Oh, happy day! We recently got a phone call from a senior-ish couple down in St. George, UT, who had adopted another Sheltie, Lizzie, from us several years ago. We knew that these people were special, because Lizzie was very fearful, was a bit of a biter, and had known health problems. In spite of all those negatives, they wanted to give her — an “unadoptable” Sheltie — a forever, loving home.
Well, a few months ago, Lizzie’s medical problems became unsuperable and she crossed the Rainbow Bridge. So, after a suitable grieving period, they called us to see about adopting another Sheltie. Since they adopted Lizzie, they’d moved into a retirement community, which put limits on the possible adoptees. After reading this blog and our SRU web site, they sent email telling us which dogs caught their interest. They included Nash, Peyton, Missy, and a couple of others.
When they arrived today, we brought Nash down to meet them first. Poor old, half-deaf, dim-sighted, scared Nash… But the woman was very patient with him and just kept gently petting him while he lay (restrained by a leash) next to her until he really relaxed and seemed to accept the whole thing. We were pretty amazed at this, ’cause Nash hasn’t been comfortable with anybody that quickly before.
Then we brought Peyton down to meet them. He’s much more active than Nash and not as fearful, but he’s a very reserved (and not a little suspicious) Sheltie boy, so it took a bit to get him to be sociable. They loved Peyton’s looks and his alertness, but Peyton hopped up on the couch beside Barbara and went to sleep
We next got Missy downstairs. She was really shaking, poor girl, not knowing what was going to happen to her. She had to be dragged or carried to get close to either of the couple, who were very gentle and soft with her. That helped, but I finally got a little exasperated and gently picked Missy up and set her on the couch beside the gentleman. And Missy didn’t panic! She sat there, a bit rigid and wild-eyed, but she sat there. And the man started casually (but consciously) petting her, and she responded beautifully. We’d been especially concerned that Missy would freak out over having to be close to a man, but she really took to him.
We also brought a couple of other guys, including Sparky and Scotty, down to meet them, mostly for socialization, not for adoption interview purposes. And all went very, very well. Actually, they were (naturally) charmed by Scotty, but agreed that he was far too active for their current life situation…they couldn’t believe that he’s as old as he is, either. And they thought Sparky was just the greatest guy, but his (enormous) size made him infeasible for them (not that he was a candidate in any case).
But, then, they had to decide. They asked our opinions and asked a bunch of really great questions. Would they be able to manage Peyton’s allergies? Would Missy be OK moving to a new home with a man in it? Would Nash do better by himself or with a companion? Would Nash adapt to a new home or would he be happier staying in a familiar place? We had some really good discussions about the various factors, the pros and cons, and their feelings.
And they decided that they really wanted to adopt based on the dog’s need for love and care, not merely on convenience or looks. So they asked if they could adopt two of them! And, after more careful consideration, they decided that Nash and Missy needed them more than Peyton did (we agreed that Peyton is more likely to find another adopter than either Nash or Missy). We made them a “package deal” (reduced the adoption fees slightly), and they countered by making an extra donation to Sheltie Rescue to balance it out!!
After the paperwork was completed, we took the kids out front to their car, got some adoption day photographs, and loaded them into the car. Much to my and Barbara’s surprise, neither Nash nor Missy looked scared or panicked. Instead, they laid down on the back seat of the car, made themselves comfortable, and watched as their new mom and dad got into the car and started it up. They didn’t even look back at us once as the car drove off — which didn’t make us sad at all…it’s much worse when they look back with “that look” on their faces.
They’ll call us tonight when they get back to St. George, we’re sure, and we’re looking forward to hearing how well things are going. I am so happy that poor little old Nash has a person all his own. His new mommy will give him all the love and attention he needs and so desperately wants, and he won’t have a dozen or more dogs constantly around him pressuring him and causing him to lash out. I’m equally happy that skittish, uncertain Missy will have her very own daddy to give her cuddles and help build her confidence up. She won’t get lost in the throngs of other dogs and she’ll get that one-on-one attention that she wants and needs.
Hooray! (Two down, only 15 more to go! Well, until more come into the program…)
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