During Happiness Happens Month we’re posting lots of blogs including many from guest bloggers.
Today we’re happy to share a post from Viveca Stone-Berry about her passion for animals including an opportunity to help one of the rescue groups she works with.
One man’s pest became a woman’s savior and fur-ever friend.
Brutus was a red-nosed pit-bull “owned” by a male acquaintance. He was playful, loving, friendly – everything a great pup should be BUT he had this one HUGE problem. Brutus put the “C” in chow hound and counter-surfing. Sounds amusing until you’re living it. My friend was living it and losing his sanity.
To make a long story short, I offered to help out by “fostering” Brutus in our home for three to four days a week and “training” him to ignore food. My husband warned me this arrangement wouldn’t last and that he absolutely DID NOT WANT to adopt Brutus. He was right on the first count.
Yep, within two weeks of our deal, Brutus came to stay forever. The first thing I did was change his name to Happiness, “Happi’ for short. Why? Brutus sound soooo unfriendly and the agreement with my husband was to foster, then adopt him, to OTHER people. And I’ll admit it here …. Just looking into his goofy face made me feel … happy.
After the new name I got to work on the new habit – ignoring food. I worked with trainers, clickers, animal communicators, the power of NO, the power of pleaseeeee … We compromised. Happi goes into the crate during dinner with a little goodie and we – the pack leaders – are, mostly, left in peace. Aside from this organized truce he continues to be the King of the Countertops (and of any unprotected chow) and we continue to live and let live.
It is after hours where Happi really shines and why I’ve given many, many thanks to God for forcing him into my life!
Before Happi I suffered from anxiety and often couldn’t get to sleep or stay asleep. I tried everything. Pills worked to get me to sleep but then it was hard to get up in the morning and definitely no way to live. One white night I stumbled downstairs and crawled onto the couch with Happi. His solid, calm body and gentle snores soothed me to sleep. Today, three years later, he is the only sleep “aide” I need.
I read somewhere that pit bulls are especially beloved as “emotional therapy” dogs. Before Happi I knew a woman who credited her friendship with a pit bull named Gracie with her complete recovery from stage-4 cancer. I am not an expert, nor a doc, but I can attest to his magical powers with me.
My husband Michael finally fell in love with him too.
© 2013 Viveca Stone-Berry
In a perfect world, every home would have dogs and cats, and every dog and cat would have a home. Let’s make it happen.
“Mom” to four dogs, four cats and a bird; Foster mom to revolving pack and clowder, Author, Adopt Foster Volunteer: Pup & Purr Opportunities Calendar and co-founder Dog Caption Cards where we “raise FUN with friends and FUNds for our fur-friends.” For daily inspiration and humor, visit her on Facebook at: www.Facebook.com/AdoptFosterVolunteer and www.Facebook.com/DogCaptionCards
You can reach Viveca by email at: Viv@adopt-foster-volunteer.com