Aug 18 2010

Meet Zyrus

Meet Zyrus a 10-month-old Border Collie/Shepherd Mix

Meet Zyrus a 10-month-old Border Collie/Shepherd Mix

Smart, somewhat shy but playful, especially with other dogs, fun, and entertaining, with the softest, shiniest coat you’ve ever laid eyes on…that’s me, Zyrus, a 10 month old Border Collie/Shepherd mix in the market for a forever home of my very own. I’m also fully housetrained, crate trained and so well behaved. Wow! I have come such a long, long way in my journey to this point in my life and I’m so excited to share my story with you. Please bear with me as I remember and salute my past. Not that I like to dwell on it, but I believe it’s important to know where you come from in order to understand where you’re going in life.

I first showed up at Wayside as a stray when I was just 5 months old, along with my 5 brothers and sisters. Just a family of puppies who longed to be loved, that’s all we were. They all got adopted and are hopefully living large with their new families. Sure I miss them, but I need to focus on myself now. Of all of us puppies, I was the most shy and sensitive in the family. Everything pretty much frightened me and you can’t imagine how scary Wayside was to me. Makes me tremble just thinking about it! Luckily, that’s when I met my Foster Mom (FM). She scared me too, at first, but we have come a very long way since our first day together.

The first time they asked me to do a write up for my web page, I had only been in my foster home for a few weeks, and I spent most of my time talking about how scary life was. Well, things have changed since then, so FM and I sat down and decided it was time to update my file. Zyrus 2.0 we’re calling it. I’m gaining confidence every single day and FM says I’m a vastly different dog now than when she first met me. So from here on out, I’m concentrating on the present and the future. To quote my favorite song, I’m ready to “Turn the Page” to my new life. I hope maybe you’d like to join me!

FM can’t say enough great things about me! She adores me and you hear it in her voice every time she talks about me. Well behaved, entertaining, great running partner, fabulous on walks, great fun to take to the dog park, comforting to cuddle with…she can go on and on. She has taught me so many things over the past several months and I know I can never repay her. I guess me finding a perfect home is enough for her. I’m so grateful to her and working hard to become a great dog so that my perfect family will want me and come for me.

Here’s what FM has to say about living with me. Like I mentioned, I’m very well behaved. I’m fully housetrained and crate trained. I stay in my crate when FM is away from home and also at night. It’s a safe haven for me and I don’t mind my crate at all. Loud noises are still somewhat scary to me, but I’m working on that. I’m not much of a barker, unless I need to notify FM of something she needs to be aware of. I don’t jump on furniture, except for one chair that FM has approved for dogs, or when I need some loving and try to jump on FM’s lap as she sits on the couch. I’m very smart and learn quickly, so I will adapt to whatever rules you have for me.

I’m great with other dogs, especially my foster dog brother, Louie. He is awesome! He’s small and sometimes he stands underneath me. We are quite a sight, he and I, and FM laughs every time we show off this way. I love trips to the dog park! I try to play with every dog there when we go. I love to run, chase, splash in the pool a little, check out the people. You heard me right, I’m at the point in my life where I like to sniff and check out the people around me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still sort of hesitant when it comes to meeting new people, but at least I’m out there making an effort. And I’ve found that most people are pretty ok. The only problem with the dog park is getting there. I sometimes get car sick. Yikes! Only on the way there though. Once I realize we’re heading back home, I seem to be ok. Weird, but true.

FM doesn’t have a fenced in yard, so we spend lots of time exercising by walking and running. In fact, I ran 3 miles earlier today with her! She says she couldn’t ask for a better running partner. I’m great on my leash. And when we’re home and she lets me out, I stay very close to her. I have never tried to run away or done anything inappropriate in the backyard. My absolute favorite treats are of the rawhide variety. My mouth waters just thinking about rawhide.

I hope you don’t mind one or two more words from me about people. I need time to get used to new people and warm up to them. I’m still a little uncertain and hesitant at times. In general, I’m curious about people. Young kids or wild kids are still scary to me. FM has never seen me snap at or nip at anyone though, ever. But I would really prefer a home without kids or with calm kids over 8 or so. Once I get to know you and trust you, my bond is deep. I love it when FM scratches the top of my head and down between my eyes. She understands me and I trust her with my life.

As you can probably guess, there’s a certain type of home that I’m hoping for and dreaming of. Well, my number one desire is patience, love, and someone who understands me for who I am. Having another dog around to teach me and play with me would be awesome too. Since I’m still young, sometimes my play gets a little rough, but I’m working on that! And I would love to have someone around a lot, because life is so much sweeter when you’re not alone. A daily walk or run is also on my wish list, since it is one of my most favorite things to do and it helps me experience life in a positive way.

Although I will probably always be somewhat shy, I am in the process of blossoming into a happy, friendly, and lovable dog who longs to be part of my very own family. I promise to continue to work every day at overcoming my fears and insecurities. I have already come such a long way in a short time and I’m so excited about the great life ahead of me. So if you think you might like to share in my journey and help a shy but loyal and grateful guy continue to come out of his shell and live life to the fullest, please give Wayside a call and schedule a time to meet me! I can’t wait to meet you…and you can’t imagine how good that feels to say!

Love from Zyrus (don’t forget to watch my video and see how cool I look!)

P.S. Since I’m in foster, to set up a time to meet me, you’ll want to call the adoptions department and talk to the nice people there. You can reach them at 816-986-4426.

Sep 23 2009

I Can’t Save Them All But I Can Try

One of our foster kittens

One of our foster kittens

We all love our pets and while watching them grow to become an individual, it is nice to reminisce about their younger days.  The potty training, the half-eaten shoe, or the nibbles on my toes at night somehow become pleasant memories.  Now they are all grown and my house is full, but I still have more love to give.  Therefore, I now foster to give others the proper stepping stones to fill someone else’s house and heart.  I am still able to get the joy of when my animals were young, but through my fostering experience.

Animals can go into a foster home for a variety of reasons.  Sometimes they just need a little more socialization or attention, or maybe they need some extra care for medical reasons.  There are times when an animal is sick and does not recover.  Along the way of the seventy-something animals I have had the joy of fostering, some were lost.  My heart was broken, and I said to myself that I would never foster again.  But walking through the shelter day after day, I still find the need to love more.  Picking myself up after the sadness and despair of losing something I was nurturing somehow becomes easier.  It is clearer that there is a greater good to what I am doing then just how I am feeling at the moment of my loss.  Sometimes the fact that you cannot save them all is played out harshly.  I recall the feeling in my younger days when I felt invincible, nothing bad would ever happen to me.  Now, the years have gone by and realizing that I am just human as been proven.  Life happens and it is up to me to get up and dust myself off.  Realizing through my loss that I have more love to give becomes more and more relevant. 

The reward I get from seeing my foster animals go to forever loving homes outweighs the sadness once felt for the ones I couldn’t save, though they are never forgotten.  We all have experienced life’s ups and downs, but the warm and fuzzy feelings drive us to move on.  Hearing the purring of kittens or seeing the innocent faces of puppies is the best medicine for a broken heart.  Saving them all is not always an option but the animals I can save; will get me through a lifetime.

Written by Kristin Sampson
Foster Care Coordinator at Wayside Waifs

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