Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Rescue Story - Julia

This is how my grandpuppy came into our lives, as told by my daughter, Lauren:

Growing up, I knew I was a dog person. I loved reading Where the Red Fern Grows, Shiloh, etc. and sympathized with the characters' struggles trying to convince their parents to get a dog. Every once in a while I would take up the issue again but my parents - being logical - said we couldn't have a dog, our landlord won't allow them, etc. But one day, I came home to a soft, wiggly beagle puppy and my life was complete. Growing up with Velvet was a joy and a half despite her greedy love of food eclipsing any love she felt for us - we consider her indifference endearing.

When the time came for me to move out and start my own household with my future husband, I knew we would have to have a dog but it took several years and another move to a pet friendly apartment before we could start looking. I approached the issue like all things: With lots of research before I could commit. I went to and searched for dogs older than one, younger than 3 in the Greater Dayton area with no breed preference. It came down to 2 but the description of Julia! kept tugging at me - I must have read it 100 times. We filled out the application and eventually scheduled a time to meet her in our home.

I cleaned the apartment and completely dog-proofed it. When she came in, we were so happy to see her! She was even cuter in person than online. She immediately stuck out her butt for scratches and I think this is when the three of us were linked for good. Her foster mommy Gail decided to leave her with us and after signing some papers and going over her vet history she started packing up to go. Julia sat on her coat in an effort to get Gail to stay (she's so smart and so pathetic!). When Gail left, Julia jumped up on our bed and sighed as she laid her head down - it was heartbreaking realizing she felt as if she were being abandoned once again. After being rescued from two different kill shelters in the nick of time, she had probably had enough change.

Loud sounds terrified her, even the noise from kibble landing in her bowl was too much to bear and she'd have to run away even if she was hungry. She'd leave food in her bowl, whine and shake when we would go to work, and pant nervously when we'd come home. Over time, she gained confidence and we changed our ways too. We'd ignore her when coming home until she calmed down, which really improved her separation anxiety. She started eating her complete meal at feeding times and stopped shaking at all. Within a year we were completely adjusted to each other.

Julia was found in Champagne County, OH which still has a dog catcher, no shelter - therefore 100% euthanasia. But being the charmer and snuggler that she is, I imagine the driver couldn't let her die and drove her instead to Clark County where she would have a slightly better chance considering they have a shelter that would give her 3 days before euthanasia. Again she cheated death by being saved by a concerned shelter worker landing eventually in the loving arms of Flying K9 Rescue (based on her maybe-sorta-possibly looking vaguely like a blue heeler in certain lighting). Marcy Beatty took her to Gail Downie and the rest is history.

Julia is a comedian - keeping us laughing constantly, whether it's her stealing a seat after one of us gets up or sitting down in front of us for back scratches and looking back to make sure we know what she wants. She cleans herself like a cat, cough-barks, and nudges you when she wants snuggled. She's probably a terrier mix of some sort and one vet guessed part basenji (as odd a mix as that is). She came to us house broken and knowing not to beg when we're eating. I've since trained her to sit, shake, lay down, roll over, and make eye contact on command. We're currently working on wait/leave it but that's hard even for most humans to master. Every day with Julia is a new adventure.

She's taught us to slow down and enjoy just lounging around the house instead of always going somewhere. She brings out the best in everyone who meets her - even my grandmother who hates pets of any kind is quite taken with her. Julia is the perfect example of the kind of gem you may end up with when you adopt - a dog who cheers you up and comforts you, makes you laugh, hangs out with you no matter how unfortunate you are. She's just happy to have a permanent home, food, treats, belly rubs, and ear scratches. We saved her and she returned the favor.


Jenya said...

Thank you for this wonderful story or Julia. She is a beauty!


Art and Sew Forth said...

SUCH a wonderful story. I think you all were meant for each other and she knows it.

Anonymous said...

Hooray for Julia! You are one lucky dog!!!!

makingstuffwithlove said...

I loved reading this story! Written so well and on such a pleasing subject -- my favorite! I love rescue stories and could read them all day long. Thanks so much for sharing Julia with us!

HappyDapperDogs said...

I love stories with happpy endings! Thanks for sharing Julia with us. I think you are all very lucky to have found each other!