I grew up with a menagerie of various four-legged critters - cats & dogs of all ages and breeds, a bunny, some newts - even a skunk (de-scented, of course!) My family has a long, multi-generational history of animal rescue. So it made absolute sense to me that my husband & I would adopt a rescue when we were ready for a dog. Gracie was a very sweet Labrador mix, and the whole family was heartbroken when we lost her to congenital liver failure a year & a half ago. It took us awhile to decide that we were ready for a dog again and thought we had made the best, most informed, deliberate decision when we brought Finnegan home in July.
This is the reason I want to share this story - sometimes rescue adoptions don't work out, through no fault of anybody's, the adopters', the dog's, the rescue's. Sometimes it's just not the right fit. About five weeks after we adopted Finn, we started to notice signs that he was becoming too overprotective of our family. We live in very close proximity with a lot of other people, and with young children, we have a lot of young visitors to our home. I spent a lot of time (much of it in tears) talking to a dog behaviorist, my mum (who's rescued and fostered a lot of dogs), and the owner of the rescue. The consensus was that Finn was making the work of protecting us his full-time job. We tried various behavior & environment modifications with little improvement. With very heavy hearts, my husband & I returned Finn to the rescue. As we turned him over to his new foster mom, we noticed a complete change in his body language. We could see him physically relax, and he seemed to release a lot of pent-up stress. This transformation, along with the understanding of the rescuers, assured us that we had made the right decision in bringing him back.
One thing we had learned from our experience with Finnegan, though, was that we are indeed a dog family. Our hearts and home were still open to providing a loving place for a rescue dog. Every day I searched Petfinder looking for that special one. Then checking a local rescue's Facebook page, I saw a listing for Labrador Retriever mix puppies. A Lab would be a good fit for our active family. We had experience with the breed and getting a puppy would enable us to properly socialize and train it. We went to meet the puppies, filled out the application, and came home with this little guy, 8 week-old Plinker:
It's been quite a ride raising a puppy again, a very joy-filled ride. Plinker is 14 weeks old now and full of energy and curiosity. He's intelligent and is quickly learning basic commands. He loves fetch and taking long walks, especially when there are a lot of college girls about to fuss over him. :)
There's good news about Finn too. He was adopted and has found his forever home! We are so grateful to both rescues for giving dogs and people their much-needed second chance.
1 year ago