HSNEGA’s Intern Stephanie’s Adoption Angel Lock-In Experience

September 24, 2020 was the day I had the opportunity to be locked up for good with Apollo, a Chow Chow/Retriever mix at the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia…

Before I start my emotional story with Apollo let me start from the beginning, one morning Dominique, my mentor at HSNEGA, asked me to record videos of rescues on HSNEGA’s Instagram Story. I went back to the Large Dog Adoption room and started walking back and forth from kennel to kennel. I noticed a few new dogs in the Adoption Center but one made an instant connection with me. It was Apollo. I took him out to the Bark Park to get to know him better. Once we were outside Apollo bloomed like a flower during springtime and showed his true colors. Apollo didn’t hesitate to show me he was ready to play as a 1-year-old dog should. I felt so loved by Apollo, on that day he chose me as his “penmate.”

Now time for the emotional rollercoaster. When I arrived at HSNEGA for the Adoption Angel Lock-In, I clutched the blanket and treats I had for Apollo into my chest! The minute I stepped into Apollo’s kennel he started begging for treats and not so much my attention. The first hour and a half were rough. He paid no attention to me. He just kept running to both sides of his kennel more interested in the people who passed by. I felt unappreciated and heartbroken… I was there to give him love and attention, why didn’t he understand that?

Around 10:30 am Apollo settled down. I noticed Apollo’s favorite spot to sit was the far right side of the kennel. Wherever Apollo moved, I moved – I really wanted to get a sense of his daily life. As I continued to follow Apollo to his favorite spot, I realized he was staring at Turbo, another rescue. Lindsey, HSNEGA’s Marketing Specialist, filled me in that Apollo and Turbo were siblings adopted together as puppies. They were raised together and this was the first time since they were puppies that they were apart.

After hearing their story, my heart shattered into a million pieces. I was witnessing first hand their sadness, their longing for something familiar. I kept thinking of their past life and tried to picture if that was me, how would I feel? Crazy to put yourself in a dog’s life but I did, I emotionally wanted to feel what Apollo was feeling. He was confused as to why his family brought him back to the place they adopted him from and why he could not get to his sister Turbo’s side. I finally understood his pacing back and forth and why he sat on that particular side.

Finally, Apollo started to cuddle and play with me. I was so happy when I finally felt noticed! But, it never failed, every little noise he heard had to be investigated. It was like Apollo was hoping it was his old family walking through the door, which made me even sadder.

After lunch, the other penmates and the dogs in the Large Dog Adoption Room seemed to really quiet down. Apollo’s pacing slowed. I noticed him getting tired so I kept encouraging him to sit and somewhat forced him to cuddle with me. Finally, without even realizing it happened, Apollo and I fell asleep to the quiet kennels and classical music playing.

~Stephanie, HSNEGA Intern and Adoption Angel Lock-In penmate

The Adoption Angel Lock-In, an HSNEGA annual event, raises funds and awareness for adoption and rescue efforts. To see the adoptable rescues who benefit from events like the Adoption Angel Lock-In visit HSNEGA.org/adopt.

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At HSNEGA, we want to remember the amazing rescues that come to stay with us. All of the animals pictured on this site have been with us at some point. Some have already found their forever homes, but some may still be here at HSNEGA! The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization (Federal Tax ID #58-0678817) and has received top recognition from the following charity rating organizations:

Best of Georgia, GreatNonProfit & GuideStar Seals

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