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LuLu and Shasta


In June of 2011, I lost my Sharpei LuLu.  She got slammed with a bout of Sharpei Fever and within a week her organs started to shut down... she had no chance. She fought so hard for me, until I felt it was just too much for her to endure.  I took her to our favorite park where I whispered in her ear "It is ok LuLu, I will be fine, you can go now."  Within an hour she left me.  I was devastated and heartbroken beyond belief.
 
When LuLu was still alive I remember visiting the Oahu SPCA website and saw Shasta's profile.  She caught my eye because she was another cute Sharpei, but what really had an effect on me was that she had been in this "no kill" shelter for over 2 years.  Nobody wanted her and that made me extremely sad.  But at that time I had a healthy LuLu, so I really couldn't take in another dog.  
 
About a month after LuLu's passing, I finally felt ready to open up to another dog. While visiting some Sharpei puppies for sale I asked the owner by any chance is the Oahu SPCA shelter near here.  She said it is only a couple miles away and that she is a volunteer there.  (I am a true believer that EVERYTHING happens for a reason).  I asked her is there a dog Shasta still there, and to my surprise she smiled and said "YES she is!"  Excitement shot thru my body and I knew I needed to go meet her.  When I arrived they were already closed, but I mentioned if I could just take a quick peek at Shasta, and she said sure!  She was the first kennel as you walked in.  She was exactly how I remembered her on the website but even cuter!  Just at that moment a volunteer was going to take her for her daily walks, so I asked if I could come along and he said sure!  Shasta kept barking at me and seemed very skiddish, but we made it through the whole walk.  When I got home that night, I couldn't get Shasta out of my mind.  Of course the Sharpei puppies were so cute, but Shasta had already stole my heart, although I knew she didn't feel the same.  
 
I had learned that Shasta had been badly abused and had many trust issues (which you can clearly understand why), and had been at the Waianae shelter before coming to this shelter.  Shasta had been adopted by someone before me, but became so startled by just the drop of a key, that she took off running.  I believe it was Rachel & Deana Halverson both volunteers at the shelter who went looking and found her hiding in a bush in the middle of the night.  This is the kind of unconditional love these volunteers have.  
 
I knew Shasta was a dog needing unconditional love, understanding and a lot of patience.  I went and sat for hours with her in her kennel for the next 10 days straight, her on one end and I on the other.  My intent was for her to get used to me and maybe let me in her heart slowly.  Around the 8th day, I could sense she sorta was getting used to me but I still wasn’t sure.  I finally decided I need to bring her home so she could feel secure, loved and know that I would never leave her side.  I adopted her on August 10, 2011.  
 
I am so proud to say Shasta is the most loving, smart, and best friend I could ever ask for.  She still has some issues and I believe those will always be with her, but she has come such a long way.  I now know she has fully let me into her heart and I promise her everyday that I will never break it or her trust that we have both worked so hard for.  People say what a blessing I am to have adopted her, but I always say it is not me, but together we help each other every day.  I truly believe LuLu has brought Shasta to me.  I love them both so much.
 
Thank you for reading our story, and I would encourage everyone for considering adopting one of the millions of homeless dogs and cats out there.  But please be ready for the full love and responsibility they come with.  
A special thank you to my good friend Kim Kitsuki who shot the video of me and Shasta.