Today I want to share the story of my amigo Drak with you.
Drak is a male of approximately one year old. He’s been living in the shelter since he was a puppy. He was one of 5 puppies and all his brothers and sisters found a home, except for him. Drak (like many other dogs in the shelter) suffers from something which I call “the invisibility syndrome”. It means that because he’s not the biggest, loudest and most forward dog, people just look right passed him. When you’re alone with him, he’s amazing: super friendly and cuddly, just wants to sit on your lap and give you kisses. But in the midst of 200 other dogs that are all trying to get your attention, he goes completely unnoticed.
Speaking from personal experience myself, I can totally relate to Drak. In the shelter I was also shy and didn’t stand out much. Many people had walked passed my cage and nobody was ever interested. You could say that at least I have one advantage over Drak and that is that I have a distinctive and funny black eye. Poor Drak is “just” black and there are many black dogs out there.
Going back to my story: In March 2016 it looked like luck had turned for Drak and he was taken home by a couple who were very enthusiastic about adopting him. The standard procedure in the shelter is that the adopted dogs go home with their new owners and have a “trail period” of one week. This week is both scary and crucial cause sometimes the dogs don’t adapt to their new homes and the adoption fails. But in Draks case, everything went great and after one week the adoption was made official.
We’ll never know what exactly happened but 3 months later Drak was returned to the shelter. His owners gave no explanation, just a simple “we’re sorry but we can no longer have him”. We know it was not due to him misbehaving or causing trouble, otherwise the couple would have mentioned this for sure. We can only assume that it was due to personal and private human matters and poor Drak had nothing to do with it, but in the end was the one who ended up losing his home.
It happens a lot that dogs are being returned for no clear reason and it breaks my heart. We don’t understand how one day we’re loved and cared for and the next day they we’re back in the stressful environment of the shelter. We are not like humans, whom you can explain things to and make understand what is going on. We don’t have this concept of understanding and we simply have no idea what is happening. One moment you’re laying on the sofa, head resting on the knee of your owner whilst being cuddled, next moment you’re laying on the cold, hard ground surrounded by dozens of nervous dogs that are barking all day.
In fact, unfortunately Drak has turned into one of such nervous dogs himself. Before being adopted he was just shy, but now he’s nervous and runs up and down the fence of his cage. He is worse of now than he was before he got adopted. Knowing what it is like to have a normal life, has made him desperate to leave the shelter. In his case it would have been better not knowing what he’s missing.
Drak, stay strong and think positive: there’re families out there looking for a true companion like you! There’s hope!
Aros (and Drak)