Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Perfect Match!

We made a couple of pleas in the past few months among our family and friends to try and find a new home for our dog, Juneau.  Even though she's been with us for almost 6 years, her recent fighting with one of our other dogs necessitated a new environment.  Believe me, I struggled with the thought of giving her to someone else, even someone we knew.  Because of that, we spent about $1400 getting extensive training for her and the other dog she was fighting with, in hopes that it would mean they could both stay in our house.  When that didn't work, and our persistent efforts at home to get them to socialize failed, we knew we had to look for another solution.  We had a couple of people interested in adopting her, but we were super picky because she wasn't just a dog to us.  She was a member of our family, and we wanted to make sure she'd be moving into an equally loving environment that could provide her a house, a backyard, lots of attention, and no other dogs around.  When nothing panned out, we resolved ourselves to the fact that we'd just be stuck keeping them segregated in our house until the end of time.  There was no way we'd ever surrender her to a shelter, so this was our only option.

What this meant was that at all times, at least one of our dogs was in a crate or in the backyard.  They could never be in the same place at the same time, unsupervised.  It was quite a beating to keep up this arrangement, especially if we needed to be away from the house for an extended period of time, or had guests over.  "Don't open that door because Juneau's outside and she can't come inside with Casey."  "I've got to get home because Juneau has been in a crate for 4 hours and I need to let her out."  Add in the fact that we have a newborn, and things became even more stressful.  I knew this wasn't an ideal arrangement for anybody, but I still wouldn't turn her over to a shelter, no matter what.  So, this was our life for the past few months, and we figured it would be our life for the foreseeable future.

Then, earlier this month, my sister mentioned that a neighbor of hers was looking for a new dog.  He is a retired widower who lost his beloved dog recently, and was seeking a Shepherd about 6-8 years old.  Umm, Juneau is a Shepherd mix who is about 7 years old!  I jumped at the chance to introduce them.  He had already been a dog-owner for many years, had a house with a backyard with doggie door access, was home often, and was seeking the companionship of a new dog.  Could this be any more perfect?  Meezy brought Juneau over on a Sunday morning, and the neighbor said he'd spend a couple hours with her and let us know how it went.  Fast forward a couple hours, and he tells us he got acquainted with her, then left her alone in the house while he ran an errand, everything went really well, and he'd like to keep her overnight!  Meezy and I were starting to get excited, but we didn't want to get our hopes up too soon.  Over the next couple of days, the neighbor informed us about how Juneau immediately claimed his couch, made herself at home, and was enjoying the 2-3 walks he was taking her on each day.  2-3 walks a day!!  We knew Juneau was in heaven.  Since then, he's taken her to a local baseball game a couple of times where she's interacted well with adults and kids, and even did well meeting other neighborhood dogs on their walks.  But, when he told us he'd be dog-sitting for his daughter's male Sheltie last weekend, we cringed.  Would this be the end of Juneau's stay at his house?  Would she get nervous and apprehensive and lash out at the new dog?  We feared the worst.  To our surprise, however, Juneau behaved very well and the two dogs got along great over the weekend.  We breathed a huge sigh of relief.  It affirmed that Juneau's problems were with our other female dog, not all dogs in general.

So, where are we today?  All her vet records have been transferred over, she's got a new collar with a new address tag, her micro-chip owner record has been updated, and she's a happy dog!  The best part is that we can see her often since she now lives down the street from my sister.  I've already visited a couple times, and I saw her out on a walk yesterday when I arrived at my sister's house for dinner.  It brings me such joy to see Juneau in an environment where she gets so much love and attention, and gets to go on walks constantly!  It also makes me happy to see that she's bringing joy into someone else's life.  I think we found a perfect match!          

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