Today is orientation day, the first day of the 33rd rotation of Second Chance Pups. The program pairs inmates at the Nebraska State Penitentiary with unwanted dogs in need of training. On this day, about twenty people and eight dogs are crowded together in a back room of the penitentiary’s recycling building….
Category Archives: Adopt
This post is written by my mom.
Sandy was my heart dog. I had her 12 years before we lost her to cancer. She was the dog that would sit on my lap while I watched TV. She followed me everywhere. She slept with my husband on the floor. She was the dog that loved her people.
When we lost Sandy, I would look at photos for hours on petfinder.com every night. I adopted Sandy from a Humane Society and I wanted to save another dog. My husband said I was obsessed. I was grieving.
I thought another border collie mix would be a good playmate for Radcliff. I contacted a border collie rescue. They wouldn’t adopt a female dog to us because we had Peg, a female shepherd. Peg was 14 years old and very independent.
I had been looking for almost three months when I came across a photo of a German Shepherd mix pup that touched my heart. I submitted an application. We were third on a waiting list.
Almost a month passed. We received an email that the other two applications didn’t work out. Were we still interested? A lady found Ina and her sister. Two puppies were too much work so she asked for help. Ina’s sister was adopted quickly. A foster family kept her outside in the back yard. She was very shy and timid around men. As I write this, I realized that was the exact description on the Humane Society form about Sandy.
Ina was almost three months old with big brown eyes. As I showed my husband her photo, I told him that she might be afraid of him or very shy. He’s a pushover for puppies. Or maybe he was tired of me looking at dogs on the internet every night.
We took Radcliff with us to meet her. He knew something was going on because the kennel was in the back of the SUV. After driving almost two hours, I said “I didn’t realize it was this far away. We don’t have to adopt her. We can go home.” My husband said “We’ve come this far, let’s just meet her.” We drove almost three hours, (one way) to meet her.
We met at the local vet’s office because the small town did not have an animal shelter. When we pulled up, Ina and Allison were sitting on the grass outside the office. We left Radcliff in the car. When we approached them, to our surprise, Ina ran to my husband. When we got Radcliff out of the car, it was obvious that she adored him. But that’s normal, Radcliff has that effect on everyone.
We spent some time with her. I was tired from the drive and emotionally drained. I could not make a decision. I asked my husband what he thought. He said “we didn’t drive all this way to turn around and leave her.” I’m pretty sure he didn’t want to drive back to get her the next weekend after I made up my mind.
So I completed her adoption paperwork on a late Sunday afternoon in a small Kansas vet clinic. We loaded her up in the kennel in the back of the SUV. She slept the entire three hours on our journey home.
When we got home, it was as if she knew we were her forever family. We cannot imagine our lives without her. My husband commented about how much she was like Sandy. It’s as if Sandy is still with us.
Bark out to American Dog Magazine for spreading the word that deaf dogs can have happy lives. I am in the magazine’s centerfold, bottom row, second from the left. The centerfold appeared in the 2011 Winter Edition, Volume 4, Issue 4. The cover had all the famous Pit Bulls including our deaf dog furiends Echo and Gremlin.
I was so excited to see the happy tails photos of my deaf dog furiends. American Dog Magazine got my photo from http://www.DeafDogsRock.com. Special bark out to Nitro and Christina for all the work they do to tell people about deaf dogs. Visit their website to see deaf dogs looking for homes, training information and happy tails.
Kisses go to my mom for taking the photo of me. I stopped running and chasing the ball long enough for the photo. It also shows my best side with the little black patch around my eye. I am really happy. Do I look like I’m smiling at you?
That lady is back, she’s standing in front of my kennel. Someone came and got me. We went into a room where the lady, a guy and an older collie were waiting. The collie was freaked out. I ran over to say hi to them. The guy patted me on the head, but he didn’t seem like he wanted to play. The lady played with me for a few minutes, but we didn’t spend very much time there. The guy left with the collie and I was taken back to my kennel.
Note from mom: We were preparing to do the paperwork with the person at the desk. When I asked if anyone else had asked to see him, she said a woman who was a dog trainer looked at Radcliff but decided not to adopt him because her dog did not get along with him. She also told us that it would take a year to potty-train Radcliff because he was deaf, someone should be with him full-time. My husband looked at me and said “you work full-time.”
We walked back through the kennels and looked at all the other dogs. The shelter was still full. There was another dog that was a chow mix that looked like Peg. We stood there in silence. Then we left without Radcliff.
It was quiet during the drive home. My husband said “I think we should wait and get a normal dog.” All I could think was that no one would adopt him. He would be euthanized because they couldn’t find anyone who would take a dog that requires that much work. He was three months old, he was only a puppy. I went into another room to cry.
The next morning, I was talking to my husband about Radcliff and I realized that he was not listening to me. At that moment, I knew it would be easier to train Radcliff.
I didn’t know that mom already had her hands full with dad, he’s the toughest to train. Peg was a fourteen year-old shepherd mix and Sandy was a thirteen year-old collie mix. They were getting older and life was comfortable.
Mom’s note: I waited a few days to see if anyone would adopt Radcliff. After all, he was a puppy, and people love puppies.
In the meantime, I called two good friends who had border collies to ask their opinions. Both said I needed to adopt him. One said that her dog would do what she wanted with few verbal commands because “she’s used to my body language.” The other said “if you don’t get him, they’ll put him down.”
It’s been about three weeks in this place with all these dogs. It smells like a combination of bleach, poop and urine. People walk by, they stop, look at the sign, they look at me and then they keep walking.
I can see the dogs barking and running back and forth in the kennels next to me. They’re going crazy. I don’t know what the big deal is.
A lady stopped and she is staring at me. She’s touching my nose through the wire gate. And then she left.
Mom’s note: The sign on his kennel said “Radcliff, 3 mo. old, male, border collie/blue heeler mix, DEAF.”
The local shelter must euthanize animals when they run out of space. The kennels were full of barking dogs, it was deafening. He just sat there by the gate watching me.