“We make a point of going around to each dog and tucking them in, reminding them that they are secure and loved, and wishing them goodnight.” ❤️️
Always & Furever Midwest Animal Sanctuary has a section called “the tiny red barn” where the dogs may hang out and wander free, exactly as they will when they find their forever homes. The majority of the animals at the sanctuary came from large overcrowded shelters, so having a calm, home-like setting where they can relax means a lot to them.
“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, an Always & Furever Midwest Animal Sanctuary staffer, told The Dodo.
Having dogs living in a home-like setting should aid with the adjustment once they’ve been adopted and are on their way to their permanent homes. Everyone at the sanctuary has worked hard to make the facility as comfortable and welcoming as possible for the dogs.
“There’s 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 massive 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 explained. “There is also a tiny picket fence section that serves as a downstairs’suite’ for dogs that need a bit more alone or a break from the herd but don’t want to go into a kennel.” We also have classical music playing all of the time.”
It’s vital to everyone at the sanctuary that the sanctuary seems like home to all of the animals that reside there, so each dog is snuggled in before bed and receives a customized goodnight – every single night — in the tiny red barn area.
“Every night, we make a point of going around to each dog, tucking them in, reminding them that they are secure and loved, and wishing them goodnight,” Munden explained. “We then turn out the lights and switch on the moon nightlight.”
The length of the goodnight ritual varies according to the number of dogs currently housed in the barn. If there are more dogs, each one receives a customary but extremely real and emotional goodnight. If there are fewer dogs in the household, the evening routine may contain a few more stages, such as a special bedtime reading.
“Around Christmas time, I read a pit bull called Diego ‘The Night Before Christmas’ bedtime tale, and on another night, I read a poem one of our followers made about Sally’s miracle story,” Munden added.
With this particular evening routine, every dog feels welcomed and valued, which means a lot to a shelter dog. They go to bed knowing how much they are loved, and they wake up feeling the same way.
“Our owner starts the day bright and early in the mornings, and it’s usually a wild wiggle butt fest as everyone is anxious to start the day and eat breakfast,” Munden explained.
Of course, the ideal is that every animal at the refuge will find a permanent family who will adore them for the rest of their lives. Until then, everyone at Always & Furever Midwest Animal Sanctuary will continue to ensure that they are all happy, healthy, and safe, and that they are reminded every day of how much they are loved.