Today’s story is about a gentle giant’s search for his true family. Stereotyped by his looks, misunderstood by his behavior and repeatedly criticized for not living up to the standards of many, will he succeed? Let Whiskey Bear share his story with you today.
“Hallo! I’m Whiskey Bear, a seven year old German Shepherd. You might have seen me on Facebook rather frequently this year in my quest to find myself a refuge.
“I will never forget that fateful day for it was the eve of Chinese New Year, a day when everyone was busy preparing for their reunion dinners. I was no exception, as I excitedly pondered if I would finally get to take part in this year’s reunion. I have lived a major part of my life outdoor in this house, and I yearn so much to feel a part of them. In the morning, a car came, a leash was put onto me and I thought to myself, “Outing?! Finally?” Little did I know, I would never be returning to this house again, and that was the last time I saw my “family”.
“As everyone was enjoying their reunion, I found myself alone in a place I have never been before. In the shelter, I met many other doggy friends who were just like me. Unwanted, and yearning for a place we could call home. I knew I had to stay strong and hopeful but I felt so low. What did I do that was so wrong?
In the next five months, things went downhill. Two failed foster homes, multiple failed adoption drives and many unsuccessful Facebook appearances. I was literally putting myself up for rejection. With each failure, my self-esteem dropped and the light at the end of the tunnel got dimmer. On top of that, I started having labels slapped onto me, for example, Whiskey is “aggressive to small dogs”. Whiskey is “un-trained thus we are unable to control him on his walks”. Whiskey “tugs and pulls so much and he is too strong for us”. I felt so maligned. How am I going to convince everyone that I could do better?
At this point, I was close to giving up finding a home. My only comfort was that my third foster home did not give up on me, and that kept me hopeful. Here, I started learning proper dog etiquette and was slowly re-gaining my confidence.
On 28 May, when I heard I was going for another Adoption Drive, I did not think much of it. I planned to just go and enjoy myself, maybe performed a couple of tricks and chill for the rest of the day.
It was then a miracle happened. About a week later, my fosterer told me I was going to meet my potential new family. What surprised me further was that they had three small dogs, one teenage daughter and two young kids! Seriously? It was one thing to give me a chance to prove myself with small dogs again, it was another to entrust their young kids in my care! How many people could look beyond my size and ferocious outlook to believe in me?
Yet, Angela and Stewart took on the challenge though they did have their worries. Indeed things were not rosy at the beginning as Snoopy, their feisty Schnauzer, did not really welcome me. She would bark and try to nip me secretly when I was not looking. However, Angela and Stewart did not use this as a reason to give me up! Instead, they made the effort to monitor our interactions closely, earnestly wanting to make this work. I knew I had to cherish this lovely couple and prove that we can get along. With time and patience, I finally earned Snoopy’s friendship and she now accepts me as her younger brother now. Hooray!
Despite their busy schedules, Angela and Stewart would spend time to chill with me at the patio even when they are home late. I also found new friendships with their three beautiful daughters who are now my BFFs (Best Friends Forever). It was so kind of them to be able to see the better part of me. They even praised me to all they meet for being gentle with babies and gave me the title of being the ‘family’s protector’. I even heard them saying they wished they had come across me earlier for I had brought them so much joy!
Angela and Stewart, it is actually through you that I learnt love is gentle and trusting. You are the ones who showed me what joy and family is. To date, I do not know how you found faith to accept me for who I am and to trust me in what I do. But thank you for taking me into your family. I am eternally grateful for this precious opportunity. I pawmise I will continue to love and protect all of you on this new journey.
I hope that by sharing my story, my doggy friends who are still in search of a furever home would never give up.
And for you humans who are committed to making a difference, please consider giving my fellow doggy friends a second chance and change their lives by choosing to adopt: http://sosd.org.sg/adopt-a-dog/
“Signing off my final Facebook appearance,
Bear Bear (as I’m now affectionately known)”