My wife, Laurel, is a dog "LOVER." I'm a dog "lover": lower case; hold the boldface. That's why I'm waiting for her to come home with a dog we've adopted from a rescue shelter in Gig Harbor, Washington.
A three hour, thirty-eight minute drive from our south Salem, Oregon home according to Google Maps. Which is about two and a half hours more than I was willing to journey to look at another potential family animal companion after our previous long-distance excursion to a Florence dog shelter ended pet-less.
"This is crazy," Laurel said, as we were returning home from Florence. "We just spent six hours driving to see a dog that turned out to be maladjusted."
"Yes," I replied. "Ginger turned out to be too fearful and untrusting. From now on I'm willing to drive an hour or so to check out a dog. Let's keep looking from Portland to Eugene, no further."
Well, my resolve was firm. Laurel's lasted as long as it took her to come across an ad for a Shepherd/Lab mix with a pretty face on PetFinder. Our current 12 year old dog, Serena, also is a Shepherd/Lab.
You get the smarts of a Shepherd, but without the guard dog edginess, along with the laid back personality of a Lab, but without the blah monochrome color and binge eating. (Sorry, Lab lovers, but most of your breed is overweight.)
So after filling out a highly detailed adoption questionnaire and talking about Star numerous times with Saving Paws of Washington staff, Laurel decided to head up to Gig Harbor today -- a nine hour canine adoption quest.
Star, who likely will become "Pooka," arrived here about half an hour ago. Understandably, she's a bit wary of us humans (particularly me), but hit it off with Serena right away, judging from the tail wagging, play-bowing, and such. Here's some photos of Pooka getting acclimated to the room where she'll sleep with Serena.
Kind of a family Shepherd/Lab resemblance between Serena and Pooka. Face, at least. Serena is quite a bit bigger, fluffier, and we must say, more beautiful than Pooka. But Pooka has her own sort of petite feminine charm.
Ah... so alert, so intelligent, so dignified. Our baby!
Some wariness evident between Mature Top Dog Serena and Young Newcomer Pooka. But they'll soon sort out their relationship.
I don't think it'll take too long for Pooka to settle in and feel at home. It's better that she's timid and shy at the moment rather than fearful and barking, as the Florence no-go dog was.
Thank you, Saving Paws people. Laurel is LOVING our new dog, and I, per my canine wont, am liking her. Like will turn into love soon, I'm pretty sure, once Pooka realizes that she's in a stable situation, not the changeable and stressful past few weeks she's gone through.
On February 2, Pooka was turned in by someone, likely the previous owner, to the San Bernadino County Animal & Control in southern California. She was spayed and vaccinated the next day, February 3. Then Saving Paws staff picked her up (along with her mother and a sister) on February 6 and drove her up to Gig Harbor.
A twenty-two hour drive south and back north, according to Saving Paws. That's dedication. And love. Reportedly the San Bernadino shelter doesn't keep dogs too long before sending them to Dog Heaven.
So we've got our "rescue dog." Be thankful, Pooka, as I'm sure you will be. Life is going to be pretty darn nice for you on our ten rural acres, full of squirrels, deer, bunnies, and other smells/sights galore. Just got to get you over this initial Where am I? hump.
Here's a positive sign: Pooka clearly loves blogging. She must sense that I'm writing about her and wants to stay close to me. Of course, the leash tied around a chair leg probably has something to do with that also.
Good story. Working with Saving Paws of Washington was not a good experience for us but at least we did get a great dog.
Posted by: William | April 08, 2012 at 01:23 AM
i just came across your blog of your adopted dingo i have her brother i adopted one in palm desert CA in 2008 he was born on Oct 2007 so he was 8wks when i picked him up, if you'd like here is my email give me a shout back [email protected] i would be more than happy to share some photos of "Otto" my shep/mix which ended up being a DINGO as well haha. i was so happy to see that someone actually has a dog out their like mine and that i am not the only one!!! when people see me walking him they go OMG what kind of dog is that!! and as soon as i answer them with "Dingo" they laugh and go Seriously? Hes very intellegent and so sweet, hes protective though hes been with me since day 1 and has not left my side i cant even go to the store without him trying to go with me. Need less to say he is my baby son and always will be :)
Posted by: Lindsey McCrady | September 21, 2012 at 07:09 PM
I had a negative experience with Saving Paws of WA. Although I still have the puppy I adopted. The conditions of the foster home were so terrible, I couldn't leave the puppy there any longer. She was quite sick and I spent hundreds of dollars getting her healthy. Their adoption contract also stated a refund of $65 upon proof of spay. I have contacted Saving Paws numerous times and they have negleted to contact me or refund my $65. I would not recommend them as a rescue organization.
Posted by: Lise Thornton | December 29, 2012 at 09:55 AM