It all began innocently enough. I was reading my e-mail one evening, and found a note from an online friend who is involved in various breed rescue groups. She knew that my husband and I owned several Golden Retrievers and that we were also involved in rescue. She also knew where we lived – that’s when it all started! Her request was simple enough – could we provide overnight accommodations for two Chessies (a mother and daughter, ages 10 and 8) who were traveling from Wisconsin to their “Forever Home” in New Mexico? Of course, we said yes.
On the appointed Friday evening, the two “brown dogs”, Katie and Misty arrived and, after exchanging ritual sniffs with our Golden “pack”, settled in as if they’d been part of the family all their lives. Their house manners were impeccable and their genteel method of seeking attention was never bothersome. They were tired from their day of travel, but had enough energy to captivate Dave and me completely. When it came time to send them on their way the following morning the feeling was bittersweet. We were missing them after only an hour or two.
The following week, I received a call from our Chessie Rescue contact. I expected to hear that the girls were settled happily in their new home. I was completely taken aback when I was told instead that the person who was to have adopted them had been in an automobile accident and was thus forced to back out on the adoption. The girls were being boarded with an Albuquerque vet while their futures could be worked out.
Somewhere in my heart I knew that Katie and Misty were meant to be with us, so without hesitation I asked if it would be possible for my husband and me to be considered as an adoptive home. (Actually, I think I might have begged – I just don’t remember because I was so excited at the possibility of making these girls part of our canine family.) When the approval came, Dave and I were ecstatic, and a week later, “The Girlz” were back with us in Illinois.
Now, six months later it’s hard to remember when the Chessie Girls weren’t part of our lives. Their personalities have emerged and they’re definitely individuals!
Katie, the older of the two, is quite “laid back” – not surprising given her age. When she hears the supper dishes being filled, or the crinkle of a bag of chips though, the years fall away as she does her “Happy Dance of Joy”. She’s very fond of leisurely walks up our quiet country lane and afterwards can usually be found dozing in a patch of sunshine. She’s quite particular about arranging her nap rug at night so that it’s “just right” and is usually the first of the dogs to nudge me awake in the morning. After a slurpy kiss or two, she spends a few minutes standing by the side of the bed with her head on my pillow. begging for “skritchies”.
Misty, at age nine, is still quite playful despite being mildly dysphasic and arthritic. Finding toys that could withstand her energetic chewing proved to be a challenge! After the first couple of months, she emerged as the “referee” of the pack, and is quick to intervene if she feels our Goldens are becoming too rowdy in their wrestling matches. She simply steps between them and issues a soft “woof!” to restore order. This behavior has earned her the nickname The Enforcer”. Her only fault is her insatiable appetite combined with her cleverness. After years of owning dogs, we finally had to purchase locks for the dog food bins when she developed the habit of opening them in our absence and helping herself to an extra meal -and a large one at that! I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for Katie and Misty’s former owner to relinquish them to rescue. I know that it was an unselfish decision made out of love. I’m profoundly grateful that we were the lucky ones who were given the privilege of loving and caring for them in his stead.
Submitted By Cheryl