May 15th 2010 2:36 pm
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To Whom It May Concern:
In the fall of 2007, our Dogster friends, Hayley and Ellie Mae, were featured in the AuCaDo Cookbook. My Mom was very pleased with her initial cookbook purchase and had gone to the AuCaDo site to purchase additional copies for holiday gifts. While there, she was perusing the forums, and I was featured as the most recent listing in the “Urgent Needs” category. I was at a shelter, just 30 miles away.
Mom wasn’t sure that she and Jimmy Beagle were ready for another dog. Just a few weeks earlier, on Halloween, their beloved Buddy had passed-away, and they were still grief-stricken. But the same day that Mom saw me on AuCaDo, Jimmy had an appointment with an animal communicator. Among the things that Jimmy told the communicator, is that he wanted an older ( i.e., adult), sister, who isn’t too rambunctious, and of a size that can protect him. (Tragically, Buddy had died while defending our yard and defending Jimmy.)
Thinking I might meet Jimmy’s “requirements,” that next week, Mom made arrangements to meet me.
All I can say is that I must’ve made a good first impression! The following week, Mom and Dad brought Jimmy to meet me, and during those next few weeks, they brought me blankets, bobos, treats, and a Nylabone. Jimmy was scared of me at first. You see, I didn’t live in a kennel. Because I had barked at the neighboring sheep, and had tried to herd the shelter’s other dogs, (Hello? I am a herding cowdog!), I was confined to a crate in a windowless storage room. Anyway, when I had opportunities to get out of my crate, I went wild. Jimmy learned to love me, though, and Mom submitted an application for me.
The shelter folks called me “temperamental,” and were concerned that an adopting family would likely return me. I had been at the shelter for five months, with most prospective families feeling intimidated by my exotic looks and my less-than-desirable behavior. Despite Mom submitting an application, the shelter adoption coordinator opted to send me to Homeward Bound, rather than letting Mom and Jimmy adopt me. On December 23rd, I rode 650 miles to Minnesota and began living in a nice foster home.
Mom was devastated! She, Daddy and Jimmy already loved the temperamental girl named “Allie,” whose “smile can light-up a room.”
Some caring ladies at AuCaDo went to bat for us, and put Mom in direct contact with the adoption coordinator at Homeward Bound. Of course, the application was approved, but I was now wintering in Minnesota. And that’s no easy drive from Southern Indiana.
The Great Dog was watching out for me.
Laura, the Cowdog Mom, e-mailed her friend Josie, who is a Transport Coordinator. Josie mapped-out a route for me, and recruited drivers. Jimmy also went to Dogster Railroad and recruited further driving assistance.
Since February 2, 2008, I have been the princess of my castle.
My daddy says I am “43 lbs. of muscle and spirit.”
Two weeks after my arrival, some frenzied behavior resulted in an emergency room visit for Mom, and a trip to the vet for Jimmy. The next day, Mom contacted a renowned behaviorist and soon after, enrolled me in a local obedience school. Six months, and another school later, both the behaviorist and a vet who teaches obedience classes suggested returning me to Homeward Bound. My parents would not even consider it.
For months, my mom worked with me for a few hours, each night, and several hours, each weekend, teaching me commands, appropriate focus, and exercising me. You might say I have inspired greater time-management skills.
I’ve also inspired better character traits in my family. For example, my attendance at the different obedience schools has reinforced my pawrents’ sense of perseverance. My lack of tolerance of bicycles, motorcycles, baby carriages, as well as my distrust of letter carriers, meter readers and four-legged animals has inspired my mom’s sense of humility and she gets less embarrassed in public, these days. My insistence on being the center of attention has taught my brother, Jimmy, patience and the importance of sharing. And we have all learned the value of unconditional love.
Weeks after I arrived at my furever home, we learned that Pat, mother of Sadie of Sadie’s Biscuits fame, had a special connection to us. Jimmy recruited her ,through Dogster Railroad, to drive the second leg of my transport. But unbeknownst to us, the special angel wings pic of Buddy, that our friend, Jovi, had gifted just a few days after Buddy’s passing, had been made by Pat.
When you consider the synchronicity of my mom’s innocent visit to the AuCaDo site, my urgent situation at a nearby shelter, Jimmy’s timely message to the communicator, and the fact that Pat, (a stranger with a connection), drove a chunk of my transport, along with with the seemingly-effortless collaboration of AuCado and Homeward Bound, it seems that my adoption into my furever home was destiny!
Every night, when Jimmy, mom and I hold paws and recite our special version of the St. Francis prayer, we ask the Great Dog to please continue to bless all of those kind souls who are involved in rescue.
I will be furever grateful to those understanding people at AuCaDo and Homeward Bound for helping place me in a home where I am loved and valued for the special girl I am. Through daily training, plus medication, I have become much better socialized; I have scores of squeaky toys; I am fed a good diet, plus get plenty of treats, exercise and attention. I have come a long way from my shelter days, and feel very blessed that the Great Dog placed me with my adopted family. My family feels the same way.
Ruby Allison Chestnut
aka “Ruby CowDog”
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Ruby... all I will say is.......
I understand TOTALLY.
Blessings to your family.
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