The Golden Retriever mix at Panhandle Animal Welfare Society in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, wasn’t putting her best paw forward when the shelter worker took her photo for her Petfinder listing. She wouldn’t look up at the camera and just stood there with her tail tucked tightly under her body.
What Leslie Davis saw in the photo was a scared little dog. But other than being very timid, the dog sounded like what the Deerfield Beach, Florida, woman was looking for: “a spayed female, Golden mix, under 30 pounds, and requiring only daily walks and lots of TLC [tender loving care].” She contacted the shelter to find out if the dog was still available for adoption. She was, and Leslie learned that the dog had been abandoned at the shelter.
“The thought of this gentle, timid little dog being abandoned like that sealed the deal for me,” Leslie says. One problem loomed. She lived in southern Florida, and the shelter was, as its name says, in the panhandle. She didn’t want to make the long trip alone.
“That’s when two wonderful things happened. My new friend Patsy, whom I had met and come to know at the animal shelter where we both volunteered, offered to come with me. And my new neighbor agreed to look after my cats during the overnight stay. With everything in place, we hit the road,” she says.
“I met my little girl the next day. She was so scared that someone had to carry her into the adoption room, but despite her fear she readily let Patsy and me pet her. Sufficiently smitten, I changed her name to Marlee, and we headed home.”
Leslie’s TLC has worked its magic: Marlee is no longer the timid dog she once was. On walks, “she wants to go up to everyone we pass to say hello, whether she has ever seen them before or not,” Leslie says. She is so people-friendly that they are working toward becoming a therapy team. It looks as if Marlee will get a chance to pass forward some of that TLC.