Ladybug's lucky life
Edited by Melanie Dziengo
Ladybug had just minutes to live.
The four-year old shar-pei mix was scheduled to be euthanized at a high kill shelter last winter in San Antonio, Texas. That’s until Niagara Dog Rescue told them Ladybug was worth saving.
After spending nearly two months at a temporary boarding facility in nearby New Braunfels, she was transported by van to Niagara Falls, Ont. where she met the volunteers from Niagara Dog Rescue and her new parents Yogyata Suri and Harjit Suri.
Yogyata describes life with Ladybug so far and what makes her special.
Ladybug is a shar-pei mix with Great Pyrenees, Australian Cattle Dog, and German Shepherd.
We first found out about Ladybug through her profile on Petfinder. She was rescued through Niagara Dog Rescue (NDR) from a high-kill shelter in Texas. She was an owner surrender, and her profile also said that it was evident that she had not received much love in her past. We don’t know much more other than that. The wonderful fosters from NDR took care of our Ladybug until we found her and adopted her.
We started the adoption process during COVID-19 in April 2020 so things were a bit delayed. We brought Ladybug home on May 7, 2020.
We decided to adopt Ladybug because her story really tugged on our hearts. She’s a Shar-Pei mix, and thus has a droopy face that’s very cute, while also looking sad. The photos on her rescue profile had the cutest puppy eyes and face! It was evident that she wasn’t a very happy puppy and could use love and care. We adopted her because we wanted to be the ones to give her all the love and happiness in the world.
Ladybug is special in many aspects, and is the perfect dog for our family and lifestyle. She’s very calm and quiet in most situations, so much so that it’s easy to forget she’s around. I work from home and has NEVER had noise or any other issues during meetings and calls. We also never have to worry about Ladybug putting things in her mouth. Additionally, she’s not destructive, and can be left at home without any problems whatsoever! Ladybug chooses to nap all day instead of being destructive or disruptive.
However, we are constantly amazed about how well she’s house trained. She’s had ZERO accidents at home. Recently, Ladybug had a bout of diarrhea, and she would always run to the door, open the door by jumping on the handle that leads to the main door, and wait for us to let her out — even though she was clearly uncomfortable and needed to go right away. The fact that she’s super polite and well trained — even in the face of emergency situations — is so amazing to us.
The adjustment period brought along a lot of curiosity. As mentioned earlier, we are not sure about Ladybug’s past and why she was surrendered or what her previous owners were like. However, we do sometimes wonder if she was abused in the past. Ladybug is very skittish and shy (hence the name!), and takes her time getting comfortable with strangers. It took Ladybug several months to get comfortable with me, and we are still struggling with her bond with her dad. She is still weary of him, and chooses to stay away from him if she can help it. Initially, she spent most of her time in her crate, and now she has finally decided that couch can also be comfortable spot. It took Ladybug five months for her to come and sit on my lap. She also doesn’t enjoy cuddle or lap time, but will tolerate it if she is asked to. Ladybug is also extremely gentle around kids and she is super calm around our nephews.
Even though we started our adoption process during COVID-19, it was very smooth and pleasant. NDR is helmed by amazing volunteers who were very helpful and accommodating. Our adoptions lead was extremely pro-active and responsive of all our questions. She also set up a Facebook group for us with Ladybug’s fosters so we could ask them questions directly. We are still in contact with our adoptions lead who has also provided us with support post adoption as well.
NDR does a Foster to Adopt program for pets who are outside of the country; wherein they give you 15 days after adoption to decide if you want to return your rescue. They also provide advice with any training issues that might arise and are also able to connect with you behaviour trainers in your city. Additionally, there is a Facebook group where NDR adopters can connect and follow-up with any questions or concerns. Also, a volunteer from NDR e-mailed, asking how Ladybug was settling in her new home a few weeks after her adoption.
We’ve both learned a lot about ourselves as pet owners by rescuing Ladybug. We’ve learned an abundance of patience and we know that we can both be committed to a cause wholeheartedly and work to make sure we achieve our goals. Ladybug opened our eyes to the importance of consent before touching/petting another dog; Ladybug can be weary of men and new people and thus it is very important that people don’t overwhelm her with their hands/pets. She has taught us the importance of every day training for a dog to thrive. Oftentimes, she regresses in her progress, but we have learned to never give up and pick ourselves up and continue on the journey. It seems like Ladybug was not socialized properly in her early years and can be reactive to other animals, so we have also learned how essential socialization is. Our list of what we have learned from our first rescue is surely a long one.
My advice to anyone considering adoption would be to make sure they understand that rescue dogs deserve a chance at a good life. With that being said, it is important to understand the individuals adopting a pet should completely understand the responsibility of being a pet handler. Being a pet handler requires time, effort, willingness and financial means. A dog can only thrive if provided with predictability, structure, training and of course care. Please also know that a lot of rescue dogs can come with emotional baggage and helping them adjust in their new life by providing them a safe space will go a long way in their mental and physical health.