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Changing Lives—one puppy at a time

Sun, 25 Nov 2018
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The Bow Valley SPCA has a mandate to rescue and re-home abandoned dogs and cats. Ask anyone who has rescued a dog or cat and they will tell you how wonderful their pet is and how much their furry friend seems to appreciate living in a warm, healthy environment. AND, they’re right! They have changed the life of that animal—no doubt about it.

Dig a little deeper and you begin to understand that it is not the just the animal whose life has changed. Adopting a dog or cat from the Bow Valley SPCA changes the life of the family who adopts them. Along the way, it also changes the lives of the volunteers and staff who care for them. Nowhere is this clearer than the adoption of a puppy.

We have a new set of puppies here at the Bow Valley SPCA. Grace arrived with three puppies that we estimated to be about 2 weeks old. We named them Bear, the mostly black male; Patty, the black and white female; and Selma, the brown and white female. The first thing everyone noticed was how cute, fat, and happy the pups seemed to be, and then how sweet-tempered Grace was. During their intake exam, the vets and vet techs could not get enough of the puppies. Everyone had to get a picture—just because they were so darned adorable. Remember, these are people that see dogs and cats every day. Look at the smiles!

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The pure joy of these little lives affects everyone who meets them. Zsofi, one of the Animal Care Attendants (ACAs) at the shelter, immediately agreed to hold the three pups for a picture. Look at that smile!

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What is so exciting about these little guys? Well, here is a quick video clip that shows a bit of what they are up to—mostly very little. But the clip also shows that another ACA, Ann, really cannot keep her hands away from them. And remember, these are both people that handle dogs and cats every day.https://youtu.be

The smiles and the need to care for these little ones are just the simplest visual ways puppies – and yes, kittens, adult dogs and adult cats – change our lives.

Ripley, one pf Pasha’s seven puppies, who was Sundance when she lived at the Carla Cumming Sojonky Adoption Centre just this past summer, has changed the lives of her adopted family in profound ways in the 6 months since she was adopted. Here are a few quotes from her human family members.

“Ripley (formally Sundance) has taught my partner and me patience, she has shown us that we need to slow down a bit and take things one step at a time. A dog’s version of ‘Stop to smell the roses.’”

  • Although having a puppy can be stressful at times, Ripley has helped us deal with stress in our own lives. Taking her out several times a day for walks allows us to breathe in the fresh mountain air, admire the beauty of Canmore, and clear our minds before returning back to work.
  • She has also helped me to become a morning person (somewhat). We get up much earlier with Ripley and have enjoyed some incredible sunrises and quiet, still mornings together.
  • There is nothing more gratifying then having Ripley there when we open the door to the apartment, her whole body swaying back and forth in a happy wiggle-dance! The best thing is that we were only gone for a few minutes!
  • Ripley has also introduced us to a wonderful community of dog owners in the Bow Valley! We’ve learned a lot and met some incredible people and their furry companions. No matter how many times we’ve met at the dog park, we still know them as “Chester’s dad” or “Duffy’s mom” – there’s something endearing about that!

Love is infinite, but time is limited. Everything that helps us, as humans, appreciate the moment is something to be cherished. What is great about puppies is that they force us to regularly stop/slow down/smile/feel good! With any luck, we humans will continue the to allow our lives to be changed as they grow into adults.

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Ripley 1
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Ridpey following a litter mate.
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Ripley 1
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Ripley 3
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Ripley and her family.