Last week I shared with you our dog rescue story and today we are joining Bloggers Unite for Dog Rescue, a special online global event held on July 23, 2012 stressing the importance of dog adoption. BTC4animals.com is proud to partner with Blog Catalog, Dog Rescue Success and YOU to harness a global online community to help save the lives of dogs in need.
This is my friend Wilson. He was once a stray, and this beautiful video shows what can come from adoption. This video celebrates his success as a therapy dog. Thank you Loretta for sharing this with me!
Since last week I was having issues with my ‘commenting form’ I thought I would again post my dog rescue story for those of you who missed it or was unable to leave any comments.
My Dog Rescue Story
On October 3, 2010, D and I went to our local pet store to pick up a few items for our Golden Retriever – waste bags, some treats, and maybe a toy. There was an adoption drive going on that day, sponsored by a local rescue outfit. As we passed by the area where they had set up shop, we noticed the sweetest little creature walking among a group of children, passing from lap to lap. This little Dachshund caught my husband’s eye, and I suspected that we’d be circling around to see her again. A few steps down the first aisle, D confirmed my suspicion, declaring, “I’m going back to look at the dog.” I continued on to gather the items on our list.
When I rounded the corner back to the adoption area, I knew almost immediately that we’d be giving the dog a new home; the look in D’s eyes told me so. It turns out that the group of kids we’d seen with the dog when we first came in were all from one family, whose mother had been on the phone trying to talk her husband into okay-ing the adoption; evidently it hadn’t worked. We had previously discussed adding another furry friend to our family (down the road, of course) but the opportunity didn’t just drop – it JUMPED into our lap and we had to consider it a gift.
This little girl, originally named Betty Jane by her foster mother, quickly became ‘Penny’ on our drive home; Penny just sounded like it should be her ‘forever’ name. The agency told us that she had originally been owned by an older lady in the process of retiring and moving, who was not able to care for her dogs any longer. I don’t know how many foster families Penny had stayed with after having been given up, but her last foster family had wonderful things to say about her.
This was the first adoption for either of us. We were aware that there were going to be some adjustments for everyone as the dog acclimated to new surroundings – and a new sibling. We knew that we were going to have to deal with a few curveballs - both immediately, and down the road. How old was this dog? Had she been well cared for? Was she well-adjusted? Housebroken? Socialized? We also knew that the process of answering these questions could take some time; we could ask Penny any of those questions as many times as we wanted - she couldn’t answer.
Penny tolerated our Golden\u2019s curiosity and\n\u201Chey-are-you-my-new-play-buddy?\u201D attitude remarkably well, but overall she was\nat best indifferent toward her new sister. \nD and I practiced getting the dogs together, making them share the same\nlounging space. Penny didn\u2019t seem to be terribly interested in fetch or\ntug-of-war, or much else beyond lounging. \nShe may have snarled once at the Golden, but never got possessive over\nfood or any toy that may have captured her attention. This was a big relief considering D\u2019s tales\nof his family\u2019s Dachshunds.
The first real surprise with the new dog was the fleas. We\u2019d never had to deal with them before. Penny definitely didn\u2019t dig our numerous\nattempts to rid her of her riders\u2026 bathing, bathing, bathing and more\nbathing. She also didn\u2019t care for her\nfirst visit to our Vet\u2019s office, where she was diagnosed with a mild yeast\ninfection in her ears; not uncommon in floppy-eared dogs. She weighed in at 14.4 lbs. \u2013 a little on the\nchunky side for her long frame. What we\ndid learn from the vet was that she is was just a little over a year old, and\nhad probably given birth to a litter or two before she found herself at\nGinger\u2019s Pet Rescue.","engine":"visual"}" data-block-type="2" id="block-b19668cfdb6c8d2b98b6">
The first day was simple enough. While not completely at ease, Penny seemed happy to have two warm laps to inhabit; we still kept a careful lookout for any snarling or snapping, either at us or at our Golden. The first night we discovered that Penny really didn’t like night time. We put her in her crate without too much fuss or resistance, but once the lights were out and she couldn't see us, the crying started. We mitigated this easily enough by putting her crate up on an ottoman next to our bed so that she could hear or smell us better. It worked really well in the long-run, though for about two weeks the first twenty minutes of bed time every night were rough.
Penny tolerated our Golden’s curiosity and “hey-are-you-my-new-play-buddy?” attitude remarkably well, but overall she was at best indifferent toward her new sister. D and I practiced getting the dogs together, making them share the same lounging space. Penny didn’t seem to be terribly interested in fetch or tug-of-war, or much else beyond lounging. She may have snarled once at the Golden, but never got possessive over food or any toy that may have captured her attention. This was a big relief considering D’s tales of his family’s Dachshunds.
The first real surprise with the new dog was the fleas. We’d never had to deal with them before. Penny definitely didn’t dig our numerous attempts to rid her of her riders… bathing, bathing, bathing and more bathing. She also didn’t care for her first visit to our Vet’s office, where she was diagnosed with a mild yeast infection in her ears; not uncommon in floppy-eared dogs. She weighed in at 14.4 lbs. – a little on the chunky side for her long frame. What we did learn from the vet was that she is was just a little over a year old, and had probably given birth to a litter or two before she found herself at Ginger’s Pet Rescue.
Our first attempts at crate training were quite interesting to say the least. Penny was not used to being in a crate, and she exhibited a lot of separation anxiety. Every day we were changing the bedding… it was as though every time we left the house, Penny was sure we weren’t coming home, so she relieved herself. We were really sad about this. How was it that she could hold it all in for eight hours a night, but couldn’t last even three hours during the day when no one was around? D and I spent a good deal of time patiently introducing the crate to Penny as her own safe place to relax when no one was around.
Now let’s fast forward to the present… None of the issues Penny exhibited persisted beyond about four months (don’t worry, the fleas only took two weeks to eliminate), though she was – and still can be a tad ‘talkative’ – when no one is in the house. After the first month of adjustment, Penny began to wow us with new, crazy and hilarious personality traits, beginning over the Thanksgiving weekend with the most incredible frenzied romp in the snow. Just about every week after that something unique would emerge that just made our hearts jump with joy. This dog really loved us, and our patience was paying off! She’s now a svelte 10 lbs. girl (who still does not care for baths) who willingly runs into her crate when we tell her to go to bed; who – when not in someone’s lap – is snuggled up so tightly with Luna that it makes your heart melt; who actively seeks out play time with her sister.
Penny definitely has her little quirks (like finding her voice now at almost three years of age) but to think of ourselves without her in our lives is unimaginable. While I’m sure the trials we faced were mild compared to many others, our adoption story is really about pushing ourselves out of comfortable routine, patience, and wanting more than anything to be a second chance for a beautiful, blameless creature that someone else has given up on!
Here are a few ways you can join this topic of conversation -
- Blogging about a Dog Rescue related topic on July 23rd, 2012
- Adopting a companion: http://theshelterpetproject.org/
- Donating to a local dog rescue organization
- Fostering a dog
- Volunteering at a local shelter or rescue organization
- Sharing this post across all forms of social media and encourage others to participate!