Just over six months ago, a Golden Retriever was inside a dog meat farm in South Korea. Meanwhile, half a world away, a young woman wanted to get a dog. That’s when her sister, who follows the Humane Society International (HSI) called her and told her that the organization was closing a dog meat farm. She went and looked at the photos, and one in particular broke her heart. A Golden Retriever was chained up and alone.
“The sad expression, the heavy chain choking her neck, the tail between the legs that was wagging gently because someone had come to free her,” daisyintheair wrote on Reddit. “The idea that she was awaiting slaughter absolutely gutted me. ‘This is my dog. This is the one.’ That’s all I could think to myself.”
That’s how Harper (as the dog is now named) started her journey to her new home.
Harper was taken from the farm and crated up for transport to the United States.
She was readied for the flight.
She spent her first few days at a shelter in the US.
Her future mom tracked down what shelter she was at. The shelter had already received dozens of calls and emails about adopting her. They weren’t sure when she would be available as she needed to be spayed first.
Harper was thought to be around 1 years old and would be adopted on a first-come-first-serve basis as soon as she was posted on the website.
“I filled out the preliminary paperwork and checked the website obsessively for a week. Finally, on that Friday, her photo came up. We were the first to show up at the shelter.”
The staff let Harper’s future mom know that she was “extremely skittish and scared”. “Her coat was rough, not soft and fluffy like a typical Golden retriever with its flaxen hair,” wrote daisyintheair. “Despite a bath when she arrived, she was still pretty stinky as a result of the poor conditions she was kept in. I didn’t care about any of these perceived flaws though, I knew this was my dog.”
First day home.
Fortunately, Harper took to her crate immediately and she mostly kept to her crate while she recovered from her spay surgery. Harper’s mom discovered Harper had quite a list of things that terrified her: loud noises, the outdoors, people, cars, water (like rain, puddles and showers/baths), vacuums and Swiffers.
First family photo. “This is her award-winning ‘you’re holding a treat in front of the camera’ smile.”
“(Sort of) solved the fear of rain problem” with rain gear.
“Striking resemblance to the Gorton’s fisherman, right?”
First time meeting other dogs.
“It was a little overwhelming at first being the new kid on the block, but here is Harper meeting a group of dogs for the first time. She crouched down when they initially swarmed her but after a few minutes she was happily sniffing butts and playing with her new pals. If I could do it over again, I probably would start her out meeting 1 or 2 dogs instead of a group, but thankfully everything still turned out okay.”
Despite her dislike of water and rain, she loved snow and jumping into snow banks.
First time with a dog walker.
As Harper’s mom works full time, Harper has some dog walkers who she loves spending time with.
Om nom nom. Stick time!
First shoe chewing transgression.
She also graduated her intermediate training class and is moving on to an advanced class.
First time at the beach.
First day in the office. She slept on the job.
After half a year, Harper no longer “fears people, loud noises, the outdoors, or the car. She loves jumping in the car now as it often leads to a PetSmart trip or a ride to the park. She adores meeting new people and tries to lick the faces of everyone that walks by. Still working on the water fear, but I’m sure that will get better with time.”
She also has a soft and silky coat thanks to a healthy diet and regular grooming. “Harper has been an indescribable joy in my life,” her mom said. “She is a spunky little thing that has so much personality and love – it’s hard to imagine that she was ever destined to end up on a dinner plate. I love waking up in the morning to her licking my hand.”
Harper has made and incredible journey not only from where she lived but to how she interacts with the world around her.
Share Harper’s wonderful rescue story with your family and friends!