A lot of animals end up in shelters not necessarily because they’ve done anything wrong, but because their owners didn’t do their homework. People who are drawn in by the cuteness of a puppy or the look of a particular breed and make a lifelong decision without any research often end up shooting themselves in the foot and condemning their dogs.
There are also just those dogs who are special cases: Unique individuals who stand out from the crowd and their breed description because they have more energy or less confidence than others of their type.
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Marilla has lived in this kennel for 3 years except a brief stint in foster… not an easy life for a senior and yet, this girl is so full of joy… She is abundantly happy and ready for anything. I marvel at the spirits of these sweet beings and find inspiration in their sweetness…. I’m always on the lookout for the animal that’s been forgotten…the one that hasn’t made a sound and no one knows they’re there because they don’t demand attention. Every dog that comes into my space falls into that category. Advocacy isn’t just about loving them… it’s about creating a story that reflects their reality… making the community aware of their lives and hardships… and tirelessly pushing for them to be seen as the right dog for someone out there. I get a lot of messages and followers that have something to sell or want to promote a product. That’s not what this is… this is an authentic effort to save the lives of long stay shelter dogs. Not a popularity contest or instafame. I’m here for the dogs. That’s it. Not glamorous but this isn’t a glamorous situation. Unless of course we’re talking about Marilla ?. Because she is ultra glam! ???? #marilla #bullterrier #savinglives #savingshelterdogs #shelterdog #seniordog #staffie #thedodo #staffy #staffordshirebullterrier #bullybreed #pitbullsofinstagram #pitbulladvocate #adoptme #underdograilroad #fosteringsaveslives #austinadoptables #adoptadog
Not all dogs are good for beginners, but there are people out there who not only put up with difficult cases but actively search them out.
Hillary Aiges is one of those people. A trainer, she fosters dogs that people seem to have forgotten.
“I’ve been in Austin for the last several years, and one by one, I have been systematically able to take dogs who have been living in shelters for three or four years and advocate for them in a way that has helped them find their forever homes,” she told The Dodo. “So when my house became empty, I picked her up.”
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I just love her ? When she first got here she was extremely challenged by the traffic and noise… I live on a busy street… and she nearly pulled me into moving traffic twice. With some adjustments in equipment, and slowing everything down to super small thresholds of being able to handle just a little at a time, she has become quite comfortable. Since it’s been going so well we ventured off to a large park where she could roam around and do doggy things ? She has a blast so I’m happy. Shelter dogs need time. Things you wouldn’t think about can be overwhelming to a dog who’s been kenneled for years. Super slow exposure to new things, lots of reward for calm behavior and supporting confidence building makes a huge difference in the dog succeeding in a real home. Our Vanilla Gorilla is doing beautifully ???? #marilla #underdograilroad #dogvideo #adoptdontshop #insta #shelterdog #seniordog #staffordshirebullterrier #staffy #bullterrier #adoptable #austin #cuteanimals
The dog she’s referring to is a senior bull terrier who’s spent nearly a third of her life without a real home and family to call her own. Her name is Marilla.
“She’s an exceptionally happy, content, interesting little character,” Aiges said. “She has more energy than a young puppy, but she’s equally as affectionate and calm.”
In the time Aiges has had her, she’s seen the pup’s true personality bloom. Even though Marilla is 10 years old, you wouldn’t know it by looking at her.
“She is abundantly happy and ready for anything,” Aiges wrote on an Instagram post. “I marvel at the spirits of these sweet beings and find inspiration in their sweetness…. I’m always on the lookout for the animal that’s been forgotten…the one that hasn’t made a sound and no one knows they’re there because they don’t demand attention.”
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She’s here! Marilla has landed and the fun has begun ?. She is the most self entertaining little character I have ever met and I just adore how full of life this 9 year old sweetheart is ?. Three long years in shelter has not compromised her absolute love of life and her joy factor is contagious. I just find myself smiling being around her ? #marilla #seniordog #whitepitbull #loveabully #pitbulladvocate #followmeandmydogs #atx #fosteringsaveslives #underdograilroad #becauseiloveyou #shelterdog #adoptabull
“Every dog that comes into my space falls into that category. Advocacy isn’t just about loving them… it’s about creating a story that reflects their reality… making the community aware of their lives and hardships… and tirelessly pushing for them to be seen as the right dog for someone out there.”
Acting youthful and enjoying life doesn’t change the fact that this sweet pupper doesn’t have all the time in the world left, and Aiges is anxious for her to get into a forever home so she can enjoy the rest of her years doing fun things with her family.
“We need a happy ending. As a senior at 10, and having undergone major surgery, just living in shelters is not really an option for her any longer,” she said. “And she’s such an exceptionally sweet and easy dog to have in the home.”
At this time Marilla is still looking for a family. Aiges says the ideal situation would be in an active adult household.
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