Happily Ever After Stories

Happily Ever After: Sky and the Gottschalk Family

Once upon a time, Sky, a beautiful border collie, refused to eat. She wouldn’t relieve herself outside, stand up or play like a one-year-old pup should. She was depressed.

Tammy Gottschalk had been volunteering for the Animal Protective Association of Missouri (APA) for years. She often fostered animals, but usually took home kittens. One day, in an APA foster Facebook group, Gottschalk saw Sky.

“It sounded like she was shutting down,” Gottschalk says.

She stopped by on a Friday in January 2016 and inquired about the border collie she’d seen online. The dog was still at the APA, and desperately needed more attention than the rescue group was able to give her.

“The staff does so much great work, but they really needed [foster parents] for this one,” she says.

So Gottschalk took Sky home. She tried to get the sad pup to eat “basically everything in the fridge,” but Sky wouldn’t eat. Finally, Gottschalk scrambled some eggs for Sky. The dog ate a few tiny bites, and that was the beginning of her recovery.

“Days went by, and I could get her to eat the tiniest bite of chicken or a little bit of cheese,” Gottschalk says. “On day four, I came into the living room, and she was standing up and wagging in her kennel.”

After that, Sky continued to improve. Two months into the fostering process, Gottschalk knew she wouldn’t be able to part with Sky and decided to adopt her officially. In the nearly two years Gottschalk has had Sky, the pup has completely come out of her shell.

“We take her on long walks,” Gottschalk says. “Even after five, 10 miles, she still has energy. I’ve tried taking her along when I bike or skate, and she still has loads of energy.”

Sky expends her energy going on long walks, playing Frisbee and romping with her golden retriever sibling and the neighbor dogs. She’s been swimming, paddleboarding and canoeing. Gottschalk taught her how to go down the slide at the park and has also been trying to teach her to smile.

“When you put the time and energy into pets, it all comes back to you,” Gottschalk says. “We are just so in love with her. She’s come a long way.”

This story was originally published at laduenews.com. Read it on LN’s website here.

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