What I learned about Self-Acceptance from a Dog

This past December I was faced with a daunting challenge.

I was volunteering with a local animal rescue group and had met Sophie, a two-year old German Shepherd who was in need of a home.

Sophie was a sweetheart with a very sensitive soul.

Sophie’s spirits were low since she was living in a busy shelter. I wanted to foster or adopt her myself, but I couldn’t because I live with cats.

To further complicate matters, Sophie had recently been attacked by another dog and was wearing a cone to protect the stitches in her front paw.

I came to love this gentle and loyal hound! I knew if someone was patient and willing to put in some work, Sophie would thrive and become an incredible dog and companion.

I was posting Sophie’s information on FB in the hopes of finding her a home and telling her story to anyone that would listen.

Sophie and I met a couple of potential adopters and it did not go well. I found myself in effort trying to explain her quirks and getting them to see what I could see.

Eventually, I began to relax about the process. So what, if it took a little bit longer to find someone who felt exactly the same way about Sophie that I did!

I was taking Sophie out for a walk to meet a potential adopter – Claudia.

We met Claudia at a local park. I let Sophie be Sophie and didn’t try to make her anything other than the loveable, goofy, anxious, hot mess that she was.

Claudia saw all of this and was willing to take a chance on her.

I’m happy to report that Sophie is now “Juno” and happily living with Claudia and has a big dog-sister Hettie.

Like Juno, with the right support, encouragement and attention, a person is able to let their guard down and show their true personality.

While it may seem frightening to be the person who is opening up, other people will react positively to your honesty and vulnerability. You will form closer friendships and relationships and be happier.

Also, if you see a friend struggling, be supportive and encouraging. You will help them unlock their personality and you will have a great new relationship!

Here is Juno loving her new life!