STORMY, Amy’s dog Getting a Second Chance at Life…
My beloved dog, Stormy is an important part of our life. Stormy is truly a member of our family and even has her own seat on the family-room couch. However, Stormy traveled a long road before we finally found each other. Here is what happened before I met Stormy.
“Please won’t you take this one too? She really is a wonderful dog,” said the woman from the animal shelter.
Jane Smith* from Second Chance Rescue turned to the woman who held in her arms a Blue Heeler/Australian Shepherd mix. Jane eyed the puppy and considered whether or not to take her. It was a cold, wet night and Jane already had a dozen or more dogs in her van that she was taking. Jane had come to the Animal Control Center to rescue dogs that were soon to be euthanized. Second Chance Rescue is a Bay Area organization that rescues stray and abandoned dogs and puppies from high-kill shelters, placing them in caring foster homes and facilitating adoptions into loving, life-long homes. **
This puppy was blind in one eye, and Jane had thought it might be difficult to find her a home. She needed to choose dogs that were easily adoptable.
“Please take this one last dog,” pleaded the woman.
“OK, sure,” Jane relented, giving the dog a second chance at life. This was just the beginning of Stormy’s long journey to find the perfect home.
It was one of those lazy Saturdays with nothing to do and no place to go. I was eleven years old, and in those days I didn’t have homework on the weekends.
My grandmother Nonny and I decided to take a walk with no particular destination in mind. We ended up at the neighborhood park where we spotted a little girl and her father playing fetch with their two dogs. Suddenly one of the dogs brought a ball and dropped it at my feet.
“Go ahead and throw it,” the man told me. I did and the dog brought the ball back to me once again. After that the dog kept returning the ball only to me, not to the other little girl.
“What’s this dog’s name?” I asked the girl’s father.
“Stormy…because she’s black and white and gray like a stormy sky.”
“How come you have two dogs?”
“Oh these aren’t mine. We’re fostering them until somebody adopts them.”
“Adopts them? Could I adopt Stormy?” I asked.
“You can if your parents want her, and if the people at Second Chance Rescue believe you can give her a good home.”
Stormy jumped up and licked my face, and I knew that she and I were meant for each other. I had wanted a dog for years, but my parents had been against it, partly because we already had three cats, one of them almost 21 years old! This time, though, I was determined. This dog had found me, after all.
The first time Stormy came to our ranch, things did not go well. Stormy immediately made herself at home and ran all over the house and yard acting like a wild dog. Unfortunately for me, my parents did not want to adopt such an ill-mannered dog.
I was still determined. I convinced my parents to meet Stormy again. The next time Stormy visited, she was another dog altogether. She didn’t act wild or hyper. It was almost as if she knew that she had to charm my parents into falling in love with her. And she did. It seemed Stormy had finally found her new home.
Then there was the matter of arranging for the adoption. Second Chance Rescue requires that all prospective families go through a rigorous screening process. In Stormy’s case, we also had to convince Jane that we were the perfect family for Stormy because Jane herself had fallen in love with Stormy. Jane had a hard time giving her up, because Stormy had become her favorite of all the dogs she had rescued. Finally, Stormy was officially adopted and became a much-loved member of our family.
Stormy’s Second Chance:
Stormy very quickly took to her new home, our large ranch in Sonoma County. She was 5 months old when we adopted her, and has become a vegetarian. She eats canned vegetarian dog food, and “people food” whenever she can get it. She loves “Broccoli bones” (the thick stalks of raw broccoli). Amy’s Pizza is her favorite, of course. She doesn’t get too much pizza, though, because no one wants her to get too fat.
Stormy is very intelligent and loving, and an all-around great pet. She is also extremely happy with her life at the Berliner Ranch. She says so when she smiles at you.
*For privacy, her name has been changed for this story.
**For more information on Second Chance Rescue, visit their website at www.secondchancerescue.com