Today’s story is about second chances. It’s about a dog called Aria, a Canaan mix (desert dog) who was rescued from the streets of Sharjah, covered in scars, ringworm and severely malnourished. She got a second chance upon meeting her foster and eventually forever humans. While Aria has brought boundless joy to her humans, their journey wasn’t smooth sailing. But her human Ravania wouldn’t have it any other way because they feel “every dog deserves a chance.”
Read more Human + Dog Story here
Have you always been a dog person? How does a dog make a difference in your life?
Ravania: My husband and I are animal lovers. We grew up with dogs. Animal rescue is something we hold close to our hearts, and it connects us very deeply. Our home has always been open to dogs in need. Before adopting Aria, we chose fostering because our lifestyle didn’t allow us to adopt, so we fostered homeless, neglected or abandoned dogs. While fostering helped those lives it gave us an opportunity to share our lives with dogs. We finally adopted Aria because we were able to provide her with a forever home without the concern of constant travel or relocation. Having a dog has always brought such joy in our lives. They make any day or any situation better. Their simplicity and unconditional love are truly priceless and is always valued in our home and lives.
How has Aria changed your life?
Ravania: Aria has been instrumental in teaching us perseverance, how to be resilient and patient. I’ve become more confident and assertive after adopting her. Our priorities have changed and now we live in the moment, celebrating little goals and victories we achieve each day.
Knowing that Aria had a rough past, how difficult was it to gain her trust and help her regain confidence?
Ravania: Before working on confidence and trust, we had to establish clear and healthy boundaries for Aria. Dogs are creatures of habit, patterns and predictability. We had to ensure that everything around her was stable and constant. Once this was achieved, trust and confidence building began, which is a constant process. Dealing with behaviour modification has been extremely challenging but once calmness becomes a habit, beautiful things unfold. Besides building trust and confidence, we have equipped Aria with essential skills in dealing with daily living. For us as a family, we had to ensure she copes well around past triggers. Training her around all these factors have contributed to confidence and trust building.
What are your favourite things to do with Aria?
Ravania: We simply love bonding with Aria with daily dosage of family hugs and kisses. Our daily walks, visits to her favourite doggie café, playing fetch are favourite things to do. We even randomly invent games in the spur of the moment. And we like expressing Aria’s personality through her social media platform.
What are Aria’s goofiest traits?
Ravania: Aria loves to silently hide behind the curtains as if we can’t see her. It’s funny how Aria protests immediately followed by sloppy kisses if her dad refuses to give her something. She loves watching football and animation. Aria is also a sock thief, and stealing my slippers is her daily ritual.
Since you’ve been fostering for a while now, what are some important things that you’ve learnt? How difficult is it to let a dog go who you’ve fostered for a while?
Ravania: Every dog deserves a chance and its worth the effort. That’s the most important thing that fostering has taught us. Fostering is the bridge between rescuing and adoption, which was a massive learning process for us. It is the best way to find out if we are ready for the lifelong commitment of making a dog a family member. However, letting a dog go after fostering them is extremely difficult and heart-breaking. At the same time, knowing that your foster has found a forever home surrounded by love always filled us with immeasurable joy. This motivated us to continue fostering.
What is the craziest thing you’d do for the love of dogs?
Ravania: We’ve added Aria to our will and life insurance with a legally registered guardian.