At Always & Furever Midwest Animal Sanctuary, there’s an area called “the little red barn” where the dogs can hang out together and roam free, just like the way it’ll be when they finally find their forever homes. Most of the animals at the sanctuary come from big overcrowded shelters, and so having a quiet, home-like environment where they can relax means a lot.
“The communal area is meant to be a replica of your average home environment, so that the dogs can live stress-free and decompress … until the day their furever family finds them, and if that day never comes then we will have been that home and family for them to live out their final days,” Miranda Munden, a staffer at Always & Furever Midwest Animal Sanctuary, told The Dodo.
Having dogs living in a home-like environment hopefully also helps with the transition once they’re adopted and head off to their forever homes. Everyone at the sanctuary has tried to make the area as cozy and homey as possible, and the dogs definitely seem to enjoy it.
“There is a kitchen area (full of peanut butter and spray cheese), a laundry room (constantly running), a doggy door that leads to one of our four huge fenced yards, and of course the open living area which is full of dog beds, kennels, and donated leather couches (easier to wipe down),” Munden said. “There is also a small picket fence area that acts as a downstairs ‘suite’ for the dogs who may want a little more solitude or a break from the pack but don’t want to go in a kennel. We also have classical music playing constantly.”
It’s important to everyone there that the sanctuary feels like home to all the animals who live there, so in the little red barn area, each dog is tucked in before bed and gets a personalized goodnight — every single night.
“Each night, we make sure to go around to each dog, tuck them in, remind them that they are safe and loved, and wish them goodnight,” Munden said. “Then we turn out the lights and turn on the moon nightlight.”
The length of goodnight routine varies depending on how many dogs are currently staying in the barn. If there are more dogs, each dog gets a traditional but still very genuine and heartfelt goodnight. If there are less dogs, the goodnight routine may include a few extra steps, like a special bedtime story.
“Around Christmas time I read a pit bull named Diego ‘The Night Before Christmas’ bedtime story, on a different night I read our long-time resident pit bull Sally a poem one of our followers wrote about her miracle story,” Munden said.
With this special bedtime routine, every dog feels like they’re wanted and appreciated, which for a shelter dog really does mean so much. They go to sleep knowing that they’re so loved, and they wake up feeling exactly the same way.
“In the mornings, our owner starts the day bright and early and it’s always a crazy wiggle butt fest as everyone is excited to start the day and eat breakfast,” Munden said.
Of course, the hope is always that every animal at the sanctuary will eventually find a forever family who will love them for the rest of their days. Until then, though, everyone at Always & Furever Midwest Animal Sanctuary will continue to make sure they’re all happy, healthy and safe, and that they’re reminded every day of just how loved they really are.
If you’d like to help some animals in need, you can donate to Always & Furever Midwest Animal Sanctuary.
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Source: The Dodo