Sunday, September 30, 2012

Meet Max

Meet Max.  Approximately 2 years old, neutered male Cocker Spaniel, relinquished by his owner from her kennel when she had to move into a nursing home. He spent most of his young life in a pen with his (intact) sire. Rescued by a very compassionate nurse and taken to her home on several acres out in the county.  Max has run the countryside with his family of dogs for nearly a year, gathering ticks and fleas and lots and Lots of cockleburs and sticktites in his plush sable fur.

Now meet my friend Denise. 

Denise has sent me Max's picture several times, imploring me to please find him a Forever Home.  He's been going up to the highway, trespassing on the neighbor's fields, and generally setting himself up for  a bad ending. Plus, my friend told me, he truly "deserves a home where someone will love and cherish him. And where he can be safe."

I was busy.  I deleted the pictures, and hoped she would not mention it again.

Meet Kathryn.  Baby daughter who lives in Kansas City with our wonderful son in law and two of our grandchildren.

(Here I will insert a piece of advice for you if you have small children in your household: 

If you spend your time when the children are little, trying your very best to raise them into caring, kind, loving human beings, I will guarantee that it will come back to bite you.  Big time.  When you Least expect it.  Certainly when you haven't the Time or the Energy to deal with it.  There is really no escaping it, for they are only repeating the behaviors you have taught them, and Kindness is such a much-needed commodity these days. You cannot say no to it....For if you did, it would then seem that you had been lying to them all these years.) 

And, so, even tho your children have been grown and living their own lives for many years, you never cease being the parent....and, hopefully, their friendwhowilldoanything
....It just never stops.....And I am quite glad of it, truthfully.

Now meet Miranda.  Single mother of two darling children, ages 9 and 4.  She is a friend of Kathryn's, and her sister lives in the cul de sac where Kathryn lives.

Miranda, after many years of being "dogless," decided that the time had come for her to consider adding a canine to her family.  The children were old enough to appreciate and care for a dog, and she was ready now to make the commitment.  So Miranda told her sister.  Her sister told Kathryn.....And Kathryn, knowing that I get several "rescue requests" daily, told me.

When Denise sent me Max's picture for the third time, I finally forwarded it on to Kathryn, knowing full well that this was probably going to be just another dry run request. I had no hope of placing this young dog.  After all, who wants a Cocker Spaniel with huge feet and no socialization? 

Unbeknownst to both Kathryn and me, Miranda's "dog of choice" was a Cocker Spaniel.  She'd had them in the past (pre-children era), and this is the breed that she truly wanted to have again.  As soon as she received Kathryn's email with Max's picture, she called her and firmly told her this dog was "the one."

Okay.  I'm a dog trainer, right?  And a darn good one who Knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that one does Not just choose a dog companion from a photograph.  This is a minimum 15-year commitment.  This is a sentient being, not a car or a bicycle that can be replaced once we tire of its color or its style. You don't just choose it by looking at a digital image.

So Denise and I drove out into the country so that I could lay hands on this dog and assess his temperament, conformation, health, and general makeup.  I took pictures and videos. Sent them to Kathryn. She sent them to Miranda.

Miranda's heart overrode everything practical and logical that I tried to present to her, so I took him home to further evaluate him and give him a bit of a Spa Treatment. Once he was cleaned up and smelling better, parasites eliminated, THEN, perhaps, we could make a more Intelligent judgment call. I'm Not hypercritical, truly, but I DO know that sometimes people can change their minds....
and, bottom line, I didn't want this little guy to be traumatized by floating from one home to another any more than necessary.

Max got a warm bath, pedicure, ear wash, blow dry, anal glands expressed, fleas and ticks combed out, cockle burrs removed, teeth cleaned, and introductions to cats, Collies, water gardens, and men.
After that, a nap was in order.....On my lap.....He snores.

.....He had passed all MY tests and evaluations with flying colors.  Nothing really bothered him (except maybe the embarrassment of that anal gland thang). Had he spent more than one night, DH Bikeman would have insisted he stay on....This dog has rather a magical quality about him.

He slept the night quietly in a kennel beside our bed.  The next morning, I loaded the minivan with 3 dogs (two Collies, one Cocker) and headed for the Northland.

I do not believe I have ever seen a happier adoption.

Welcome to Kansas City, Max.....You handsome, Smart, big-footed little guy.  You have your Forever Family now. 

Many thanks to God for allowing me to be His Agent in all this....Mostly, I just drove the car....Now...where did I put that hairbrush?!

Max is firmly ensconced in this family and living the Dream.  Jacob is driving now, and Avery is in third grade and reading everything in sight.  Next month they will welcome a new member into their family.......A tiny white and striped kitten named Samson.  Rescued from dire circumstances when he was only a day old, Samson already knows the warmth and love of humans and will continue his life in Kansas City.