By Jarissa Aquinde, Positively Woof Rescue and Adoption Story Editor
Melissa attends school in St Martinville, Louisiana where St. Martin Parish Shelter
is located, just a block or two away. She had gotten to the school a bit too early one day and had seen a sign for the shelter as she turned into school. She decided to kill some time before class by visiting the shelter, with no intentions of bringing a dog home. Melissa walked up and down the aisles looking at each dog, some looking hopeful and some looking like they had sadly, just given up. She casually walked past Fancy’s kennel and her sparking, hopeful eyes, wagging tail and all around happy demeanor caught her attention. Melissa stopped, petted her for a minute and was told she’d only been there a couple days as an owner surrender. She then continued onto the next dog.
After Melissa looked at the last adoptable dog, she decided to walk back around to Fancy. There she was, still wagging her tail. Melissa knew then that she wasn’t leaving without her. Fancy needed her, but not nearly as much as Melissa needed Fancy, as she soon would learn. Melissa let the shelter know that she would be back after class to adopt Fancy. It was the longest two hours of her life.
The shelter offers a ‘foster to adopt’ program, to make sure each animal is going to be a good fit for the family before completing an adoption. Melissa filled out the required paperwork and walked her new ‘foster’ furbaby out. Fancy happily strutted out to her new mom’s car like she didn’t have a care in the world. Melissa wasn’t prepared with a car harness, so Fancy had to ride in the front seat. As they were driving home, Melissa looked over and saw Fancy’s beaming face. It was as if she was smiling because she knew her worries were over. Fancy just stared at her new mom, smiling, for the entire twenty minute ride home, which made Melissa tear up several times because she’d never seen a dog exude so much love and gratitude.
Melissa had a week to decide if Fancy was the right fit for her. She took her to the local vet to get her started on heart worm preventive and was heart broken to discover that Fancy was heart worm positive. She was told the costs of undergoing the treatment and knew she had only two options: return Fancy to the shelter when her week foster time was up, or make the decision to adopt her and pay for the expensive treatment for a dog she hardly knew. Melissa looked at Fancy’s face and knew she’d do whatever she had to do to make her whole again, physically and emotionally.
After talking to her family about how amazing Fancy was and how wonderful the shelter was, Melissa’s mom decided that she wanted to take the 45 minute trip to look for a dog to adopt. When they arrived at the shelter, Melissa made it official, and adopted Fancy. As she was filling out paperwork, staff told her that Fancy had been in and out of the shelter for the past two years. At less than a year old, she was abandoned on the street by her first human. Someone in the area found her and kept her for an unknown length of time before deciding to take her to the shelter. She was then soon adopted. Less than two months later, Fancy was returned to the shelter because she “needed too much attention “. She was soon adopted, yet again. After about a year, she was surrendered back to the shelter, with her family citing that “they could no longer afford ” her. Three days after that, Melissa decided to visit the shelter before class.
From that day forward, Melissa made a promise to Fancy that no matter the circumstances, she would never see the inside of that shelter or any shelter, ever again. It’s heartbreaking to think that a dog with such a gentle, loving soul would have to endure the first two years of her life being abandoned by her “families”. Fancy is the most loving, loyal, well behaved and happiest dog Melissa has ever been lucky enough to meet and adopting her was one of the best decisions she has ever made.
Melissa had been suffering from postpartum depression, but thanks to Fancy, she started getting up, going outside, and going to dog parks. She was meeting new people, which helped tremendously on her path to moving forward. Melissa knew she wanted to do more to help dogs like Fancy, but she also knew that she couldn’t adopt them all. So, she got involved with a local rescue and began fostering and transporting dogs from kill shelters to their rescues.
Fancy is an amazing foster sister, and has been quite welcoming to her temporary friends with her loving, playful spirit. She has never met a stranger, human or animal, that she didn’t like. Fancy not only rescued Melissa, but her gentle, loving and gracious spirit moved her forever mom to help save the the lives of other few animals. Fancy now has a newly adopted brother, a big, loving, and cuddly lab named Laser.
Fancy is also amazing with Melissa’s two year old autistic daughter, Stella, whom she shows unconditional love. Fancy has literally become an angel to her forever family and to other dogs in need. Adopting Fancy has resulted in several dozen dogs being transported, rescued, fostered and adopted from her area to homes all across the United States. Melissa’s last two foster dogs came from the same shelter Fancy was adopted from. Fancy inspired her family to become fierce rescue, foster, and adoption advocates. Everything that has happened has been a direct result of her.
Follow Fancy, Laser and their foster siblings on Instagram @5times4fancy
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