Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The search for a new friend for Starbuckeroo

Last week, I emailed both AW (Autumn and Linden's former musher) and EW (Starbuck's former musher) and let them know we were looking. I also took the liberty of posting this onto our neighborhood message board:

The post I never thought I'd make... We had to put both of our elderly ladies down recently (Autumn on Jan 6 and Linden last Saturday). They were 17 years old and had covered some 16,000 miles with me running, walking, hiking, and skiing since I got them in 2007! I feel really blessed and have nothing to complain about--only smiles through tears. But now we must look ahead, and Starbuck (the black one) is all alone during weekday daytimes, and she needs a friend. If you know someone looking to rehome a dog, please let us know. Our criteria are:

* sweet, gentle temperament (Starbuck is very gentle, and we can't have a dog that would bully her)
* 3-7 years old
* good thick coat, can come on adventures with us when it's -40
* but willing and able to live comfortably indoors (we like our Friends with us)
* medium-ish sized (40-65 lbs)

All three of our ladies have been retired sled dogs; that seems to suit us fine! Thanks!

I quickly started getting responses from people who jump on a chance to "place" a dog that's currently on their mind, whether or not that dog is actually a match for my post. I even had to start a file of generic responses to copy and paste to people.

1) I have a lovely senior dog...

Thank you, but we are hoping for a younger dog since our emotional capacity for elder care is pretty wrung out now. Also, Starbuck is a very youthful 10, and deserves a youngster to bound and play with after years of helping us with geriatric care.

2) Have you seen this dog at the city shelter website? He looks so sweet!

Thank you for the recommendation, but we're hoping to go through personal connections and adopt a dog with a known history before we try the shelter. (Do these people think I am incapable of going to the shelter website, if that were my goal??)

3) Have you thought of fostering?

I can't foster. Starbuck is too sensitive to see Friends come and go, and I, frankly, am not generous enough. I can only take dogs I can keep and love all their lives.

4) I have a rescue from an abuse situation. She's just now coming around, blahblahblah...

She sounds lovely, and I commend you for rescuing abused dogs! However, I don't consider myself to be a "rescuer". We are not looking to be heroes and take any abuse cases or "special needs" cases right now. We want a happy, well-adjusted friend and family member. Starbuck especially deserves that... I knew Autumn and Linden when they were young and fun. Starbuck has been a nursemaid to elderly dogs and humans for 3 years. She deserves to romp and have fun and not worry about dancing around someone's special needs.

5) Look at this adorable puppy! You know you want him!

Oh, GOD, he is adorable. Don't tempt me! No, we don't do puppies. Do you know that adorable thing will poop all over my house and eat my shoes??

Last weekend, we went to visit EW, who introduced us to Candy:

She is really sweet and lovey, but a little shy, especially at first. She hid behind EW and approached the two scary strangers timidly. She warmed up quickly, but she's definitely not as pushy for love as EW's other dogs, who swat at you with their paws, jump into your arms for hugs, and flip over for belly rubs! She's pretty submissive. The upside is, she would not bully Starbuck, for sure! EW still has not decided for sure whether to retire her, though. She's only 5 years old, running a bit slow for a working team. EW just bred another girl, so if the litter takes and is a good size, she'll consider placing Candy into a retirement home. If not, she'll want to keep her. In the meantime, we are meeting other candidate dogs as well. I will keep all 9 of my loyal readers posted on our search!


bt said...

I'm so excited to meet the new family member(s) once they are chosen!

e. davis said...

Looking forward to meeting Starbuck's new mate - who is out there somewhere just waiting to be welcomed into the best home ever-yours! Try not to get bogged down by the well meaning responses to your message they sure can tug at the heartstrings.