- by Susan Bridenstine
The chances of Raquel, a Black Mouth Cur, being adopted were about as slim as winning the lottery. Despite the odds, she hit the jackpot with her new owner, Jackie Frierman of Tampa.
Jackie, a soft-spoken artist, recently recognized that she had room in her heart and her home that needed to be filled and began her quest for a dog. After pursuing a few dead-end leads, she ran across https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofCitrusCountyAnimalServices and decided to drive the hour and a half to Inverness to see a dog. Unfortunately, the dog wasn't compatible with her cat. Volunteers, James and Laci, at Citrus County Animal Services helped Jackie and directed her to Jeremy Burns, a kennel tech. They told her about a young dog that was desperately in need of love and a home.
It's possible Raquel may have been used as a "bait dog," and was so timid that she crawled on the floor. Despite her wounds and scars, Jackie saw Raquel's pure soul and realized that scars, like beauty, are only skin deep. The connection was immediate and mutual. The paperwork was completed for the adoption and arrangements made for Raquel to be spayed. Jackie would return one long week later to take her home.
Because of Raquel's special needs, Jeremy realized that Jackie may need some help with the transition from shelter to home. He suggested she contact, Rafael Cabrera, Dog Behavior Specialist, with Casita Big Dog Rescue. Rafael, well-known as "the dog whisperer of Citrus County," has hundreds of success stories helping people understand and modify their dog's behavior, making them enjoyable, long-term members of the family.
He met Jackie at the shelter when she returned and explained that Raquel may never have been adopted because of her appearance and fearful demeanor. She wasn't an outgoing, tail-wagging puppy that rushed out to lick people and probably would have been overlooked in the multitude of other available dogs. Rafael advised Jackie on many subjects concerning Raquel's needs and care and answered her questions. He assured her that he would be a phone call away if she needed help.
When Jackie placed the matching pink collar and leash on Raquel, she immediately transformed into a happy dog. Outside they walked tall and they both appeared to smile. Jackie hugged Raquel and said, "I feel like I was sent here to find you." Raquel sat up proudly and licked Jackie gratefully.
For more photos and a video of Raquel licking her new pal, Homer, the cats see: https://www.facebook.com/CasitaBigDogRescue and for photos of Jackie's artwork see:https://www.facebook.com/Art4Elephants