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Little Red – Learning to Walk

Some relationships take a long time to gel.

Marta Bannister is a volunteer dog-walker at RAPS (and also serves on the RAPS board). Little Red was a feral dog that was trapped and brought to the RAPS City Shelter more than four years ago.

“She has been adopted out previously – twice I think – and both times she managed to run away,” Marta recalls. “At that point, I think, the Shelter was just going to keep her.”

But over the course of walking her three to five times a week, Marta and her husband Martin developed a bond with Little Red.

“We brought her for a sleepover one night and it was eventful because, being a dog who had never lived in a house, she was very scared of simple things like the refrigerator coming on, the TV making noises.”

Red was stressed out, but they brought her home again and eventually, around the beginning of July, she settled in and made their home her home.

“She’s adjusted so well,” says Marta. “I think having another dog really helps her because she had a lot of confidence issues. The other dog that we have is very confident. She kind of fed off that and followed his lead.”

In the early days, Little Red couldn’t even enjoy what most dogs love best.

“You couldn’t take her for a walk when we first started,” says Marta. Little Red needed a harness and a leash because she could become spooked by the slightest thing and she would panic and try to run. Or the problem was sometimes the opposite.

“We were told that she was famous for this thing where she would walk and then would just drop her butt down and you couldn’t get her to go,” Marta says. “People had picked her up and carried her back because she didn’t want to go any further. She’s the opposite now. She wants to go. She’s a little explorer.”

In fact, she can’t wait to get up and start the day.

“She’s an early-morning dog,” Marta says. “She’s bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.”

Marta and Martin adopted Little Red because they believed she deserved a life that wasn’t limited to an animal shelter.

“She’s a challenge, but at the same time, she deserves a chance,” Marta says. “And she adapts so well. They are very adaptive creatures. She’s come such a long way.”