I’m delighted to feature a guest post this week written by Yvonne DiVita. Yvonne’s career interests have focused on marketing to women, social media for business, and publishing. In 2009, she combined her business background with her passion for animals and co-founded BlogPaws, an online pet community to support pet bloggers and pet lovers. I had the pleasure of meeting Yvonne in person at the BlogPaws Conference last month in Denver, Colorado. Yvonne was one of the organizers of this awesome event. She writes today about the adoption of her newest four-legged family member, 7 year old Chester, a research facility dog, that is until he and Yvonne found one another. Thank you Yvonne for sharing Chester’s story and showing us how we can “Be the Change”.
Dr. Nancy Kay
Chester Comes Home by Yvonne DiVita
This week we added a new family member to our little group. He’s a Coon hound mix. Not sure what the mix is but it could be Springer Spaniel. That’s not important. What’s important is that this precious 7 year old boy spent his entire life in a research facility and does not even know how to be a dog!
How sad is that?
We are pushing all that sadness aside and giving Chester all the love he’s missed these last seven years. Granted, the research facility was only studying nutrition – he wasn’t abused, but, he wasn’t loved, either. And, if he was walked, I’m sure it wasn’t for pleasure. He doesn’t know what it’s like to meander along and sniff every leaf, mark every tree, enjoy the sunshine. Even more astonishing was the way he peed the first day we took him out – without lifting his leg. What male dog does that?
Chester was being held at the Longmont Humane Society. Tom and I went in on Sunday just ‘to look.’ Yes, we were in the market for a dog – having lost our precious Carmie (a shepherd/lab mix who was 16 years old) two years ago. However, we’ve been pretty selective because we needed a dog that would get along with our 18 year old cat, the Grumpy Old Lady. She’s pretty popular on our Scratchings and Sniffings blog, and she has told us over and over that if we ever get another dog, she gets final approval. So, we were careful as we visited shelters and interviewed dogs. http://www.scratchingsandsniffings.com/the-grumpy-old-lady/
Chester was in one of the last kennels we visited, as we walked around the humane society, taking to the many dogs available for adoption. I like to give them some attention, regardless of what breed they are or how old they are. It’s well known around here that I’d adopt all of them, if I could! Anyway, Chester was lying down, very calm, but he lifted his head when we paused outside his kennel, and it seemed as if he was saying, “I’m a good dog. I don’t make a lot of noise. But, I would love to go home with you.” We read his description which told us he was 7 years old and had only lived in the research facility, never in a real home. His description also said he got along with cats, so that was a big plus. http://www.longmonthumane.org/
Who could resist that? Seriously, we wanted an adult dog, one that wasn’t going to chase the cat, and here was Chester. We took him for a walk, talked to him, rubbed his gigantic ears, and fell in love. He was very shy, and unsure of us. But, we knew we could win him over. Once back at the front desk, we filled out all the necessary paperwork and they told us the originating shelter would call us.
The originating shelter was a rescue ranch in Wyoming, not far from the Colorado border. They have final say on all their dogs. The ranch rescues animals formerly used in research, and places them in homes, if they can. We talked to Karen, the next day, and she said the shelter had given us a glowing review so she would be happy to bring Chester to us, on Monday. You can imagine our reaction – we jumped for joy! http://kindnessranch.org/
Chester has been here for three days now. He was terribly disoriented the first day. We gave him space, but made sure he knew he was loved. He paced a whole lot that first day, and seemed to be looking for something. I wonder if he’s looking for the other dogs who were at the research center with him. I was happy that he ate, though. His appetite is good. The only strange thing there is that he isn’t sure what to do with dog treats. Or, maybe the ones we have don’t appeal to him. We’ll see, in time.
Today, he is settling down nicely and acting more like a dog. It’s heartwarming to see him blossom, knowing we care. Oh, yeah, the Grumpy Old Lady says he can stay. He’s quiet, he doesn’t bother her, and she kind of likes sitting in front of the water dish as if she owns it, because Chester won’t go near it with her there. (Carmie did the same thing)
Chester is our boy. He’s found his “forever” home with us. We are so happy! I didn’t realize how much I missed have a dog, until Chester came to stay. Now, we’re thinking of adopting another dog from the ranch that rescued him. One he’s familiar with. One that will keep him company when we’re out running errands or visiting friends. One that will allow the Grumpy Old Lady to maintain her dignity as Queen of the House. Life doesn’t get any better than this, does it?
Tags: animal shelter, Be The Change, BlogPaws, Chester, coon hound mix, dog adoption, forever home, kindnessranch.org, longmonthumane.org, research facility dog, scratchingsandsniffings.com, shy dog, Speaking for Spot, Yvonne DiVita