Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Good Trade All Around !

This is Alexa. You can see from the look on her face and her body language that she is really shy. I mean REALLY shy!

These are five healthy, happy black lab mix puppies. I think you can tell from this photo that they are anything but shy!

A woman called us to say that she had rescued five lab pups from beside the road, out in the countryside. They were just discarded in a cardboard box like so much rubbish. She and her husband did not have the heart to just drive on by and leave them there, and so they scooped them up and took them home.

She called a number of local and regional rescues, but was told that no one had any room for these puppies. Then she called us at Smiling Dog Farms. We agreed to take them and do our best to find them adoptive homes.

Our greatest fear was that the pups would stay too long at the farm and grow up to be big black dogs, which are way more difficult to place in adoptive homes. Our Adoption Partners already had their hands full with other dogs and could not take them.

So we decided to contact Pup Squad, a great rescue group in the Houston area that specializes in placing puppies in good homes. I figured Pup Squad would be able to get them all into good homes before they grew too big to be puppies any more!

What was really funny was that about the same time I was sending an email to Pup Squad about our labs, Pup Squad was sending an email to us about sweet little Alexa!
They had rescued three puppies, and one was almost immediately docile and tame enough to be placed. A second sibbling was fearful, but with a lot of work, Pup Squad helped him learn to trust people. They were able to rehome him.

But Alexa was the tough one. She was fearful, and no matter what Kathy and the wonderful ladies at Pup Squad did, Alexa did not shed her fear. Some dogs are just like that. I think it is in their DNA to be afraid, and no matter how hard you try, you just can't get them to be comfortable with people.

Fortunately, fearful -- or feral -- dogs like Alexa usually like other dogs. It is just humankind they do not trust. (Who can blame them, really?)

But dogs like Alexa will "gum up the works" for a traditional rescue. Pup Squad takes in dogs, works with them and vets them, and then they move them on to waiting families. When a dog like Alexa comes along, she takes up space that other, adoptable dogs could use. In traditional rescues, one dog can prevent many others from having an opportunity to find a family.

And so Pup Squad wondered if Alexa could come to our sanctuary and live out her life with other dogs!

Well, it just doesn't get any better than this! We happily took on Alexa, and Pup Squad took all five lab babies to find homes for them!

You can see from these photos of Alexa that her first night here at the farm, we had her in the bed with us. You can also tell from her expression and body language that she was not all that happy to be there!

This photo shows what we got to see of Alexa most of the night!! lol She hid under the pillow and stayed there all through the night and into the next morning, until we took her out to her yard!

We are still in the process of choosing just the right friend for Alexa. She likes other dogs and we want her to have a friend with whom she can play and bark at the squirrels and nap in the sunshine together. We have several possible mates for her!

The story of Alexa and the lab puppies is the story of rescue at its best. Pup Squad came through for the five lab pups, who might have lived at the farm until they were collecting Social Security without Kathy and her team's intervention! And precious Alexa, who has no love lost for humans, will get to live out her days at the farm with a friend, unmolested by people, happily playing in her yard and enjoying her life, sans-humans!

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