Orlane, a crossbred fox terrier and her mum, Océane are inseparable. But life had not started so well for Orlane who had to face many hardships before finding the home she deserved. Discover the moving story of Orlane, a dog adopted in adulthood who, in addition to giving happiness to her family, now brings comfort to the elderly people of the retirement home where she helps in the facilitation of animal mediation sessions.
Orlane was adopted in 2016 when she was 4 years old and wandering the streets of Paris.
Orlane was neither chipped or sterilised and was clearly famished when she arrived at the SPA (the biggest animal welfare association in Paris). They think she was a stray for a while and might have been used for breeding purposes. They took her in and quickly brought her back to health. She was then adopted by Oceane and able to start a new life.
"We got to know each other, she’s a bundle of love"
Océane tells us:
"When Orlane came home, I was pleased to see that even though she had never received any training, she was clean and calm inside the house and very energetic and playful outside the house. Watching her, I learned a lot about her past: for example, Orlane tended to be frightened in the presence of men, but not women. I also tried to play fetch, but she immediately tried to run away. I concluded that she must have been beaten in the past.
Today, she is a dog who knows how to follow me, even without a leash, and I can take her everywhere. She has maintained her strong character, and I think it’s important to respect the personality of your animal. She doesn’t have an ounce of aggression in her, she’s a bundle of love!
We also volunteer as a foster family for an animal welfare association, which is great. We currently have a cat and a rabbit at home and both of them were immediately accepted by Orlane."
Orlane, a survivor who helps others ...
"Some time ago, I decided to try the volunteering experience with my dog, taking her to do animal mediation in a retirement home. Accompanied by a psychotherapist, we will visit seniors and spend time with them. Most residents interested in this initiative are people who used to have animals but can’t anymore. It’s an invigorating experience for them, and a pampering treat for Orlane. It's amazing to see how people open up when I bring my dog; they talk about their past, about their animals, and they’re almost instantly happy and comforted. The results are particularly spectacular on patients with dementia or Alzheimer's disease. Residents are so happy with these meetings that they look forward to them. It gives them something to look forward to. Some of them even save up on treats during the week so they can give them to Orlane at the end of the session ... And she doesn’t need to be asked twice! She is always very excited when we go to the retirement home."
.. And who has just saved an abandoned kitten!
"While we were walking around my home, Orlane followed a smell and discovered a kitten of a few weeks old, abandoned in a bush. She warned me of her presence without using any aggression. Thanks to her "nose" and the actions we took (knocking on doors, issuing a Pet Alert, contacted associations, etc.), we were able to find a new family for this kitten. He is now safe and sound, thanks to Orlane."
This heartwarming story is what the #CompanionAnimalForLife project is all about. We want more animals to get a second chance at life, and we want their stories to be heard. Do you have a story of your own, please don’t hesitate to share with us as we are always on the lookout for featuring more stories.
To find out more about what it means to be a "foster family" for an animal welfare association, click here, or why you should always choose adoption, click here.
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