Welcome to the St. Louis
I remember the day Carly found a home. Her future family had come to one of our adoption events. Things were noisy and a little chaotic so the family moved Carly to a quieter corner in the store. The son gently pulled the little Cairn Terrier into his lap. The daughter, more tentative, reached out to pet. Dad approved. Mother wasn’t so sure.
Usually we worry if mother isn’t so sure. It’s almost the Golden Rule of Rescue. If momma isn’t happy, it just won’t work. But I thought this one would be ok. Carly was special – a puppymill survivor who was outgoing and nearly housebroken. And mom, although concerned, was asking the right questions. And she clearly cared about her family’s happiness.
So Carly went home and a few days later I heard things were going well. That was nine months ago. Last week I received an email from mom.
“Carly’s been with us since September. She is the sweetest little dog. We all love her – even me! When we went to Petco to look at your dogs, I was very reluctant….I thought we were asking for trouble by adopting Carly. Carly, however, is the best dog we’ve ever seen. She is sweet, funny and very loving towards all of us. She is a wonderful addition to our family and we are so happy we adopted her.”
I also received pictures and after emailing back, even more. They show a happy dog and a happy family. Mom also said, "She's a very loyal friend to my kids,especially my son. When he is gone, she "talks" to me, basically to complain that he is gone. My kids love her as you can tell by their faces when they are with her."
We love these stories, but we’re not always so lucky. I don’t know what happened with the mother who adopted Bailey for her 5-year-old daughter. I do remember the daughter cuddling the little Pomeranian mix and mom agreeing to adopt her. Mom signed a contract promising to give Bailey proper care and the maintain him as an indoor dog. She also promised to return him if she couldn’t keep him any longer. She kept the last promise.
The phone message I picked up from this mom was that “the neighbors were complaining about the barking, so they had no choice but to bring the dog back.” Curious, I thought, because they did not live in an apartment. The only time neighbors complain about barking dogs is if the dogs are left outside all the time.
When Bailey came back to us, he was matted to the skin. A groomer shaved him down completely, uncovering inflamed skin. Baily even had mats between his toes. He’d been living outdoors most of the time because, I was told, “no one was home during the day to let him out.” No one could brush him or take him to the groomers, either, it seems. Or love him.
I barely recognized him. I saw a severely neglected dog who was still friendly even with the painful matts stretching his skin. After his shaving, he literally pranced. I wonder if the neighbors weren’t more concerned about the dog than about the barking. I’d like to think so. Baily’s next family will need to show us they can walk on water.
Other good news is that Merlin, the Aussie, has found a home. Merlin is the dog who had his leg amputated because a gunshot wound shattered the bone. He also came to us with worms, fleas, ticks and not nearly enough body fat. He now has an Aussie companion, runs fine on three legs, and enjoys his new mom.