In all my efforts to get caught up on race reports and life in general, I would be absolutely remiss if I did not introduce an amazing new part of our lives – it’s time to meet Buddy!
If you recall, we lost our dearly loved Jack Russell Terrier, Scooter, a little over a year ago. It was a tough one to come back from, he’d been with us for so long, and he was such a big personality. We weren’t really sure how to bring a new pet into that spot that Scooter left. It took a long time to even be ready for it.
But, this fall, once we’d decided that we wanted to be home for a while, I started casually looking at pet shelter websites. Not a lot, just once in a while…
One day when looking I came across a photo of a cute little face at the Toronto Animal Services website. Being that we are both not working full-time, Greg was naturally and responsibly resistant to a dog, but one day he relented to the cuteness. He agreed to head down to the shelter to have a look at l’il “Keegan”.
It was the day before we were heading to Florida for a week and a half. The shelter was closing in 15 minutes, we got there with 5 minutes to spare and we were told that we could go look, but that adoptions were closed for the day. We went up and found Keegan sitting quietly in his kennel, but he got wiggly and happy when we approached the cage. He leaned against the door so we could pet him, not jumping, not barking… he just seemed so little and so gentle. I adored him, but I couldn’t get too excited.
We heard the announcement that the shelter was closing, so Rachael and I headed back downstairs – somehow we lost Greg in that short trip. A few minutes later he came down the stairs too, he’d found a bag of cookies and he’d gone back to give one to Keegan, who promptly began to hop around it, and play with it. Greg had tried to get it on video, but it sounded pretty adorable.
We agreed as we drove back home that we couldn’t get too excited about Keegan. He was a pretty sweet little guy, and we didn’t expect him to still be at the shelter when we got back a week later. He’d already been there for over a month.
I will admit to checking the website every night to see if he was still there, but I resisted Rachael and Greg’s talk about what we should re-name him. I couldn’t think about that yet. I wanted that little guy to be part of our household!
The afternoon after we got home, Greg suggested we go get Keegan, and I got really excited. He’d been on the website the night before, so I did one last check before we headed over…
KEEGAN’S PHOTO WAS GONE!
I didn’t know what that meant – I didn’t understand how he could have been available the night before, but gone within a couple hours of the shelter closing the next day. That just seemed too cruel. I called the shelter to find out what had happened, and the information I got was spotty.
“Was he adopted?”
“No, he was taken off the adoption list.”
“Um, ok… what does that mean?”
“He’s not available for adoption, the supervisor is going to send him to a rescue.”
“There was an incident.”
“With another dog, he attacked another dog… he’s kind of toy aggressive… we have other Jack Russells available if you want to come see them.”
“I’ll think about it, thanks.”
The whole thing didn’t sit right with me. I looked up the local Jack Russell rescue, and they had posted in large letters on their website that they weren’t taking in any more dogs, their foster homes were overbooked.
I couldn’t let it go. I emailed the Animal Services department and explained what I’d been told, and asked that our information be passed along to whatever shelter took Keegan, because we’d like to be considered, that we’d had a Jack and we understood what complicated little fellows they can be…
Soon after, I got an email from the supervisor saying that they DIDN’T have a rescue for Keegan, and that we were welcome to come and meet him if we were thinking about adopting him.
We sat in a glass room with the little guy for a while, and let him bounce around. We played with him and let him get used to us. He seemed like a normal guy. When he saw other dogs he got excited, but not aggressive. He seemed sweet. We agreed to take him, and said we’d pick him up in 2 days (we had some dog-proofing to do, but we came to visit in the meantime).
We were warned by a couple of other employees that we should watch him, that he was the instigator of the “incident” that put him on the black list in the first place and we took them at their word, promising to keep him away from other dogs.
The lady who seemed to be his biggest advocate seemed relieved, and when she described us as Keegan’s “Christmas Miracle” in an email exchange a few days later, I had a jolt. He probably would have been put down…
Over the next week, we renamed Keegan “Buddy”, which suits him so well, and we kept him away from other dogs, despite every indication that he LOVED them, and watched him for aggression. He’s very energetic, he’s very playful, he growls a lot when he’s playing and acts tough, but he’s all bark. We enrolled him in obedience classes, and he’s a star every time we go. He cuddles like a champ.
And he LOVES other dogs. A lot. We call him the Mayor of the Dog Park.
He’s brought so much joy back into our lives, and I’m so glad that I couldn’t ignore that little voice that told me to check up on him.
So get ready for a lot of Buddy-talk over the years – I plan to run with him a lot…
Have you ever considered adopting a shelter dog?