Friday, April 30, 2010

Rescuing Rover: A New Column for Your Dog Adoption Stories

by Carrie Boyko
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(c) photo copyright Carrie Boyko 2008
Oliver's Adoption
Everyone who has ever taken in a homeless pet knows the good feeling of helping a furry friend in need. Each story is unique, and many are funny, heartwarming and inspiring. Oliver's is certainly all of these, and I would like to kick off this new column with my own story of Oliver's adoption, while offering YOU a chance to take center stage next time. Yes, I will begin accepting rescue stories for publication here on the blog. Be sure to:
Your submission will be evidence of your permission to publish your story and your photo(s). Please indicate if you would like your name included as the author. Your story may be edited for publication.

Now, on to Oliver's adoption story. If you are reading this, you may already know Oliver as a 2 year old Papillon who greets you at the top of this blog, each time you visit. What you don't know is that Oliver came to us, the result of a 17-year-old daughter's desire to have a toy-sized pup of her own. 

Working at a pet store during high school, Toni had seen Papillons come and go, falling in love with each one's adorable, affectionate play style and disproportionate size to our two retrievers at home. She wanted to experience something different, and wanted to call him hers. 

As each Pap came into the store, Toni begged and pleaded with us to allow her to bring one home. Our answer was always the same. "We have two dogs to provide for. That is enough." Besides, our dogs are big. We worried for the safety of a little one among our 2 lively, larger dogs. Tanner, at the time was still a 50 lb, gangly puppy of 15 months, sure to become 20 lbs larger with maturity.

This story had an unexpected ending for me. One day, Toni called home from work, saying that a Pap had arrived in poor condition. He had become sick and would be committed to the "hospital wing" of the pet store, under the care of "Doc." Doc visited the puppy twice daily, and indicated he might not pull through his illness. The store owner notified the breeder, who indicated her sincere affection for her "offspring" by telling the store owner to keep him, rather than sending him back to her. She worried that the puppy would not survive the trip back to the breeder's facility, without a nurse or doctor in tow. She merely asked that the store owner place the puppy, free of charge, with a family that would love him.

Enter Toni. The phone call went something like this: "Mom! The breeder gave the Papillon to the store. I can take him home as soon as he is better."

"You realize he may not get better, right, honey?", I replied.

"He'll be fine. I'll check on him regularly and let him know he is loved, and will have a home. Doc is doing everything he can for him, he will get better."

How could I say no to this dog-loving daughter who wanted nothing more than to nurture a little one of her own. I pulled out my dog book and read up on Papillons. Knowing that my Retrievers would receive him with a welcoming attitude, my concern was for the temperament of the Pap. I knew nothing of their typical attitudes or personalities. What I read turned my heart upside down, melting into the tissues as I sobbed. We would soon be a family with three dogs.

A few days later, Doc released the 3 lb. patient to Toni's care, and she came home with his 'puppy pack' of free goodies from the store where she worked. While I am well aware of the reputation of pet stores, my daughter's experience working there was a good one, and our opportunity to adopt Oliver went as well as could be hoped for. Want to read more of Oliver's journey?

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Anonymous said...

I thought you adopted another Papillion. Jack?

Carrie Lea said...

We assisted my mother in adopting her Papillon, Jacque, in 2008. Jacque and Oliver are best buddies.

Patti said...

This made me cry!! Oliver is so cute!! You are wonderful for giving him a loving home.

Thank you again for posting Sully and Smudge's story....they are such sweet boys and I am so blessed to have them in my life.

Carrie Lea said...

Thanks for your comments on Oliver's story. He is a very lovable little boy and has taught me so much. Little dogs and big dogs have very different needs, and yet they can blend into our families of humans and big dogs, without much ado, if we give them the leadership they need. Sometimes I think that each dog had a different influence on the eventual outcome--a pack that is happy and works together without conflict or aggression. They are an amazing three-some.

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