Our Warrenville home now has only one foster dog, Rodney. Adoption papers for Barnaby, his foster-brother pal, got signed on Friday. And a family has filled in a pre-application for Rodney, too.
Susan, new “pet parent”of the-dog-formerly-known-as-Barnaby, met him at one of the adoption events our two fosters attended. Adoptable dogs get picked up by other Chicagoland Dog Rescue (CDR) volunteers to go to an event every Saturday, for maximum exposure to potential adopters. Online pictures and profiles can only give a faint suggestion of a dog’s true personality. The main appeal comes from looking into their big puppy eyes as they wonder, is this the person who will give me a home and love me forever?
In Barnaby’s case, Susan was. She has kept more than one Samoyed already, having a lovely white lady in her life at this point. But she prefers having two dogs and was looking for a male Samoyed because Allie, her current Samoyed, sometimes has issues with other female dogs. When Susan saw Barnaby, she knew he was the one. She also told us that Barnaby’s freckled nose and “biscuit” (pale tan coloration) ears fall within the normal and acceptable range of Samoyed color variations.
The CDR does not let its dogs go directly from adoption event to home. The intermediate step is a home visit. Cathy, the director of CDR, schedules these visits, bringing the prospective adoptee to his or her potential new family. The idea is to make sure the adopters know how the new dog will fit into their home and lives, and to let the dog meet any current pets to ensure a safe transition, for both the new dog and the existing pets. Cathy graciously allowed me to come along on Barnaby’s home visit.
When I parked outside the house, Susan’s Samoyed Allie was tethered in the yard and gave us a hearty greeting. Once Susan had gathered her in and came down to greet me, her interest in our rambunctious Samoyed foster was clear. She could barely wait for me to get him out of the car so she could greet him with cuddles. Cathy arrived shortly thereafter and Susan suggested taking both dogs for a short walk around the neighborhood, to give the dogs a chance to get to know each other on neutral ground. Aha, I thought, this woman does indeed know her dogs.
Cathy had noted the only potential hitch in this adoption when Susan and Allie had first met Barnaby nearly two weeks before: Allie was too enthusiastic, and Barnaby seemed overwhelmed, almost afraid of Allie’s enthusiasm. But they walked together nicely, and Barnaby seemed perfectly interested as long as Allie didn’t lunge at him.
In the end, Susan’s obvious love for Barnaby and her demonstrated ability to understand Barnaby’s hesitancy, to control Allie and to ensure that they had the time and space needed to become friends gradually won out. After a couple of hours spent with Barnaby exploring the house and yard, with or without Allie around, Cathy brought out the CDR adoption papers and Susan signed.
Susan also graciously gave permission for me to chronicle her adoption of Barnaby (from this point forward probably to be called Snowden), and agreed to send occasional updates to me and to CDR. When I sent along the photos I’d taken Friday afternoon she responded that, by evening, Allie had settled enough that both dogs were sleeping at Susan’s feet as she sat on the sofa reading. Over the weekend, Barnaby/Snowden got to explore more new territory at the nature center where Susan works, met Allie’s friend Sable (a friendly husky), and has settled more fully into the luxury of having a forever home.
But what about Rodney? Looking good on his side as well. The couple that saw him Saturday before last and decided he’d be the perfect companion for their current dog wants to schedule a home visit as well. That should happen within the week. With luck, by next weekend Rodney will have found a home too.