NEW MEMBER OF THE FAMILY!!!
On Saturday, Hansoo & I drove up, with sweet, but lonesome Louie (our nearly 12-year-old Golden Retriever) in the SUV, and our hopes on hold. We were headed to Big Canoe, Georgia, to meet with folks from Big Canoe Animal Rescue. And specifically, to meet Afton, a beautiful German Shepherd for whom this wonderful rescue group found, and gave a chance.
The meeting between Louie and Afton was good, but it wasn't exactly love-at-first-sight for the dogs(However, Hansoo & I were infatuated with Afton, immediately!).
Afton appeared quite unsure, and Hansoo noticed she looked like she wanted to get back into the foster family's car, rather than get out and roam around a wooded area with strangers. And given her back-story, one can certainly see why:
she was found abandoned(!) with five puppies, with no food or water(!). Apparently, her owners left their home, and her with it. She was scared, hungry, weak, and terribly thin. The kind folks--including Dick & Sandy(her foster parents) and Carol(a Big Canoe organizer/home-reviewer for this fine rescue group)had managed in only a week, to get her spayed, and put 5 pounds of weight on her (still-protruding) bones. She's still terribly thin, but with puppy food to help her gain weight easily, she'll be great!
Three of her puppies have been adopted already, and the other two, Shiloh and Riley, may be seen at the official site for Big Canoe Animal Rescue:
As we were leaving this gorgeous community(there are about 8,000 acres, with several thousand homes, all integrated naturally)
we inquired about an Art Show --the first one ever held there--that we'd seen signs for. We had a chance to stop in, and while Hansoo entertained Louie, I saw some gorgeous pieces. It's a relaxing setting--a home surrounded by woods, filled with all kinds of art for sale...
"Hand-carved furniture, inspired by aviation" it says on the card,
by artist (and former career-Navy pilot!) Clay Hartman. I was able to speak with Clay, as well as the marvelous Eric Strauss, a sculptor specializing in metal(his iron piece featuring dogwoods, was delicate, and dangerous looking!) and came away quite impressed with both gentlemen.
It doesn't get any better than a hidden "Eden" of three lakes, mountain views and lush foilage(think "Pan's Labyrinth" --without the scariness), and doggie-adoption, and great pieces of art.And did I mention the hand- blown glass, including an artist who does Murano bowls? WOW.
(My secret dream, as per my "25 Random Things"(listed in "Older Potsts") at this blog, is to one day blow glass.)
The next day--Sunday--Carol and her pal Linda came out for a review of our home, to be certain we(Hansoo, Louie and I) were a good "match" for Afton. The ladies seemed impressed with our home, but I do not mean the size of it, or the fact that we live in a great neighborhood, or near parks for playing, or trails for walking. I believe they used the most important criteria for deciding if we should be able to adopt Afton:
that we have the patience; the reward-based, positive reinforcement-minded training; that we have room in our lives in terms of time and energy, and most of all, that we have love to offer her. I joked that we are "adopting a companion animal for our companion animal." And in a sense, that's true. I chose to adopt a German Shepherd not only because I am comfortable with that breed(scroll down to the entry on my Mom--Demetra, to see why!), but because Louie seems to have a penchant for "Herding" and "Working" breeds of dogs. He seems to enjoy their particularly high energy level, and excitement, as well as their herding instincts.
In less than four hours, Afton was performing the play-bow to Louie, and romping a bit with him in the backyard, and on the terrace level.
Afton already waits for me to lead her into each new room in the house. Afton has assumed--so far--the "omega"(last one in pack) role in the pack, which is ideal. Hansoo is alpha(leader of pack), with me sharing that role, especially when he's not present.. Louie is "beta"(second) and as the "last" in the heirarchy, Afton can relax and know she'll be taken care of.
We'll be going up to Big Canoe again, later this week. We'll be stopping in at that Art Show, too. It runs through July 19th. Be sure to go see it!
More details on that, here:
Top photo, our first look at Afton--this picture is from the ad for Afton,
which ran at Big Canoe Animal Rescue's website.
Bottom photo: Afton and me, early Sunday afternoon, in our house--Afton's new home. Not shown: Hansoo(who shot this photo) and our sweet furry boy, Louie, who were playing off-camera.
No one can save the world, but you can save a piece of the world, one dog at a time.