Thursday, May 06, 2010

A True Story...

Sorry, but I don't have a project to share tonight. I just wanted to check in...I hate leaving my blog idle for too long! This week has been a most exhausting one! And although I don't have a card, I do have a most interesting story to share, if you are interested...

First, the background. Just over two years ago, after a lot of thought and planning, my little family decided to adopt a dog from the animal shelter. His name was Rocco and he was a very sweet, loving dog. We fell in love with him pretty instantly, but soon realized he had some major anxiety issues. It was clear that we couldn't leave him alone in the house if we wanted to have any furniture remaining when we got home. And if we left him outside in our fenced yard he quickly destroyed everything in site. I won't go into all of the details, but things went from bad to worse. The stress and discord in our family was building. We tried whatever we could to help Rocco and to make things work, but after nine months the painful decision was made to find Rocco a new home.

Now, believe me when I say this was the hardest decision I've had to make in my entire life. Not to mention I was pained at the thought of explaining this to our (then) four year old daughter. Both my husband and I agonized for days over the thought of having to give Rocco up. We believed that adopting a dog was a lifetime commitment and planned to have Rocco for the rest of his life. But in the end, we recognized that we needed to do what was best for our family and for Rocco, so the decision was made to give him to a rescue organization so that he could be placed in an approved, screened home.

I asked my husband to take Rocco to the rescue home alone; I couldn't stand the idea of leaving him and walking away. After returning, my husband wouldn't talk about it much; I could see he was fighting back the tears. I checked the rescue website regularly until I saw that Rocco was adopted. It took a few months, but we were so relieved when he found a new home. But he stayed with us; my little family never stopped thinking about Rocco. My daughter still asks about him. We tear up at the very thought of him, wondering how he is and what kind of a family he ended up with. And after nearly two years, I surely never expected to get this phone call...

Earlier this week I received a message from a woman in Missouri. She explained that she had found a dog. He was micro chipped and that is how she got my name and number. I was shocked! Could this be Rocco? We live in Washington State...how the heck did he get to Missouri?! I promptly called the woman back and let her know that we were previous owners, but that I had no idea who he belonged to now. She explained that she found him at a rest stop near her home. She speculated that someone had perhaps abandoned him. She said she found him, sitting there, as if he was waiting for someone to come back for him. Well, needless to say, at this point I'm in tears. How could someone do that? What was going to happen to him now? He'll go back to another shelter and his anxiety will get even worse. Will anyone ever adopt him again? As the questions swirled around in my brain, this kind, sweet woman tells me, "Well, I don't know how he got here, but he has a home now. We're going to keep him." She went on to tell me that she and her husband have a farm, another dog and six cats. Rocco loves running around the farm, gets along great with their other animals and doesn't even bark at the chickens! We compared stories and I explained to her how hard it had been to let him go. I also told her that I could tell she was a kind woman and that Rocco was lucky to have "found" her. It was obvious to me that she had fallen in love with Rocco as instantly as we had several years ago. Rocco found a home. He was going to be okay. And then this sweet woman went on to say, "Tell your daughter that Rocco has found a good home."

So, even as I type this I have tears rolling down my face. This dog made such an impression on me, my husband and my daughter. I would be lying if I said we feel okay about our decision to let him go, but I truly do believe Rocco has found his "forever home." So thank you, Joanne from Missouri. You are a kind, compassionate woman and the world could surely use more people just like you.


19 comments:

Amy said...

Jennifer, I am sitting here typing this with tears in my eyes and a sniffling nose. What a hard hard sweet story. I am so glad that there was THIS ending to the story and that your family can have some peace with this decision. Sounds like Joanne is an angel!!

Ruth Mecham said...

I loved this story! I will show this to some of my family who are dog-lovers! Thanks for sharing.

Sandy said...

I loved reading this happy ending story. I've had seven dogs and five of them have been rescues or given to us over the years. They all deserve a good home and you showed such great love in giving him back to the rescue place when it wasn't working out for you all. We took in a little pug one time when her mom had gotten a divorce and needed to find her a new home. The lady was just crying and crying when I drove away from her house. It is heart-breaking to give them up no matter what. That particular little pug stayed with us 30 days and she started exhibiting aggressiveness toward our other pugs so we gave her back to her former mom so she could find her a home with no other doggies...and she did and it was all good!

I'm glad Rocco got his forever home and that you got to hear about it!

Charmaine (CharmWarm) said...

Now I've got tears coming down my cheeks! What a sweet, sweet story! Thanks for sharing Jennifer!

Pat said...

Hello Jennifer--Don't usually make comments on blogs--like to look at all the lovely work done by all of you--Becca and others. But read your blog today and really loved to hear about Rocco. Glad that he has found the home that he needs--farm in Missouri--who would have thought.

Nadine said...

Oh Jennifer thank you for sharing your story about Rocco! Im so glad that he found his forever home with that sweet, loving woman. Im a huge dog lover too and it would definitely be painful to have to give back a dog. Im glad that this had a happy ending. Im still wondering how he got all the way to Missouri? I guess we'll never know.

Jim said...

I know how hard it was to make the decision to find Rocco a new home and that you still talk about him. Thanks for sahring this story - I am gald to know Rocco is with a loving family on a farm. Funny how things work out.

Leigh Ann said...

Oh my gosh, I'm sitting her sniffling (at work). I'm so glad that it all worked out...I hope this gives your family a sense of closure and peace.
Thanks for sharing that beautiful bittersweet story.

Clare said...

What an amazing story! I am typing this with tears in my eyes. We also adopted a dog 2years ago with anxiety issues, although it's been really tough, she has improved so much. There were times when I thought she would have to go back tho, even now she still tries to chase cars and sits in the window when we go out. I'm so happy for Rocco, he will have a great life. C x

resmith said...

I had tears in my eyes reading this story. It seems to be that this was a chain of events for Rocco to find the perfect home to where he was suppose to be. A perfect happy ending for all.

Arielle ~ SnappyStamper said...

Man, you sure know how to make a girl cry... but, YAY ROCCO!

Karen said...

Wow....way to run a girls mascara! Wonderful story....wonderful ending!
Karen

Karen B said...

What a wonderful story! We once had to find another home for a springer spaniel who just needed to be in a home without small children. We felt it was an act of love to find her a new home and we grieved for our loss daily. It is so good to know that your story has a happy ending too! We have been lucky enough to share our lives with 2 golden retrievers since then, but Lady will always have a special place on our hearts!

Anna said...

That is an incredible story. Sometimes the right thing is so hard, but what an incredible ending. I'm so happy for Rocco and for you to know for sure that he has a wonderful home.

j said...

Jennifer, please don't feel that you are to blame. A dog has to fit with your family for it to be right. We have adopted two dogs over the years. The first one was a perfect fit. The second one had many issues. At least now you can be at peace knowing that Rocco has found his perfect fit.

IamDerby said...

Wow that made me cry. Glad the story has a happy ending.

C said...

Jennifer, we had to give our dog up a few years ago. My husband and I felt the same exact way that you did. We felt that we couldn't give him back because we made a commitment, but he was hurting himself, trying to get out to the house to find us or other people. I cried like a baby when I read your post, but felt better at the same time, knowing that there was someone else out there that went through the exact same thing. I am so happy that your dog found a home. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings.

-Chrissie in Illinois

ninasays said...

Wow, what a story. There are so many sad things happening, it is so good to hear a story with a happy ending. When I was a bit younger, my family had to give our dog away as well and I can well relate to your thoughts, it was heartbraking. We found him a good new home, so all is well, just as it is for Rocco (but without the escaping/abandoning shocker). Anyway, all the best wishes to Rocco & you & your family!

Stephanie said...

Yahoo for Rocco! I can't imagine how difficult it was for your family to give him up, but then thinking he was safe and then to find out he was abandoned??? So very wonderful he found his place in the world.

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