From Roaming Alone to Forever in a Home: Meet Yogi

A scruffy retriever mix made his way from home to home on the reservation, looking for scraps of food and a place to rest when he felt safe enough. This is Yogi’s routine for the first few years of his life. Our partner LightShine Canine: A Rez Dog Rescue, tried to rescue him during the summer of 2019, but Yogi was terrified of people. Mange wreaked havoc on his skin while secondary skin infections crept in. Yogi felt miserable, and he didn’t know if he could trust those that were trying to help him. The rescue couldn’t find him that winter.

After months of building up trust and slipping him medication, Yogi reappeared in the spring and finally accepted Lightshine’s helping paw in late March 2020. He got stitches for a wound on his head while they monitored his neck and scrotum injuries closely. It turns out people are not so bad after all. Yogi joined other rez dogs on a transport van to Minnesota foster homes, where they soon discovered the joy of living indoors.

Yogi seemed so shy, confused, and scared his first few days in his foster home. He wouldn’t look at them for days. Although, it didn’t take too long for Yogi to start trusting his fosters and feel more relaxed. His love for treats certainly helped, and he couldn’t turn down a belly rub.

Distraught, Yogi kept trying to cover his food dish that had leftover food in it. Once his foster mom understood what he was trying to do, she grabbed a towel and put it over his food bowl. Yogi felt content with this solution as his survival instincts were still in full effect. This reaction lasted about two weeks until Yogi finally realized no one would steal his food.

For the first time, Yogi could relax in the sun and not worry about other animals hurting him. He learned what toys are and proudly carried them around the house. He even learned how to perform some commands like sit, shake, and lay down.

His foster mom, Kate, says, “From coming from the reservation with no home, no family, no future, he realized and let himself be loved and cared for. His life got better, and he started to let himself relax and enjoy being a dog.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Your support makes these transformations possible. Yogi is currently enjoying his second chance at life in his forever home.