This is a story about Beau Baggins. A GSP with a very sad past, but with the help of one of our volunteers, not only does his life take a turn for the better, but goes on to enrich the lives of others.
Many of our volunteers adopt the dogs that need the most help. They have the privilege of working with them and getting to know the sweet dog inside and fall in love. This is a story of such a volunteer, and a dog that needed her help.
Beau was found in the Lancaster area of Southern California as a stray in the fall of 2011. He had deep/severe scars on his muzzle, ears and a rear leg. He was overlooked by adopters because he was shy and disfigured. Then, in the April of 2012, he was chosen as one of the dogs to go to an adoption event to try to garner more interest in him. As we were learning more about him, it was discovered that he loved human attention and was mostly indifferent to other dogs.
He entered a foster home during that time and it was discovered that he knew NOTHING about being in a house (there were MANY accidents in the house) and that he knew absolutely no commands. He was very fearful of moving hands or feet and cowered if voices were raised. However, he loved pets from people. He had no idea what toys were or how to play with them or how to play with the other GSP in the house.
Then something wonderful happened that would change Beau’s life for the better. The foster mom failed at being a foster mom, adopted him, and changed his name to Baggins. She could see that there was something deep down inside of him that with time could be brought to the surface. He got along fine with his older ‘brother’ named Strider, but he had many lessons to learn and fear to defeat.
About a year later, he accompanied his dog mom on a holiday trip to visit friends. At the home, Baggins found a best friend in a little boy going through a very tough time in his life. That little boy LOVED on Baggins so much and Baggins soaked it all in and relished in it – much to the joy of the little boy. At the end of the holiday, the little boy told his father that he understood Baggins because they both had scars in their life but that you could actually see Baggins’ scars. That broke Baggins’ dog mom’s heart but also put her on a mission to get him certified as a therapy dog. This was a daunting task as they need lots of obedience training and Baggins had his fears of sitting and being vulnerable in a down/stay position. They worked hard for a couple of years – learning commands and trust, and in June of 2015, Baggins became a certified therapy dog through Therapy Dogs International.
Over the last year, he has been to several nursing homes, a college campus for ‘de-stressing before and during exams’, a funeral of a teenage girl, and a Christmas party for battered and homeless women and children. He is always well received at all of the places, and REALLY enjoys his job. He soaks up all of the attention and exudes calmness to those he interacts with. It is an amazing thing for his dog mom to witness. He was an ugly duckling that has become a beautiful swan and truly makes a difference in the lives of the people he meets.
A note from California GSP Rescue:
Please support our efforts to continue to be able to rescue dogs like Beau, by making a one time donation, or becoming a Sustaining Partner.
Becoming a Sustaining Partner of the Rescue means you help us EVERY DAY meet the needs of the dogs. Whether it be food, veterinary care, specialists, leashes, or even pooper scoopers – we can concentrate on the love and care the dogs need knowing we have regular, monthly support.
BECOME A SUSTAINING PARTNER
A one-time gift is always appreciated and needed as well.