We got our wish for another dog — and he’s a doll.
It’s been a long four months since Bailey died, and the house hasn’t been the same since.
The house seemed so terribly empty, and having the kids back to school right after he passed made it doubly so.
Everywhere I went, be it somewhere in my house or around town ore elsewhere, I’d see something that would remind me of my fella and all our special times together.
Knowing that the summer was soon upon us (and the best time for the kids to connect with him), I started my plan to get another Golden Retriever in the house this spring.
And as much as I love puppies, I didn’t want to go through all the months of training and rule-setting. As Oliver reminded me, he’s going off to school in a little over a year and we should have an adult dog who we can get to know and enjoy as-is right now.
Besides, I think rescue dogs are so wonderful because they are particularly grateful for one last chance at security and happiness — and I’m a pretty good dog nurturer.
The new dog plan was given new fire when we went to a Golden Bond fundraiser that month, and I was reminded how nice it was to curl up with a sweet soft dog.
It was at this fundraiser at Glassy Baby in Lake Oswego that we got to meet a very special dog by the name of Scout.
Scout is a dog based in the Portland area that has become Instagram famous for giving out free hugs at nursing homes, colleges, and meet ups all around the area. His mom Melissa is a hugely talented photographer (and sweetheart) and she does a spectacular job of capturing his personality. Scout has has almost 130 K Instagram followers — check out his wonderful IG feed at “scoutgoldenretriever”.
He’s a therapy dog so I knew his demeanor would be relaxed and natural but Scout is more than just that — he exudes this generous, loving vibe and is always smiling, be it running on the beach, accepting hugs from strangers (supposedly street people in particular gravitate towards his non-judgmental love) or just chilling in the middle of a store.
I really believe Scout has such a following because he exudes such brilliant joy and Melissa brilliantly captures that.
I mean c’mon– look at his smile and those bright, shiny, happy eyes.
Because our family had such great success with Golden Bond and Bailey, I knew that this group would be the perfect place for me to find another rescue dog that’d be a good fit for my family. When I visited the volunteers at this Scout fundraiser they urged me to get my re-application in soon as they had a number of dogs coming in from China that they’d be placing shortly thereafter — and there was a lot of competition for them.
So re-apply I did –and not long after we had a home visit with one of the many volunteers who give tirelessly to Golden Bond. Paul came to our house with his older dog Rocky and I think once he saw my kids playing so sweetly with his infirm dog he knew we’d be a good fit.
Our name was then in the system, and we were assigned a certain counselor who oversees your case and advises you. She told us that we had to wait until a foster family chose our application for a possible match, but to let her know if a certain dog came up on the website that we were particularly interested in.
We saw this guy with a Mohawk, and we fell a little in love with his picture and the extended description of his sweet demeanor.
Our counselor put our name in the “please consider” column for Porter, and we waited.
A week later, we got the call. We were chosen by the foster family as the No. 1 pick. We had a few days to get over to visit him and test the doggy waters. Within 24 hours of our meeting we then had to let them know if we wanted Porter (the name he came with) or otherwise the next family on that list would get dibs.
I’m not exactly sure why we got picked first; perhaps because we were repeat customers who’ve demonstrated the ability to adopt a dog with possible issues, we hadkids at home and I’m a stay-at-home Mom?
Either way, but we were so excited when we got to meet him last weekend.
Porter was living at a foster home with three other Goldens
and he was adorable and so relaxed.
Can you see his Mohawk (a indefatigable cowlick)?
We took him for a walk and he couldn’t have been more relaxed on the leash — and like Scout, he exuded this joyous, happy vibe.
By the time we left him we were in love — and we knew he was a keeper.
We brought him home the very next day — and he’s just proven to be the sweetest thing.
Right now we don’t know a lot about him other than the fact that he comes from Beijing; we don’t know if he was a stray (apparently when cute puppies get bigger they sometimes are released to the streets) or if he was rescued from a slaughterhouse (as some GB dogs have been).
I’m hoping more details will come soon, but we do know that he’s been checked by a vet, is up-to-date on shots, and vetted by a foster family who’ve observed him keenly for a month.
Physically he looks different than a lot of Goldens I’ve seen; yes, he has the big blocky head and a long fluffy body but he also has very stout and short legs. To me it looks like he’s a bit of a low-rider, and more than a couple people have said he also looks like Chewbacca or an Ewok!
Here he is sitting on my porch and as you can see, his legs are unusually short for a Golden.
He’s got a huge black nose but the one thing that really makes me laugh about him are his giant fluffy paws — like a bear.
We suspect he’s some kind of Golden hybrid — maybe a little Chow? Or?
This past week has just been about taking it easy and trying to settle him.
Porter (I sometimes call him “Pork Chop”) has been through so much, still doesn’t understand much English, and sometimes seems a bit stressed.
He’s probably wondering: Will this be his new home — or just another stop on the road?
We’ll get there with him soon, and this organization has been so wonderful about giving tips and advice on making a smooth and happy transition for all.
Just as with Bailey, I can’t wait for the time when Porter starts to relax, begins to really enjoy perks he’s never yet had (this week alone he’s tried bites of fresh mango, pork, salmon and Cheddar biscuits) and he becomes our little mascot.
Most of all, I am looking forward to him realizing how much he is loved and cherished, and that his days of worry and scrounging for food, stability and affection are gone for good.
So a big thanks for all the good wishes and love (particularly all those emails, many of whom from those of you I’ve never met!) and a big, fluffy, cow-licky Happy Mother’s Day to all the nourishers, nurturers, girlfriends and caregivers out there.