Lea came into rescue with more anxiety and PTSD from her horrible life than anyone could imagine. She was reactive to new sights and sounds and she greatly disliked men. The leash caused her panic attacks and just the mere act of putting her into a car would cause her to vomit.

Enter her savior and new love, Maryam. Maryam adopted Lea from Kate’s Rescue for Animals. Lea is now known as Balooga and is living in her forever home in Monterey, California. Balooga was terrified of the beach; the waves caused her to hide in fear. Maryam understood that gaining Balooga’s trust was going to be a slow process.

Eventually, things started to change. Over the course of a year the once terrified Balooga no longer feared the waves, but instead was drawn to run and jump in them. The car no longer caused her to become ill, it now meant trips to her new favorite spot at the beach. Balooga has even learned that not all men are bad and has lovingly befriended a few.

Maryam has watched in awe as Balooga blossomed into a goofy, fun-loving girl. According to Maryam, “She has changed my life in so many amazing ways. I’m very gentle and calm because of her.” Balooga has not only learned to trust her new human but has developed a bond that still catches Maryam off guard. “She’s very in tune with me and helps to ground me if I’m frustrated or upset.”

As is the case with many rescue dogs, Maryam admits that it’s hard to tell who rescued who. Maryam has advice for anyone that may be struggling with a scared new adoptee, “Be patient with yourself and your dog. You’re both learning and adapting, and it’s a slow process. Some things will take more time, but as you and your dog build a strong relationship, progress will be made, even in the toughest challenges.”

Stories like this inspire us to continue our work in rescue. It can be slow going and there can be some tough challenges, but in the end, the outcome is always worth it.

Thank you Maryam for your patience and hard work. We at Kate’s Rescue wish you and Balooga many years of happiness together.