ROUX (formerly Zoey, Adopted March 7th 2014)

roux-copyDear people of APS,
I am writing to give you an update on the second dog we adopted from you on March 7th of this year, a six-month old puppy named Zoey. Previously we adopted Daly (formerly known as Dora) in August of last year.
When we got Roux (her new name), she was little, fragile-looking and very fearful of just about anything. We took her home and for days she wouldn’t move from where you put her down. She had a hard time transitioning from room to room and it was even more difficult to switch from outside to inside and vice versa. At least she would seem semi-comfortable in our backyard. Apparently she had never been walked on a leash, so walks were tough. She would just freeze and not move. For the first weeks she would INHALE her food. And not stop eating if possible. Her back legs missed any strength and her coat was dry.
Our hearts broke a little when we imagined what might have happened to her at her former home before APS. Confined to a yard and completely neglected? Never walked or properly fed? She was incredibly fearful and everything she laid her eyes on seemed to be the first time she ever saw it. Her tail was tucked most of the time.
The contrast with our first adoption Daly could not have been bigger. Daly immediately flourished when we got her. Walks were easy, she was very social and everything was just…easy with her. Surely her former owner had been loving, had introduced her to walks, other people and had taken good care of her.
At one point after 2-3 days with Roux my wife sighed in desperation and exclaimed “I don’t know if we can do this.”, after yet another failed attempt at having Roux do something successful.
But we did what we do best. From day 1 we showered Roux with love, attention and patience. Walks, regular meals, social outings, car rides. And little by little we started seeing positive changes. The walks got a little easier, her coat got healthier, she would carefully start exploring the house on her own. That food would be eaten just that tiny bit more slowly.
After one week my wife and I took both of our dogs to the Outer Banks for the weekend. I was delighted at making Roux, who probably hadn’t seen anything beyond the confinement of her yard and the shelter, see the ocean and acquainting her with the beach. It was a great experience. Roux loves water.
We’ve taken her on hikes at the Eno river. She loves dabbling in shallow streams, I mean LOVES it. On a walk after heavy rainfall, she will want to walk in the gutter, where the water streams downhill. At first a Petco visit was hard. The automatic doors freaked her out, other people were there, so she would freeze, tail tucked. But we’ve kept on going.
And car rides, she seems to really like them, completely sticking her head out of the window. When possible we take our dogs wherever we go, get them out to see new things.
So slowly, but surely that once little puppy who was scared of just about anything and anyone turned more courageous. Even in the past few weeks, finally she seems to not completely cower away anymore as soon as a stranger is near. She actually comes close to sniff you. Letting a stranger pet her still is difficult, but I think we’ll get there. Two days ago, for the first time I grabbed my guitar and Roux did not immediately run away and go to her safe spot, our bed. She came close and sniffed it! Before she wouldn’t even get near that thing. Her tail is waving fairly high these days. She is now 60 pounds, all muscle! A far cry from that cowering puppy we once knew.
Throughout all of this Daly has become her best friend and partner in crime. Daly’s presence made Roux know it’s alright, let her know that that stranger mustn’t be that scary after all, if Daly is all over him, wagging her tail, getting pets. They play together a lot. They go bezerk and bark at the neighbor’s cat when he walks by nonchalantly. Daly’s favorite game is holding some coveted object and making you chase her. Now with Roux she finally has a kin member to do that with. I love watching them both around the house, I love taking them to new places for a walk and seeing their enthusiasm. Best of all, I love watching them interact with my wife. I’ve gotten countless laughs out of that.
So thank you APS for doing noble work and providing us with not one, but two awesome dogs.
I leave you with a couple of pictures.

Dries and McKenzie