When Shasta, who we were calling Nola, strutted into the Carson Shelter, this was not the first time she had walked through our doors. Shasta was previously surrendered, seven years ago, when she was diagnosed with cancer and her family could unfortunately not afford her treatment. This year, she was surrendered to us when her previous owner could no longer care for her. When I first met Shasta, she was lovey dovey with me, and full of life.
I took her into the evaluation room, where we assess each dog that comes in. She did amazing during her evaluation. She listened so well, even though as we quickly discovered, she is deaf. People might see deaf dogs as an extra barrier to overcome, but they are still the most loving companions. When Shasta was put on the adoption floor, she was overlooked due to her hearing impairment and some food allergies which caused her to be on a special diet and medications.
Ashley was helping her cousin look for a dog, and so they went to check the website to see the available pets. Immediately, she seemed to recognize the smiling white face looking back at her. “It was early still, only being about 7am. I went into the shelter as soon as they opened that morning. I thought to myself, maybe I could adopt this dog that looks like my girl.” – Ashley, Shasta’s Dog Mom.
When Ashley came into the shelter, her heart melted. We brought Shasta out to meet her, and she immediately knew it was her dog. She was able to practice sign language with her, and we could tell Shasta knew her too. Ashley spent an hour in the visiting room sitting with her, and petting her. Seeing
their reuniting made everyone involved very emotional, especially Ashley– who cried seeing her beloved dog again.
“She jumped up and down and I sat on the ground, she just laid in my lap staring at me. Shasta has been deaf since birth and when she was a puppy I taught her sit, down, stay, come, lay down… and she remembered all of them.” – Ashley, Shasta’s Dog Mom.
When Ashley was 13-years-old her father passed away and she adopted a dog (Shasta) who was only a couple months old at the time. When she was 17, they found out that Shasta had a cancerous tumor and made the extremely difficult choice to surrender her, as they could not afford her treatment. While Ashley had no plans originally to adopt another dog, she was fortunate enough that she could now afford Shasta’s medical needs. Her previous owner had her mass removed, and paid for her chemo treatment.
Shasta has a brother, Leo, who she enjoys everything with from laying on the couch to going on long walks. The two of them love car rides. They take the dogs with them everywhere they can, and they love outings and meeting new people! We are happy to be able to not only change the lives of pets, but also people. In Shasta’s case, she got the happy ending she truly deserved, and this is what we hope for every pet that comes into our care.
By: Karen Mays, Dog Evaluator