This is a common quote most rescues hear when they take inquiries from owners who can no longer take care of their pets. Sadly, there just are too many dogs that need homes and the fantasy of finding a farm is just that. A fantasy.
January 2014: We evaluated and took in an emaciated dog we named Frog that was found as a stray in the City of Cleveland in December 2013. He was at the Cleveland Animal Control facility awaiting a rescue to take him in. His nails were over an inch long and he was obviously neglected. He was skin and bones. With your donations of potatoes and Biljac dog food we nursed him back to health. Frog was an extremely active dog who had no boundaries or formal training. He was going to be a lot of work. A couple of months went by and we placed him with a local family. They named him Guinness and and about six months later (August 2014) they returned him to us.
Every rescue dog has issues. They all need work. It takes a village to set a dog up for success and Guinness is no exception to the village of commitment he has received while in our care.
Guinness has spent a lot of time being cared for while waiting since August 2014 for a forever home to come his way. He’s been in the rescue system for a long time and without the help of dedicated foster parents, the staff at The Mutt Hutt, the volunteers who chaperone our dogs to adoption events, the dog walkers, our board members, and let’s not forget the dog trainers – we don’t know what the outcome of his story would have been. We have allocated hundreds of dollars for his veterinary care, food, shelter, behavior and obedience training, stay and train boarding at HDP K9 and everything in between.
We did not give up on Guinness.
However, as we contemplated our strategy to find Guinness that perfect home and person to care for him, we found ourselves asking “If we only knew someone who had a farm”.
We are extremely lucky to have one special woman who works at The Mutt Hutt and has always taken the extra steps to care for the Secondhand Mutts who arrive at our facility. Her name is Kelly. She vaccinates and microchips our Secondhand Mutts, she conducts meet and greets when we have a lack of volunteers, she takes home puppies to foster, she transports dogs to the vet, baths the dogs, and pretty much does whatever is needed. After nearly six months without a foster home, no leads on an adoption we felt like we were close to running out of options. Kelly stepped up when nobody else would and she agreed to take Guinness in to her family’s home in Medina to see how he did with her other dogs, her cat and her chickens. Yes, we said chickens.
We found that farm.
We are elated and beyond excited to announce that with months of dedication and obedience training, hard work by Kelly and her family teaching Guinness to learn boundaries mastering “sit” and “stay” and “leave it” we have found a forever home for Guinness. He’s not calm by any means, he will continue to test all of us when he comes for daycare visits while Kelly is working, he has jumped the fence and needs constant supervision outside, he can sit next to a cat calmly and be in the yard with free range chickens. This is amazing to us really and we have Kelly and her family to thank.
Kelly and her family certainly were not looking for a dog to adopt. They are a working class family living a simple life in Medina County. They have a lifelong love for animals and hearts of gold. When Guinness arrived as a foster dog six months ago they had six rescue dogs (Rocky, Shadow, Carlos, Bella and Brutus), a cat (Lily ) and 27 chickens. Since his arrival, sadly, they said goodbye to their beloved Rottweiler mix Chino. There are dogs that come into our lives for many reasons. Sometimes the dogs find us and sometimes there are dogs that we just can’t pass up. Perhaps it was Chino who made room at the farm for Guinness, so we thank him too.
We are celebrating Guinness’ “Gotcha Day” and holding a celebratory fundraiser in his honor to share funds with the many other dogs who are in The Extra Mile club at Secondhand Mutts. We hope you come out and join us on Saturday, September 26 at the Lincoln Park Pub. Event details here.