Beans — Shelter

Location: Gibsonville, North Carolina

I met Beans while volunteering at our local shelter. He was underweight and refused food, touch, and was even scared of his own bed. He was sick with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. While at the shelter, he’d pick me out in a crowd and stay close, never taking his eyes off me. I wanted so badly to heal him and as a veterinary professional, I felt I was up to the challenge. I soon discovered that his emotional wellbeing was going to be a much bigger hurdle than his illness. It became apparent to me that Beans was beginning to show signs of severe Separation Anxiety. Before long, our entire family was exhausted from trying to tip toe around him and excercise him for hours a day. Beans destroyed the house, urinated as soon as we left, barely slept at night. We never knew what we’d come home to. I decided to start at ground zero, reading books and attending behavior lectures at veterinary conferences. It was then that I came across Fear Free Certification. I became certified and began to use the methods with Beans. It transformed him and my home. Beans’ recovery helped me convince our practice’s owner to pursue Fear Free Practice Certification. Our patients are more relaxed, my staff is fulfilled and our clients are developing more meaningful relationships with us. Beans went on to be dropped from an anxiety trial at NC State; they decided he’d make a better blood donor instead. Beans has saved and changed so many lives in his path. He represents how much shelter dogs have to give.