Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Meet Chester!

Submitted by EARS volunteer Marcia Goodman of Cromwell, Connecticut

Chester is an adorable dog who was "shut down" when he arrived at the shelter. I talked with UAN Emergency Services Manager Janell Matthies about his situation at the time of his rescue, and then I interviewed EARS volunteer Sara Dawdy of Sunnyvale, California, who has been spending time with Chester to try to get him out of his shell.

First the background from Janell:

Chester was shy and "shut down"
when he arrived at the temporary
shelter after being rescued.
Chester arrived at the shelter with his current kennel mate, Buster. At the time of the rescue, they were in a relatively large enclosure with seven dogs near a very dilapidated mobile home, so they did have access to some shelter. They had no running water on the property so the dogs came in extremely dehydrated. They were getting some food on that property, but the larger dog, Buster, ate all of Chester’s food.

Now that these dogs are in UAN’s care, we’re able to make sure Chester eats his share of food. We're now seeing Chester come around dramatically. He was completely shut down when he came in. He didn’t move, and he was a very big concern.

EARS volunteer Sara Dawdy has spent time with Chester, and he has made major improvements in a very short time. Now that he’s getting appropriate nutrition, Chester is beginning to show interest in life. Here’s my interview with Sara Dawdy:

Chester and Buster
Marcia: Tell us a little bit about Chester. What was he like when you first met him?

Sara: Chester is a little black-and-white dog, horribly skinny for a little guy, and very, very shy. When I met him, he was pretty close to shut down. He turned his head away whenever you looked at him. He didn’t want to come forward to the front of the cage at all. He was just hiding.

Marcia: How is he today?

Sara: Compared to how he was the first few days, he has been completely fabulous. He actually took three milk bones from me today, which is very exciting – he took them directly from my hand. When I call him, he’ll actually come forward to the front of the cage, slowly but surely, and give me a tail wag.  

Marcia: What have you been doing to help turn him around?

Chester learns to be brave with
EARS volunteer Laura Wright of
Fallbrook, California
Sara: I’ve been standing there, not looking directly at him so it doesn’t stress him out, but standing sideways and talking to him and his kennel mate, Buster. I think Buster does gives Chester confidence as well – for Chester to see Buster interact happily with people helps Chester too. And I’ve been giving Chester some milk bones. But the quiet talking seems to help him quite a bit.

We'll continue to keep everyone informed about Chester's progress in future blogs as long as he is at the UAN emergency shelter.

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