Sarah Veilleux

Chef Sarah at Three!

Chef Sarah at Three!

I’m not one to brag, but it’s amazing to look back over the past four years and realize that my children have had as much of an impact on our rescue efforts as I have.

With regard to Sarah, at first, letting go was hard for her. She would say goodbye, one dog at a time, sometimes she shed a tear, but the more dogs we rescued, the easier it became for her to process. I think after she experienced our first reunion, and she got to see all of the dogs again, she realized that it’s never really goodbye… it’s more like, I’ll see you later!

Sarah with a Shwestie Puppy 2009

Sarah with a Shwestie Puppy 2009

Speaking of reunions, Sarah would pride herself at being able to “name that dog” as they arrived. One by one, she knew them all… well, except for one. When Ron and Dawn Sweeney arrived with Baby Bling, we were all stumped!  The last time we saw Bling she was just a fluffy little white bundle!

Sarah with Jet 2009

Sarah with Jet 2009

As a Mom, it was really hard to keep Sarah away from the new arrivals. I remember reviewing Jet’s intake paperwork, and there in large print, it stated “not good with children.” I looked over at my daughter hugging Jet, and shared with her what the paperwork said. “Seriously, Mom?”

You know how at school, kids always talk about what their parents do – my Dad works at the hospital, my Mom works at the bank.  When Sarah shared with her friends that we rescue dogs… the conversation got a bit complicated.  She explained to her little friends how important it is that we spay/neuter all of our dogs, and that generated even more questions.  When one little boy raised his hand and asked the teacher what spay and neuter meant – the teacher was not very pleased!

Sarah and China 2010

Sarah and China 2010

As Sarah got older, she invited many of her friends to our house to meet the dogs, which gave me a break!  I may have had to put more hot dogs on the grill or peel a few more potatoes for them, but watching a bunch of kids play with the dogs is awesome!

In August of 2010, we rescued a deaf Aussie, China, and something happened.  Sarah and China had a bond.  At the time, Sarah was being picked on at school, and her whole world was all about China.  China, on the other hand, needed Sarah, to the point where it looked like China was surgically attached to my daughter!

Mother's Day 2010

Mother’s Day 2010

While China was terrified of every human being on the planet, she was not afraid of Sarah, but she used Sarah has her shield.   What I noticed when I snapped the photo shown on the right was Sarah’s self-esteem.  China did something for Sarah that no one ever could.  She gave her unconditional love, and a sense of pride.  They were bonded.  Several months later, against my will, I told Sarah that China belonged to her, permanently.

Eventually, China learned to trust other people, especially adults, and her story was so compelling, I actually published, Deaf Dogs Hear with their Hearts.

Sarah, Baby Ga Ga and China 2011

Sarah, Baby Ga Ga and China 2011

Since 2010, Sarah has taken a personal interest in all of the deaf and/or deaf/blind dogs we have fostered.  She simply doesn’t see the glass as half empty!

With the number of dogs we have fostered and adopted, it’s amazing that Sarah has not been hurt. Dogs that come here have been through a lot, they are scared, nervous, and unsure. Even though I have warned her about specific dogs, asking her not to interact with them unless I am there with her, for the most part, she listens to me… but not always!

Sarah with Marbles, 2012

Sarah with Marbles, 2012

As in the case of Boo Boo, no one could put a collar on her, or a leash.  Boo Boo was terrified.  I told Sarah numerous times to give Boo Boo her space and not to interact with her.  One morning I woke up a little bit later than Sarah, and she was sitting on the couch playing with my Ipad.  She informed me that all of the dogs had been let out  (in shifts) and they had all been fed.  I thanked her, and walked into the kitchen to make coffee when I quickly back tracked and asked, “what about Boo Boo?”  Sarah didn’t even look up at me when she blurted “I let her out too”.

“How?”  I asked.  She looked up at me like I was an idiot.  “I opened her crate, I put a slip leash on her, and let her out!  I fed her, and put her back in!  Mom, this isn’t rocket science,” she answered.  “But how?”  I asked her again.  Sarah went back to playing on the Ipod and without any emotion she answered, “she trusts me.”

This is a private party Mom!

This is a private party Mom!

We fostered Boo Boo for a few weeks, giving her the time she needed to trust humans, so she could go to the Vet.  While at Newman Veterinary Center, Boo Boo would not let anyone put a collar, leash or muzzle on her.  Nope.  It was not going to happen!

Ryan with Bart 2012

Ryan with Bart 2012

Many have left comments on Facebook that Sarah is a natural, and in many cases, she is!  While my son Ryan loves the dogs we foster, and he has his favorites, he doesn’t gravitate to them like Sarah does.  Ryan focuses on fixing things, moving things, cleaning and making things better!  Can you imagine how many holes he’s filled with dirt?  Ryan would rather not get his picture taken, and prefers doing behind-the-scenes stuff!

Sarah holding Ralph

Sarah holding Ralph

The Dog Liberator truly is a family affair, we talk about the newbies that are coming, and brainstorm on finding new names for them, we discuss the music we will use when it’s time to publish the dog’s video, and we share our opinions with regard to what the dog needs to become balanced.

Recently, we rescued a little Poodle, Alfalfa.  Clearly, Alfie has learned a lot from Sarah, and in the past few days he is eating, playing, and has found his joy, all because of Sarah’s efforts.  Recently, Sarah has been taking Alfie for walks with the pack, and that really helped Alfie’s self-esteem.  It’s amazing!

Sarah and China 2013

Sarah and China 2013

We have written many touching stories about our volunteers, and every time I marvel at the amount of sacrifice people will make for our dogs.  They drive to Timbuktu to transport, or foster for us.  Some deliver donated items to my door, while others have clicked on a button from their computers to help us out… but I can’t ignore and must share who really has become quite an important figure at TDL… my Sarah!

Sarah been asking me if I can teach her some of TDL’s administrative tasks.  She wants me to teach her how to update the calendar.  Maybe one day she will want to tackle more duties, like keeping up our micro-chip database, and possibly one day, she will post for TDL!  I’m not going to push it though, I know that Sarah’s dream is to become a chef, but in the meantime, helping Mom with the dogs is fine with me!

Sarah solicits friends to show Alfie how to walk with the pack!

Sarah solicits friends to show Alfie how to walk with the pack!

How many ten year-old kids would do this?  I’m not sure, but I bet it’s more than you think!  So if you’re a friend of Sarah’s and you want to come over this weekend, just be warned, you’ll be taking a dog for a walk!

Kids have trouble in school, they have a hard time fitting in, maybe they have low self-esteem or even the opposite!  Maybe they are full of themselves and think they have nothing to learn… but when a kid bonds with a dog, everything changes.   I’ve seen it.  I’ve seen Sarah have a bad day, and come home straight to China!  The right dog can help a child feel proud, yet humble at times.  When a child earns the love of a dog, they aren’t as afraid to try new things, because should they fail, their dog still loves them!

I always have my camera handy, and if I don’t, there’s always my cell phone, but I rarely can get a photo of Sarah without having China in it!

Sarah and China 2013

Sarah and China 2013

So, cheers Sarahlooch, for letting the dogs out late at night, long after I’ve gone to bed, and for getting up early to a crying puppy that needs her company.  For leash training a dog just because she feels like it, for giving a dog a bath so it will smell nice for its new people!  Now if only I could get her to empty the dishwasher every day!

Click here and Read about Sarah’s first solo adoption!

Click here and read all about Bennett’s Boots!

Sarah loves her Shirley Temples!

Sarah loves her Shirley Temples!

Email us for more information: TheDogLiberator@gmail.com







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