Hey Whyld Pack! Welcome to our first blog post in our "Rescue Stories" series where we will share a personal story about rescue pups and their favorite human adventure buddies. I am loving hearing all of these stories and I hope you will enjoy them as much as I do!
First up is Piper and her favorite human adventure buddy, Andy!
Andy met Piper in Africa, where she fell in love. However, she couldn't adopt Piper at the time because she didn't have a permanent residence.
Once she made it back home to Alaska she checked in on Piper and learned that Piper was still at the rescue waiting for her! As Andy put it: "It was the luck of my life that when I got back to Alaska and got a house and settled in, Piper still needed a home and I could adopt her".
Andy was kind enough to share with us her story of this international adventure and what it meant to her:
Whyld River (WR): How did you and Piper meet?
Andy: I met Piper in 2014 when I was volunteering for three weeks at Tears Animal Rescue in Cape Town, South Africa. At the time I volunteered at the rescue group, she was the only one left of her litter that still needed a home! The international volunteers spend a lot of time with the puppies, and she was my favorite. Even though she was the smallest puppy there, I thought she was also the bravest and the smartest. I liked to watch her watch the other dogs and work out what she needed to do to avoid conflict. I always felt like she was my girl and belonged with me in Alaska, but I was just embarking on a year of traveling. I had quit my job and had no home to offer her. It was very hard to say goodbye after three weeks, but I felt like if she still needed a home when I was finally back in Alaska, then it was meant to be. A little less than a year later, I was back in Alaska; she still needed a home, so I applied to adopt her and bought her a plane ticket!
WR: What was the most difficult time that you and Piper went through together?
Andy: The most difficult thing was saying goodbye to her when I was done with my volunteer travel and I didn’t know if I would ever see her again. Leaving her to her fate seemed like a terrible thing. Knowing her the way I know her now, I realize it was the luck of my life that she still needed me when I was finally able to provide her a home - she is the nicest, easiest and most gentle dog and I really lucked out having her be mine. I think the long flights across the world were very hard on her - there is no way she understood what was going on - but I knew that I could make it up to her by giving her all my love and a whole family of people who will be here for her for the rest of her life.
WR: What's the biggest learning you've had from your relationship with Piper?
Andy: Piper has shown me through example to greet every day with absolute joy and gratefulness, to be alive and to be able to be together, whether it’s doing something simple like playing with toys or cuddling on the couch, or something more complicated like going on a big camping trip. Her awesome personality makes me constantly grateful that she is my companion and reminds me to appreciate what I have and make the most of it - we missed out on a year of life together, so we fully intend on doing everything we can together from now on!
WR: What's Piper's favorite meal?
Andy: Anything with peanut butter!
WR: Where is your favorite place to be with Piper?
Andy: Out for a hike!
WR: What's the silliest thing Piper does?
Andy: She slightly opens her mouth and turns her face to the sky and turns in circles when she is really happy; we call her Shark Dog.
WR: Anything else you'd like to share with us?
Andy: What I really needed was a friend who would always want to hang out with me and be my adventure buddy. It doesn’t really matter what she looks like, how big she is, or what color she is. Piper is a great example of how a shelter dog can change your life - and there are still so many out there, waiting for homes and to be your best friend, just the way Piper is my best friend!
A huge thank you to Andy and Piper for sharing their story with us!
If you'd like to be featured in our rescue stories series let us know! We'd love to hear from you.