After sending my dog Sunny over the Rainbow Bridge, I was heartbroken. He had been my companion for thirteen years and now he was gone. I knew I would eventually get another dog, but not right away. It could take until the end of the summer before I take that big step again.
Someone should have told me to stay away from dog rescue websites. Sunny and her brother had come to us from such a website. Giving another pooch in need a home was my plan, but not yet – yeah, not yet, famous last words.
For a few weeks I visited rescue towns in northeast Wisconsin. There were plenty of dogs available, but I wanted a puppy. It was my idea that introducing a puppy to my house cats would be the best alternative for everyone involved – it had already worked with Sunny and Booker.
And then one day I went to the Saving Paws website and clicked on Adoptable Dogs. As I walked down the Peanut Gallery of the Dogs, I saw some big ones and some small ones, and some in between. Suddenly I saw her face and fell in love.
The name given to him by the adoption agency was Syria. When found, Syria was infested with fleas. Flea baths took care of these terrible buggers, but because of them and an allergy, Syria had bare patches on her skin.
I jumped into action, filled out the adoption papers and asked to meet Syria.
I had to wait a few days. Syria and 20 other dogs were transported to Appleton, Wisconsin from Animal Harbor, Winchester, Tennessee.
Finally, on June 11, 2022, Syria was available for a meeting and a welcome.
I was ready. My daughter, Rachel, came for the visit. She also brought a crate for my house. It had once been used by his rescue dogs. Now it would house another.
Rachel drove me to Saving Paws. As we drove, she asked me if I was excited to meet my (possible) new dog. She thought I was too calm.
“I’m just thinking,” I said. At that time, I was both excited and scared. Would the dog and I get along? What would I call it? Syria was definitely excluded.
My sister was happy for me. She messaged me with some possible dog names: Mabel and Stella.
I knew right away that if the name suited me, I would call my new pet Stella.
There was quite a stir at Saving Paws. As we were meeting Syria/Stella, a three-legged dog was loaded into a car. He was on his way to his new forever home, even with a missing leg.
Stella was pulled into my arms and immediately started cuddling me. That was it. She was mine and I was hers.
The return home was uneventful. When we arrived at the farm, Stella was able to run freely around the enclosed section of my yard. At home, Stella peed when she was dropped off in the pen. Eventually a new collar was sized to fit his small neck and a leash attached.
Inside the house, Stella met my young cat, Barn-E. They immediately fell for each other. Soon they fell to the kitchen floor. Car-E, another of my pet cats, hid. When he came out, his back was arched, his hair up, and his tail fur was puffy.
The friendly pup ran up to Car-E, only to hear the cat growl as his paw slapped him. It wasn’t a good intro, but we’re making progress. There’s a lot less Car-E grunt these days.
The first night I went to bed after packing Stella. She cried when I left the room, but I was firm. In no time, the puppy calmed down. At one o’clock in the morning, I got worried. It seemed too calm. Maybe something happened to Stella.
I put on my bathrobe and slippers and went to checkout, found Stella asleep. Of course, my movements woke her up. All I could do was take her outside so she could relieve herself. From now on, I won’t be waking my new dog up in the middle of the night. Stella was perfectly content with her box.
So far so good with Stella. The heist will take another week or two, but we’re headed in the right direction. Maybe one day Car-E will even tolerate his new roommate.
Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; www.susanmanzke.net/blog.