Citrine, a beautiful 17-year-young female feline at Second Chance Humane Society, knows there’s a family out there that needs her. (Courtesy photo)

Today’s Pet Column is about gratitude. Recently, my staff received a letter from an adopter, who we will refer to as Mandy. Mandy has sent occasional updates over the three years since adopting her dog from Second Chance, but this one was special. Second Chance Humane Society and I believe people and pets live better together. This letter, which Mandy gave us permission to share, poignantly illustrates that truth.

Mandy’s letter was beautifully and thoughtfully written, first describing how she and her dog found each other through an unforgettable sequence of events that led her to the Second Chance shelter. Mandy described her adopted dog, referred to as Polly who Second Chance had rescued from a hoarding case, as happy and calm until triggered by new situations into being “a terrified bundle of nerves” who “dove for my legs and stayed there hunched and trembling”.

Mandy has worked hard with Polly and never given up. Her most recent update generously offered a new perspective:

“In the past, I only sent the positive updates — successful training classes, new tricks, new titles. At the time, I was dealing with more than just a broken heart from the loss of my last fur baby. I was also dealing with social anxiety with bouts of depression. And because of that, I was afraid that telling anyone of her struggles meant revealing that I was failing her or maybe it meant I wasn't her ideal person and she'd be taken away somehow. But, by diving in to helping her heal and learn to be a confident and happy border collie, she was helping me, too.”

Mandy detailed how far her dog has come, despite a few setbacks along the way, finally playing happily with other dogs, engaging in the world without angst, being OK when not with Mandy. Mandy also shared her own personal successes:

“I sometimes can't find the motivation to get out and do something, but the way she bounces to the door and smiles back at me convinces me that I can handle at least a short walk that often turns into a long walk. And sometimes, when the day is just too hard and I can only manage the bare minimum, she is right there by my side as if to say, ‘It's OK, Mom. We can just chill today.’”

Mandy described all the new friends and acquaintances she has made through her activities with her dog that she would have never tried to do on her own. She closed her letter with this:

“Looking back, I know we were meant to find each other. And I know that when she looked at me from her pen and started jumping up that was her way of saying she chose me. So, as we approach the upcoming holiday season, I would like to say I'm thankful for Second Chance Humane Society for giving her a shot at a better life. And I'm so very thankful for Polly who brightens my world every day.”


My name is Citrine. I am a beautiful 17-year-young female feline full of pep and spunk. Sadly, my person had to go into a nursing home so I am seeking a new home. I am friendly, playful and get along well with other cats. Despite my recent loss, it is clear I have another family out there that needs me. I am grateful for Mandy and Polly for reminding us all of the power of the human-animal bond this holiday season.

Second Chance Humane Society’s Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops have been servicing San Miguel, Ouray and Montrose counties for over 25 years. Call the Second Chance Helpline at 970-626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, Feral Cat or other services. View our shelter pets and services online at