Trust in Me
When Kiara arrived at the ASPCA in 2007, she was about eight years old and terrified of just about everything and everyone. But from the moment Alison Silverglad met the small Shepherd mix, she saw only potential. “She was so, so cute!” says Alison. “And her personality—she was just so sweet and seemed ready to be loved.” Within minutes, Alison knew she wanted to bring Kiara home.
ASPCA Adoption Center staff members told Alison that Kiara might be a challenging first dog because her life had been filled with traumatic experiences, including living cheek by jowl with a hoarder and about 30 other dogs in a New York City apartment.
But, Alison says, “I’m always up for a challenge, and her hope for love touched my heart.”
Bringing Kiara home was just the first step toward earning her trust. At first, Kiara didn’t bark at all, leading Alison to believe that she was mute. She was also afraid of having her tummy touched and cowered from most people.
Then, after about two weeks, Kiara rolled over and allowed Alison to rub her belly. Next, she started jumping up excitedly when Alison, a teacher, came home from work. Slowly but surely, Kiara learned to place all her trust in Alison. “She just clings to me like a little kid,” Alison says. “If she’s scared, she’ll rub up against me and come to me for comfort.”
Today, Kiara loves going for long walks, visiting restaurants with outdoor seating and getting belly rubs. She’s proved to be very smart, and Alison says she’s actually “kind of easy—she’s such a good dog! She brings joy to a lot of people, not just myself.” She’s still afraid of many things—but now she knows she can count on Alison to protect her. In turn, Kiara has changed Alison’s life for the better, too.
“It’s been three years, and I can honestly say, I don’t know how I got along before Kiara. Sure, she has a few fears and can be very shy, but knowing her and loving her have made me a better person,” Alison says. “She embodies loyalty, love and concern, and has truly taught me what love is. We were very lucky to find each other.”
For more heartwarming stories of successful adoptions, visit our Happy Tails Archive.