Written by Khristi Suarez
As one journey comes to an end, another promising, joyful one begins! Its official, Ziggy’s journey to find her forever home is over. It really is true that the best things in life are worth waiting for, because Ziggy truly has been blessed with the best! I had the pleasure of getting to know her new “Mom and Dad” when they came in to finalize her adoption papers. Kim and Doug Wilson, both avid animal lovers, told me that when they first met Ziggy they were immediately charmed by her sweet, gentle nature. Ziggy was very shy at first, but Kim and Doug, having years of experience with dogs, told me they knew that “she just needed a little time and love,” then added, “ we just knew that we could not leave there without her!”
What a difference a little time can make! At first, Kim and Doug were concerned how Ziggy would react to their grandchildren, but any reservations they may have had quickly disappeared when the kids met Ziggy. They fell in love with her, and the feeling was immediately reciprocated. They quickly became playmates, and are now inseparable. When one of them cries, or is hurt, Ziggy is quick to act, running to Mom to report the incident. She takes her job seriously where the kids are concerned, and has also been known to herd them every now and then when necessary. Kim said they taught Ziggy, along with her three grandchildren; ages 2, 4, and 7, how to treat one another respectfully, and to know their limitations with their new playmate. “It was so cute, they were like a herd of puppies; they all learned together.”
It didn’t take long for the Wilsons to realize what a special companion they had in Ziggy. Once comfortable in her new home, Ziggy was able to relax and let her true playful spirit shine through. According to Doug and Kim, Ziggy loves to play! “She really flies in the air when we play Frisbee with her. It’s amazing how high she can jump.” She loves bones, but has a somewhat unusual ritual which she performs instead of chewing them. She carries them into the backyard and buries them. As a part of her daily routine, she will dig them up and re-bury them in a carefully chosen new spot. It didn’t take long to realize that she had not only claimed the Wilsons as her own, but the backyard as well!
This energetic little Healer also loves the water. “You cannot go in the pool without her”, says Kim. She loves the water, but especially loves to share it with her people. They explained how Ziggy will swim with Doug. “She likes to be right on top of him. Doug will submerge himself and blow bubbles; all the while Ziggy swims circles above him anxiously waiting for him to resurface.” She also likes to swim around the pool, inspecting for leaves that may have had the nerve to fall in, which she quickly gathers up and removes. She is often referred to as “the pool cleaner” for her valiant efforts to protect the family from invading foliage. She fits in perfectly with this family, as they are all water lovers. Doug and Kim shared with me their goal to eventually be able to bring Ziggy to work with them. And what is the family Business? Building pools! Sounds like the perfect career move for this water loving pooch!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Ziggy’s story, she was rescued several months ago, after a Good Samaritan reported seeing an injured dog in a vacant lot. That one call began a fervent effort by many compassionate individuals to save this helpless little dog’s life. After nearly a month of tireless efforts to rescue her, Ziggy was brought to safety. It was clear she had been abandoned for quite some time.
Her leg was broken, she was malnourished, and had an intense fear of humans. Little did she know that her life was never going to be the same from that day forward. It’s amazing how a tragic situation can bring out the very best in human compassion and kindness. Thanks to the concerted efforts of volunteers such as Adrian, who worked tirelessly to trap and rescue Ziggy, to the vets who provided urgent medical care to save her leg, to the Pups on Parole Program trainers and handlers who assisted with her healing and rehabilitation, the list is long with individuals whose compassion and kindness have culminated in not only saving this special girl’s life, but were instrumental in providing her with the courage to trust humans so she may flourish in her new home with the Wilson family.
Volunteer Heidi was very gracious to open her home to foster Ziggy and assist in her transition from the Pups on Parole program to home life, and who also worked closely with professional trainer Humberto Bobodilla. Mr. Bobodilla, who has over 20 years experience training dogs, gave generously of his time and expertise working to socialize Ziggy and help her overcome her fear of humans. He recalls Ziggy’s condition when he first began to work with her, “she was suffering from fear and lacked confidence around people, but she has come a long way since and she will really be able to enjoy life now with her new family”.
And so begins a new journey for this precious little cattle dog that we all have come to love and support over the past few months. She has beat the odds and overcome so much, and best of all, won her way into the hearts of a wonderful family who will forever cherish and love her. Kim and Doug couldn’t be happier with their new companion; expressing, “we are just amazed by the changes in her. Every day is a new event; we learn something new, or see something amazing she can do. We couldn’t pay enough to get a dog as smart or devoted. We just LOVE her!”
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