A timid little Lab mix had been living in the woods of Tampa, Florida and sleeping in empty houses for some time. When passersby noticed her frequenting the area, they got the attention of Dusty Showers, a revered wildlife rescuer, animal lover, and breast cancer awareness advocate.
Thus began the tale of the dog he’d dubbed Shelly and her gradual development of trust in people. After successfully trapping her outside her usual abandoned haunt, Showers was met with a sweet dog, tail tucked between her legs, who clearly wanted to love but wasn’t quite sure how.
Before removing Shelly from the trap, he explained:
What we find with most dogs is while they’re living in the wild, they can be nearly impossible to get near. And then […] there’s a big difference in the dogs between the moment they’re in the trap and the moment they are out of the trap. And the difference is absolutely night and day.
Shelly was growling and barking from behind the bars, but when she emerged she completely transformed. She pressed herself up against Showers’ legs and tried to climb into his lap, eager for human contact, though her nervousness was still evident.
But after a couple of hot-from-the-grill cheeseburgers, she seemed to come around. (Note: Shelly is not fond of pickles.)
Though the fosters he’d had lined up to take her in had already accepted other dogs, one rescue made room and gave her a warm bath and space to run and sleep comfortably. Shelly wasn’t in the joint for long, though, because someone came forward soon enough to adopt her into their family.
“She’s a happy, healthy dog,” said Showers. “Every time that you share one of these stories, every time that you reach out asking anyone to help, anytime that you tell a story of these dogs, you are doing more than you could ever imagine.”
Shelly’s finally getting all the love she deserves and a true taste of what a dog’s life is all about.