Adopted by Susan Arnett, September 2012, Seattle, Washington
In September 2012, I was a volunteer dog walker at PAWS Animal Shelter. One Sunday evening I was returning a dog to it’s kennel and overheard one of my co-volunteers in the kennel next door trying to coax a new dog out for a walk. She wasn’t having any luck, so I thought I would give it a try. I peeked in and say a very nervous Sheltie mix with big ears and dark brown eyes. I went in and sat with her for awhile, inching a little closer and offering her hot dogs. I could tell she was very frightened but also wanted to be loved because she let me pet her legs, then her tummy and head and eventually she took a hot dog off my knee. After a short walk and some tummy scratches, I was pretty much in love with her and could tell she had a gentle spirit and sweet disposition, despite her fear and shyness. At that time I knew nothing of her origin or that she had just arrived from a 20 hour flight. I thought the supervisor was joking when he said she came from Iran. I couldn't believe how much had been done for her to get her to Seattle and to a forever home. I felt very lucky when I was able to adopt her from PAWS a few days later.
Shabi has come a long way in 7 months. She's learned to walk on a leash (without planting herself down in fear anytime a car, person, bike, etc. goes by), ride in a car (without hiding on the floor of the back seat), ride in an elevator and walk up/down stairs and how not to have a barking fit when she sees her reflection in a mirror. She loves dog parks, rolling in the grass, laying in the water, soft toys, treats and most of all, she loves coming to work with me each day. The confidence and joy she exudes when she runs into the office amazes me compared to how timid she was when she first arrived. Her best friends at work are Pierce, a bichon-frieze/poodle mix, Oola, a golda-doodle and Sadie, a dachshund. She loves to wrestle with them and happily shares her toys. She can now sit, lay down and shake. If she’s really excited, she’ll shake with both paws!
I’m so grateful to have her in my life. Shabi’s sweet, funny personality, her resilience and her continued courage in new situations inspires me. I’m so thankful to all those at VAFA and PAWS who worked so hard to rescue her, care for her, transport her and bring us into each other’s lives. Shabnam, my azizam, is my forever friend and will forever have a home in my house and in my heart.