Cookie, a Bernese Mountain puppy, came into the care of the Guelph Humane Society (GHS) in January 2022. She required emergency high-risk surgery because a swallowed toothpick had penetrated her abdominal wall causing a lot of damage.

If Cookie could survive the first few days after surgery, her chances at life would increase significantly. Cookie’s veterinary care was only possible because of GHS supporters and paid for entirely with donor dollars.

The team at Guelph Humane Society was hoping for her to make a full recovery, and thankfully, she did.

Bernese Mountain Dog in snow
In photo: Cookie. Photo Credit: Lindsay Obress

Cookie is one of GHS’s many success stories. For years the GHS has been providing animal sheltering, surrender, and adoption services, veterinary care, pet identification, a progressive spay/neuter program, and lost pet returns. They also provide care and assistance with sick, orphaned, and injured wildlife.

After a few days of rest and recovery, Cookie was discharged to the shelter where the staff fell in love with her right away. Cookie is a bright dog that is easily excitable with lots of energy (not unlike many puppies), so she needed the right type of owner to take her on as a forever family member.

While at the shelter, Cookie’s profile was posted on both GHS’s adoption web page and Instagram. Within just two days of being on the website she was officially adopted by March.

The Guelph Humane Society has transparent, open conversations during the process of adoption, discussing topics like animal personalities and whether an adoption is a good fit for the animal and the family. The first step in the adoption process is a phone meeting with the adoption program coordinator. “We will ask things like if there are children or other pets in the home. If there are other pets in the home (for example mixing dogs), we would require a meet n’ greet, to make sure it’s a good fit for the animals.”

When Cookie’s current owners, Lindsay and her partner, saw Cookie on the GHS’s Instagram page, they applied immediately to adopt her. Having a Bernese Mountain Dog growing up, Lindsay already had experience and knowledge of the breed. “It’s a lovable breed. They never really learn how big they are,” Lindsay says affectionately. Once she had received an email back, she went through the interview process and an outdoor meet n greet’ to shake paws and get familiar with each other. She was struck by how friendly and happy Cookie was and how much energy she had.

Even with her knowledge and experience of the breed, Lindsay and her partner diligently took Cookie to a trainer and are still working through things (like all of us dog owners). They remain careful with her so that she is not able to get into things that she could swallow. They are delighted with how far she’s come in such a short time – training works!

Her new owners delight in her every day and are so grateful to the Guelph Humane Society for giving Cookie a second chance. Cookie’s adoption process illustrates the care that the Guelph Humane Society provides for all of their animals.

If you’re considering adding a furry friend to your family this holiday season, check out their website to see all of the loving animals who are in need of a good home.

Can’t adopt this season but want to give back to our furry friends in need? A non-profit organization, the GHS doesn’t receive any government funding. That means your donations matter. Whether it’s cash, food, or blankets, or participation in the corporate giving initiatives such as sponsorship, fundraising, or kennel adoption programs, the GHS appreciates the community’s support. This Giving Tuesday, November 29, gifts will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, up to $10,000, thanks to a generous donor. Donate online for your gift to be matched.

Give the GHS a follow on social media. You never know when it will be love at first swipe.

Adapted from One Happy Tail (tale) by Ellyn Lusis, The Guelph Chamber of Commerce’s Acorn Magazine, November 2022.