Zhara — Shelter

Location: El Paso, Texas

In 2017 I was diagnosed with PTSD and Major Depressive disorder. I am a childhood sexual abuse survivor and lived with an abusive father. It was very hard for me to trust or bond with people, and when my Aussie puppy died that year I truly thought I would never be happy or have anyone who understood. That changed when I met my dog Zhara. Zhara is my rescue, who was taken away from a man who abused her senselessly. The man didn’t name her and she even has a scar on her lip where she was kicked in the face. I was her last stop before the shelter, as she was passed around between friends and family who didn’t know how to handle a special needs dog. She was afraid of everyone. When I first got her she was very afraid of everyone and always stayed low to the ground. It took months of bonding in order for her to trust me. She was afraid to even get into the car due to past trauma. After months of love, patience and hugs Zhara began to show signs of improvement. We began going to dog parks and Zhara even began to go up and smell people. It was a miracle! Now, we love going on road trips and adventures. Zhara loves meeting other dogs and playing. I see a lot of myself in her and even found myself doing better with friends and feeling more trusting of others. It amazes me how much she helped me get out of my shell. The bond between a dog and a human is so special and rare. My dog Zhara is my hero and teaches me to be brave every day. I wish I could tell her how amazing she is to me.

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