Bark All About It!
It’s been a personal goal of mine to help ease the fear many people have of selecting a dog from a shelter. In my quest to do this, I have frequently enlisted the help of the media. Clearly I can reach a broader audience by doing so. Last October, you may remember, I selected a middle-aged, sweet black lab named Jazz from Sacramento County Animal Shelter. Kristin Marshall, of Good Day Sacramento, was there with me to follow the story of Jazz, from selection, to training to placement in her new home just in time for the holidays.
As October rolled around again, I called up Kristin at Good Day Sacramento to gauge her interest in following us once again as we selected a dog from the shelter and fostered it (and of course trained it) until it was adopted. The fellow dog-lover was game. So on November 5th, we were at the Sacramento County Animal Shelter gearing up for our second (annual?) Home for the Holidays Foster Dog Program. This time, however, I had hopes of helping just a few more dogs. Literally hours before the broadcast, I was in a group-text frenzy with my awesome trainers at The Local Bark, convincing them that it would be extra great if we each fostered a dog this time. It didn’t take much convincing. Those who had the space to accommodate another dog were all in. That meant we could foster four dogs instead of just one! (Turns out five was the final count!)
I’ll get to the dog selection in a bit. But first, let me tell you about a tearful moment I had that morning (don’t worry, they were happy tears). As you can see from the video above, we highlighted Jazz during the first segment of the show. We wanted to do a follow-up story—you know, a "where-is-she-now" kind of thing. I knew Jazz was living a pretty cool life. Her amazing owner, Roz, spent months honing her handling skills and building a solid partnership with her by taking classes at The Local Bark.
She earned her CGC title and then went through our Therapy Dog Preparation class, run by the amazing Chris Ruppenthal. I was aware that Jazz had become a certified Therapy Dog with Lend-a-Heart’s dog therapy program. I knew she had been ‘read to’ by kids and was heading to Sac State to help de-stress the students during finals week. Since I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss anything, I asked Roz to email me any more details that might be interesting for people to hear about. I received and read the email just prior to the segment Wednesday morning. The email brought me to tears. Here’s what Roz had to say:
“It’s been a great year. Lots of training classes with rock star trainer (Chris). Joined Lend a Heart dog therapy. Visits include libraries (kids read to dogs), Women and Children’s shelter, assisted living facilities and a place in Pleasant Grove that opens up their dog facilities to cancer survivors, children & families with disabilities and veterans (New Leash on Life). In December, we’ll be going with Lend a Heart to Sac State to help 'de-stress' the students prior to finals.
She walked and supported the Kaleo 5k walk in August for Sac Sheriff K-9 unit. She really likes walking through Farmer’s Markets, loves the local dog park and hanging with her pals (we go about 4-5x a week) and loves to clear all birds and geese from fields. Camping at Ice House and going to the Capitola was pretty fun too.”
Wow - all this with a dog who had been turned in to the shelter—twice! The email reminded me of the amazing power of healing dogs have, and gave me inspiration to continue pushing towards my goal—adopt shelter dogs, people! And then get out there and make a difference with them!
In the second half of the show, you’ll see we selected our group of foster dogs. Five was the final count, as we couldn’t decide between two. (I had evaluated several dogs on Tuesday so I’d have some to select from.) Between shots, as we began to consider naming these cuties, the idea of giving them a “themed” name came up. Frozen, but of course. So from left to right, meet Crystal, Anna, Olaf, Snow and Elsa.
As their training progresses, we’ll be keeping you updated, and Good Day Sac will continue to follow their story as well. I can only hope that their stories end up half as good as Jazz’s did. Thanks to everyone who has helped support us in finding these wonderful dogs new homes. Check out the video below for an introduction to the new members of the family!