent time teaching her). We keep finding out more and more about her every day.
We decided to adopt Gretel because we wanted to provide our resident sausage dog, Hansel, with a friend who could help him out in his senior years. Hansel was blind and deaf and a big attention seeker (haha)! We wanted to make sure that the new dog we introduced to our family would be gentle-natured and loving. We didn’t want a dog that was too frantic and stress out Hansel.
The moment we met Gretel, she stood out from the others in the pound, as she was incredibly sweet, social and calm – the perfect friend for Hansel! Of course, Hansel being a Dachshund, was a little bit sassy and made sure Gretel knew it was his house by eating Gretel’s food and choosing to ignore her. But within a few weeks, they were sharing a bed together, which truly warmed my heart!
Gretel has filled a big hole in our heart. Unfortunately, Hansel passed away on New Year’s Day from old age. I was absolutely devastated. Hansel meant the world to me. I knew Gretel felt the family’s grief; her endless cuddles and gazes up at us showed us she cared. If I would cry, she would sit beside me or next to me on the couch. It was really special. Just the thought of having a dog’s presence still in the house made the grieving easier, as I never had to deal with the feeling of returning home to an empty house.
I imagine Gretel’s life has changed significantly since meeting her at the shelter. She also happens to be the Pound Paws Founder’s pup, which has lots of incentives, including attending plenty of Pound Paws Dog Days! She attended her first event last year, when she participated in Doggie Yoga, won a dog bandana and even entered Best Dog Trick. I think most importantly, though, she has learned to trust again. She has truly warmed up to our family and has found a secure home which will care for her fur-ever.
Gretel also helped me through the difficult passing of Hansel. If it wasn’t for her presence in our home throughout this heart-breaking period, I imagine the grieving would have been more difficult.
I have always preached about how incredible rescue pets are after meeting them in pounds and rescue centres, but it was a whole new experience for me to welcome a rescue pet into my family. All prior pets had been from pet shops (due to my lack of knowledge about the harsh realities of the puppy farm industry) and the difference between each pet has been incredible. I have found Gretel to be more social, well-behaved and loving… it’s as if they know they have been given a second chance!
Message to Rescue
Together we can work to help speak out for those who can’t.