Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Life is Rosy for Rosie

Special to the Fayette Front Page

Since the beginning of the year, Georgia Heartland Humane Society has placed 125 abandoned animals in permanent loving homes. All pets are special to the volunteers of Georgia Heartland Humane Society; but special needs animals underscore what GHHS is all about. Committed to end the suffering of companion animals, GHHS helps needy animals who may not survive without their help.

Rosie is just one of those special-pets, abandoned by someone special, saved by special people and finally adopted by very special people. No one knows Rosie’s history. But GHHS volunteers agree that the person who tied Rosie to the dock of the Newnan Petsmart wanted Rosie to have a good life, one they could not provide.

GHHS volunteers were setting up for their regularly scheduled adoptions at the Newnan Petsmart when they heard Rosie’s muffled whimpers. Activities stopped as volunteers strained to catch the faint cries.

Christine looked at Barbara, a look which said, “Something is wrong.” They dropped what they were doing and walked toward the storage room. The cries became more distinct. Barbara rushed to the heavy door leading to the loading dock. The door stuck. They both pushed and nearly flew out as the door gave way, crashing loudly against the adjacent wall.

Rosie lay almost directly at their feet, but she didn’t move. At first, they thought she was injured. But as they moved into her sight, Rosie jumped up, gratefully and happily acknowledging their presence. Barb knelt before her. As Rosie licked her face, Barb whispered, “She’s deaf.” Then they saw the sign which had blown off the loading dock. The owner who loved her left a note which read: “I’m homeless and I’m deaf. Please help me.”

GHHS relies on foster homes to care for rescued animals until they are adopted. Foster homes are few and generally at capacity. Such was the case the day Rosie was found. All foster homes were filled. Barb and Christine, both leaders in GHHS, knew there was no room for Rosie. Nevertheless, the trio exuded confidence as they returned to the adoption center, Rosie between them. It was a time of joy. It was a scene of triumph. Rosie was rescued!

Cell phones appeared out of pockets and purses. Volunteers began calling potential foster homes, previous foster parents, and known animal-lovers, anyone who could and would meet their foster home criteria. An hour later, a volunteer’s shout signaled victory: I’ve found a home for Rosie….at least for awhile.”

Cheers rang out. Rosie didn’t hear a thing, but noting the excitement of her new friends, she wagged her tail until her entire body wiggled with delight. Relieved laughter rose from the group of volunteers. This was one of those days when everyone would go home feeling good about humanity.

Her foster parents, known by GHHS to be good, loving people, arrived at the end of the day. Leash in hand, Debbie and Larry stooped to meet their new ward. Instinctively, they knew to gently touch her flank to get her attention. Rosie turned to face them. And so started a love affair.

Larry and Debbie had Rosie one week. As all foster parents do, they committed to bringing Rosie each Saturday for possible adoption. When they arrived, volunteers read their faces and knew something was up. They weren’t dropping Rosie off to be adopted. They had come to adopt her. In one week, they had become a family. Lucky Rosie had found a home.

In a note to GHHS, Debbie wrote “Last weekend we purchased several toys that we thought Rosie would like, but when we offered them to her she didn't seem interested in anything. The next day she began tossing the toys, playing fetch, and generally having a ball with all of the toys. She constantly surprises us with how smart she is. Rosie seems very happy here with us (and the cats). She is quite entertaining at times and is better than TV. If you touch the leash, Rosie is ready to go for a ride."

Debbie and Larry see beyond the Rosie’s limitations. And although their commitment deserves praise, they are quick to reject it. If praise is to be given, they shower it on Rosie, who brings a new dimension to their lives.

GHHS is a non-profit, all volunteer organization which rescues abandoned and abused pets. They do not own a facility. Rescued pets live in foster homes until they are adopted. While the animals are cared for in the foster home, they have an opportunity to recover from any cruelty they have experienced while developing proper house manners. Most important, they learn to trust again. Foster parents learn the animal’s individual personality and habits, which enables GHHS volunteers to help the potential adopters choose a pet which will best fit into their family. The public is invited to visit these rescued pets at the Newnan Petsmart on Bullsboro Drive every Saturday between the hours of 10:30 am and 4:30 pm. Photos of the pets may be seen at their website www.gaheartland.com.

Although donations are always welcome, GHHS is most in need of loving foster homes. All medical care, food, and supplies are provided by GHHS. The foster family agrees to treat the pet as a member of their family and to bring the pet to Saturday adoptions. If you would like to foster a pet, please call GHHS at (770) 830-2820.

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