Our Westport shelter is fortunate to partner with local rescues and animal groups to help animals in need.
One day, one of those partnerships made us lucky in a whole new way!
Our friend Brandee from Hop Along Hollow rabbit rescue came by the shelter to borrow a spare rabbit cage, and while we were chatting about orphaned rabbits, she looked into our kennel and opened up Pandora’s box, or should we say kennel?
Brandee, a long-time shepherd owner and lover, instantly fell in love with shepherd/mix Pandora. For some time, Brandee had been looking for a shepherd or shepherd/mix to join her family and be a friend to Nikko, their purebred rescue shepherd. Nikko was afraid of men, including Brandee’s husband. The whole family had worked with Nikko to help grow his feelings of security, but what they noticed helped Nikko most was when he saw other animals having positive interactions with her husband. Of course integrating into a home can be a complicated venture. First, Pandora had to meet the young children in the home. She passed that test with flying colors! Next, she had to meet Nikko, and see if he approved of her. There was no doubt of that. She instantly invited him to play, and off they went, as though they had known each other for ages. The same could be said about Brandee’s husband — he and Pandora bonded and she continues to do her job in helping Nikko overcome his fear of men.
Pandora, now named Athena, is by no means perfect -- she likes to eat the children's toys and sometimes digs up the area around the chicken coops -- but she is the perfect fit for Brandee’s family. Brandee shared that Pandora is in love with both of her children and Nikko. She also loves to go for car rides and hang her head out the window. “We could not have gotten luckier,” said Brandee. Neither could Athena!
Photo: Athena to the right napping with her new big brother, Nikko.