As the COVID-19 pandemic has dragged on, the Naked Hiker and I are among the thousands of others feeling the void of family and friends in our homes. We’re grateful our beloveds are healthy and we’re able to stay in touch with them virtually, but there’s a loneliness Zoom and other ways to connect don’t satisfy. Something (or should I say someone)easing the lack of company is a two-year-old, sixty-pound, yellow lab/Siberian husky named Booker. We adopted him a couple of weeks ago from Three Little Pitties Rescue.
Several dogs on Petfinder were available from Three Little Pitties, so we completed an application with that organization, detailing the breed and characteristics we were interested in. After missing out on a few dogs (again, they were adopted soon after posting), an Adoption Coordinator based in Texas interviewed us by phone. We explained what we hoped for in a dog, and we learned more about the organization.
The non-profit saves dogs and cats from life on the streets and high kill shelters in and around Houston, which is largely overpopulated with these animals. Three Little Pitties reports, “tens of thousands of healthy, happy, highly adoptable dogs and cats are killed every year, even puppies and kittens, in overcrowded shelters across Houston. They have to euthanize to make room for the hundreds of animals that are brought in as strays and owner surrenders daily.”
Three Little Pitties rehablitates many of these pets in Texas-based foster homes to give them time to decompress and receive proper medical treatment. Then, the animals are listed for adoption in the Pacific Northwest where shelters don’t experience the same overcrowding found in Texas. After two weeks of quarantine, animals are eligible to travel in a USDA-certified transport for twice-a- month transfer from Texas to Washington, Oregon, and California.
The interview was a great way for us all to learn more about each other, and it was nice to have a contact in the organization. Soon we saw listings for Booker and two other dogs we were interested in, and again we spoke with our adoption coordinator at Three Little Pitties. The website included a good bit of information about Booker as well as photos and videos (including a “cat test” that showed he wasn’t aggressive toward a cat in his foster home). The coordinator agreed Booker was a good match, and she also offered to send videos of the other two dogs (who were a little older than what we’d hoped for).
Booker was scheduled to leave Texas for Washington a few days later, so we had another conversation with a Three Little Pitties representative in Washington. We were approved for Booker’s adoption, and about five days later, he arrived in Marysville at 7 a.m. in a semi with about 300 other pets! That was tough, but the organization seems to do a good job making the trip as easy and comfortable for the animals as possible. They had sent us information about procedures at the transfer, and it was very smooth and safe regarding COVID.
For anyone interested in adopting a rescue dog, I suggest you ask a lot of questions about the dog’s personality and history (though the shelter might not know much about that). Once our application was accepted, it helped to have someone from the organization we could talk to and email directly. If they can send you videos of the dog, that’s a big help, too. The people we worked with seemed quite knowledgeable and had personal experience with adopting rescue dogs. Three Little Pitties also offers lots of information and guidance on their website and with adoption materials to ease the transition.
Booker seems quite content in his new home and is getting along well with our cats. We’ve gradually introduced him to neighborhood humans and dogs, and though he’s a bit timid at first, he warms up quickly. He’s energetic and is always ready for a walk (good for our exercise). His personality is sweet; he’s all we’d hoped for in a dog.
Adding Booker to our household has been amazingly trouble-free. I think it helped that we and Three Little Pitties did our homework in advance, but I alsoknow there’s a certain amount of luck involved. This is the third dog we’ve adopted (but the first from a rescue shelter), and we’ve been lucky with each one.
Here are some photos from Booker’s first two weeks in our home – who could resist him?