Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Casey and Gus's Adoption Stories

Pets' names: Casey and Gus
Adopted by: Kara
From: Sonoma Humane Society, Santa Rosa, Calif.

Casey and Gus, whom Kara often writes about on her blog, Well, One of My Blogs..., each came into her life at a time when she didn't expect to be adopting a pet. Here are their stories:

I had been casually browsing the petfinder.com listings for several months looking for a Catahoula-Lab mix, but I had no intention of actually getting a dog until I had dealt with my partially-fenced backyard situation: first a fence, then a dog.

However, one night about a year and a half ago, I saw Casey (then "Katie") online, and I can't actually explain it, but some irrational gut response took over, and I felt like she HAD to be my dog. She was at the Sonoma Humane Society, and I made sure to get there right at 12 p.m. when the doors opened for adoption, because I was totally worried that someone else would swoop in and adopt her before I could. Looking back, I could have taken my sweet time, because Casey was an ill-manered, huge, high-energy ball of mayhem who had already been returned to the humane society. Twice. I adopted her on the spot.

It has not been an easy road with Casey-Dog. Shortly after she came home with me, I had a consultation with a dog trainer who pretty much told me she was hopeless. We quickly enrolled in dog training classes, and in my first session, Casey was so excited she would literally jump straight up in the air with all four feet off the ground and do a flip. Repeatedly. For the entire class. It was both exhausting and mortifying to be the worst student in class, but we stuck it out.

At this point, we have taken the "Companion Dog Level One" course three times, and, well, will probably be back for another round soon. As willful and high-energy as she is, she is also crazy smart. We've tried "scenting" courses where the dogs learn to sniff out a special box hidden in a room, and she was the star of the class. She's by no means perfect, but has come a loooong way.

This spring, I decided to start volunteering for the humane society. Somehow, I ended up agreeing to foster two two-week-old kittens. They were the cutest things in the entire world, but I swore up and down that I would not keep them. I was certain that my home would remain cat-free.

I had the kittens (Boy Kitty and Girl Kitty) for six weeks, and then returned them to the humane society once they were big enough to find their forever homes. Each week when I went in to volunteer for my shift walking the dogs, I would check in on "my" kittens. The girl kitty was adopted quickly, but week after week, Boy Kitty was still there. It was breaking my heart. Finally, I snapped. One afternoon, I decided that if Boy Kitty was still at the shelter, he was coming home with me. And he was. So he did. And now he is Gus.

Since then, he and Casey-Dog have become best friends.  They play together, which is hysterical, and cozy up together whenever they have the chance.

Every now and then, when the cat is chasing the dog around the house, and they have knocked over and broken yet another table/lamp/picture frame/chair/shelf/etc., I wonder what in the world I was thinking ... but I certainly wouldn't trade either one!

If you adopted a pet from a shelter or rescue group and you'd like to share his or her story, please email me. I'd love to hear from you!

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