The teens Benny and I meet with every week know all about my dogs. Some of them had met Teddy and others only heard about him. But they all knew we were searching for our next dog to join our family. So this week on our visit I told them we adopted a new dog over the weekend. They all asked what he looked like and when I showed them his picture, they gasped. They said he was just the saddest dog they ever saw. I told them all my pups were ugly and neglected and sad at one time but their beauty was just waiting to shine through. I explained that this time I did not adopt him from a rescue that prepared the dogs for adoption by grooming them and providing medical care. This time I took my new dog “as is.” I found him in this condition and knew our vets were the best ones to care for him and bring out the best in him. I told them I was prepared to find surprises such as hidden health issues or that he was older than we thought. This opened the discussion of how we as people come “as is” also and what are the things about yourself people may not see or know about you that make you “as is.”
This was one of the most amazing sessions ever and the teens really opened up about what they fear will keep people from wanting to know them, like them, love them. The next day after Charlie had been shaved down and his true personality was coming through, I sent a photo for our coordinator to share with the kids. The transformation was miraculous, just as theirs could be.