Raya (formerly Felien) has been in her forever home for almost 4 months now, and her before (in South Italy, at about 3 months old) and after (absolutely cute and she knows it! – at about 5,5 months old; now almost 8 months old) shots are evidence of what a difference only 4 months in safety makes, if there ever was any! 😯
Sure, the beginning was absolutely rough: from potty training, to accommodating to her needs, to being her emotional manager while you’re the adultier adult in the situation panicking equally as much. 😨😅 We can feel the wave of stress running through our nerves as we recall the first month she was home. Even going outside was a stressful ordeal – I definitely had assumed that a rescue dog would be delighted to go to the park, but our own street was terrifying enough for her: the new noises and smells, unfamiliar modes of transportation, even the weather was drastically different (going from 30°C in South Italy the one day, to 14°C the next in Germany on the way to the Netherlands), let alone being hooked onto a leash and a stranger! (a.k.a my significant other and myself, haha 😂)
Raya sure loves going to the park now, especially when she gets to run free in fenced areas. She had a latent puppy phase at about 2,5 months of being here (given the beginning of her life was all about survival), revealing to us how safe she feels in our care and we couldn’t receive a greater compliment. 😌 Our home was certainly missing the pitter patter of her paws, always loyally following behind us. 🥰 We are sure Raya teaches us more than we are teaching her. If you’re ever looking for a better teacher to learn having the patience to slow down the things you do in life, then yes, rescue a dog! They give you so much fulfilling immediate gratification, you’ll be catching yourself soaking in the moment as they play like content toddlers in front of you (like you have the time to do it 😝), with nothing but a smile on your face and a warm feeling in your heart (unlike toddlers in their terrible two’s, haha 😆).
And if you’re looking for some confidence when you’re struggling with it all at the beginning, register for puppy training courses. We did and have no regrets! Because within 4 months, Raya’s now living her best life and we’re over the moon that we get to live her best life with her. ❤️
An especially big shout out goes to the team at Filos Dog Rescue for bringing Raya home to us! We cannot begin to express how much joy you have brought into our lives.
With ever more reasons to smile every day,
Aïsha Velsink and Mats Middelkoop