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I’ve Been Rescued by a Pet

This blog post is the Runner-up in our Pets and Their People PPG Summit Blog Contest which invited entrants to submit a blog post on the topic of being rescued by a pet.

Dog sniffing flowers
“Dezra taught me to accept who she is and how to bring out the very best in her.” ©Kris Hale

This week we celebrated Dezra’s Gotcha Day! Ten Years!! We adopted Dezra on August 17, 2013.

Ten years ago, I could not have imagined where I am now. Dezra truly changed my life, and the lives of many other dogs when she joined our family.

After our dog Theo passed away, my husband and I were looking to adopt from a local rescue. We really wanted a dog who got along with other dogs, since Theo had been reactive. We met several dogs from a few rescues. When we met Dezra, we knew she was the one. She was sweet, snuggly and so cute.

A dog being presented with a
Celebrating Dezra’s Gotcha Day ©Kris Hale

Once home, we realized she was going to be a challenge. Dezra had (and still has) nonstop energy. She is incredibly smart.  At the time, I was teaching AP Psychology, so I had an understanding of behaviorism and positive reinforcement. We immediately enrolled in a beginner training class that used positive reinforcement and started taking her to doggy daycare a couple of times a week.

From there we started fostering. Dezra was a foster sister extraordinaire. She was phenomenal with shy and fearful dogs and puppies. Although we no longer foster, she remains a loving and often annoying sister to her brother, Hank, and sister, Joanie. Both of whom are former fosters.

Dezra challenged me. She encouraged me to grow. She taught me patience. She taught me how to meet her needs and ultimately the needs of fosters and other dogs as well.

I became a certified professional dog trainer because of Dezra. I started my own business, Best in Dog. In fact, she is my logo. Dezra taught me to accept who she is and how to bring out the very best in her. I share this message with my clients and the fosters I work with.

I had no idea what I had gotten myself into or where life would take me when we adopted Dezra. I thank her for adding so much love to our home, helping many dogs along the way, and challenging me to grow.

Thank you, Dezra!  I love you!

About the Author

A woman sitting on the floor smiling with a large white dog sitting in front of her.
Kris and Dez

Kris Hale, CPDT-KA is the owner of Best in Dog LLC in Marietta, GA. She provides personalized training to clients and their dogs, in which positive reinforcement and enrichment are the foundation. Kris has experience fostering and volunteering with rescues in metro Atlanta, offering support to fosters, volunteers, and the behavior staff, and currently volunteers with Fulton Animal Shelter, which is part of the Lifeline Animal Project. Her areas of expertise include working with rescued dogs; specifically shy, fearful, and anxious dogs, as well as overexcited adolescent dogs.    

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