Michele and Kim Smith & Shelby

shelby finalOur life was changed and enriched beyond our expectations on April 24, 2013. Our daughter Colleen Smith Armstrong, who becomes familiar with all the dogs that arrive at the Orcas animal shelter, sent us a picture of Shelby, a recent addition to the shelter that Colleen was slowly falling in love with.

We were not actively searching for another dog after losing our previous one several years before. Still, Colleen encouraged me to come and meet Shelby, which I did several times. She was sweet and adorable, but had some behavioral issues that I wasn’t confident I could tackle. After lots of questions to dog trainer and shelter volunteer Kt Hendrie, plus a determination to succeed in giving Shelby a better life, we brought her home for a “trial.” Shelby was so loving and sweet, but had some traits that I could see had prevented her from being readily adopted. After spending one night with her, we decided she was ours.

We worked closely with Kt after that, utilized some pet-safe training tools, and showed Shelby love and consistency. In a very short time she stopped all of her anxiety-driven behavior. Shelby is such an amazing dog. She is smart, loving, eager to please, funny and beautiful. I cannot imagine our life without her. Every morning is like Christmas, waking up to her wagging tail, eager to start whatever adventure lies ahead for that day. – Michele Smith, Lopez Island