By Angela Cruz, Marketing Director (and Pup’s owner) with research help by Xinxin Zhang
For Animal Shelter and Rescue Awareness Week, we decided to take the opportunity to highlight Pup, our “Snuggling Specialist”!
“Relay of Love”
In December 2013, Mr. Qiu stumbled across Pup while on his way to work. Pup was covered in blood with serious injuries. He immediately brought Pup to the nearest vet and paid for treatment, including the removal of his right eye. Mr. Qiu was already a dog owner; to heal properly, Pup needed a pet-free environment. He called the woman who helped him adopt his dog, rescuer Ms. Li.
Ms. Li was the second leg in what she calls Pup’s “relay of love”. Despite his friendly demeanor and otherwise adorable appearance, she never expected to find a permanent home for an adult dog with one eye and a limp. She brought him to a JAR adoption day where my friend, a cat fosterer, saw him and called me immediately to come foster him. Another leg of the relay.
My husband and I had just decided the night before to consider fostering a dog. We weren’t sure we were ready, only a few months after arriving in Shanghai. But when we met Pup, we knew there was no other option out there for him. Under the agreement to foster him for a couple of weeks, we left him with his rescuers to go to the vet for some vaccinations and sped to Carrefour to buy supplies.
Looking for a Home
No one wanted to adopt Pup. We tended to his wounded eye, taught him tricks, and helped him to blossom into a wiggly, human-loving guy. But within a few weeks of fostering him, effects from the accident became even more severe: he went blind in his remaining eye and ran in circles several times a day from brain damage. We and Ms. Li took him to as many adoption days as we could to search for a family for him. He is so great with children that we were hopeful a family would come along that had kids for him to play with. Despite being happy and sweet, Pup was passed over each time in favor of pets that were less “damaged”.
By April 2014, we were tired of waking up with tears in our eyes on adoption days, worried he would be adopted away from us. He was ours and we decided that we could commit to caring for him for the rest of his life.
After the journey Pup has gone through, I’m happy that the love he was shown along the way can be given back through his gentle, friendly nature at ELG. Since October, he has been our Snuggling Specialist, coming to ELG Puxi once a week to boost morale and promote development in the children and young adults that we support.
I’m grateful to Ms. Li and her supporters who covered the extravagant costs of Pup’s treatment prior to his adoption. Ms. Li doesn’t work for any official organization. She’s a retired engineer who loves pets, devoting her life to rescuing and finding homes for animals in need. And I am so grateful for her passion to bring Pup into my family. For this article, she asked us to say, “I particularly want to thank Mr. Qiu for rescuing Pup without hesitation, Ms. Han for finding you, Ms. Zhou for raising funds.” She currently has over 40 cats and 3 dogs who need homes, listed on BestFriendsChina.org.