Monday, March 18, 2013

Mama Mia: Adopting Dog #2

Mia at home
Mia's journey began somewhere in Missouri when her owners dumped her without the puppies that she was still nursing. Sadly, this sort of thing happens often all over the country. For the Love of Labs pulled her from the shelter, had her properly vetted and spayed and placed her in the foster home of Melinda and Wahab.  She adjusted to life without her babies, crying sometimes and feeling very sad.  She was loved and had other dog friends to play with and soon came out of her depression and began to enjoy playing with them.
First photo of Mia

Before Mia was even listed as adoptable, Cathy, at For the Love of Labs, who placed Dudley with me two years ago, told me about her and I agreed to adopt her.  After talking to her foster mom, Melinda, I knew she was a great dog and trusted that she would be happy with Dudley and that Dudley would eventually adjust to sharing his family.  After all, they sent me Dudley and he is is terrific!

Wahab with Mia - ready for transport
Melinda saying good-bye to Mia
Two weeks ago, Wahab delivered Mia to the Alpha Dog Transport vehicle for the long drive to Virginia.  Melinda said good-bye at home and was very sad.

A word about the wonderful rescue volunteers, Jeff and Kelly O'Brien, who own Alpha Dog Transport .  Jeff and Kevin Almstrom drive the wonderfully appointed truck filled with dogs from Ohio to Missouri (where Dudley came from) and stop many places before ending in Maine. They take excellent care of the rescue dogs en route to their new homes and work very hard to make every new adoptive family feel special when they meet their dogs for the first time.
Our first meeting (with Kevin)
My friend Deborah accompanied me on the 90-minute drive to receive Mia in a deserted Toys R Us parking lot in Haggerstown, MD.  Alpha Dog Transport took great care of Mia and they seemed very excited and happy for me, too.

On first glance Mia was larger than I imagined and the color of espresso with a very happy face and loads of energy.  We thanked Kevin and then headed for green grass and relief before getting in the car.  Deborah stroked Mia while she lay in her new comfy bed in the back seat on the drive home to Virginia. 

The introduction to Dudley happened 90 minutes later at a neutral place.  After much sniffing, they seemed comfortable walking together and home we went.

How play begins
Two weeks into it, all is well.  We've had a few little bumps here and there and Dudley has behaved like Eeyore for about half of the time.  Mia is so well-behaved and friendly and urges Dudley to move a little faster when we are on our walks.

Dudley on Day 2 - not thrilled
The adjustment for me has been much like having a second child.  I have spent a lot of time worrying about Dudley's feelings and giving him extra attention.  It's a little more complicated to go places and when they both put up a fuss on a walk, it takes some strength to get everyone cooperating again. Mia's bark is much more subdued than Dudley's (he barks like a hound) but together they make quite a racket.

I am very grateful to the volunteers at For the Love of Labs and Alpha Dog Transport and for foster parents Melinda and Wahab for saving Mia and taking good care of her.

Diary of my first two weeks - by Mia

Day 1: Phew that was a long time to ride in a truck.  I am so glad to be home but I am a bit confused.

Day 2:  I don't think Dudley is thrilled about me and everyone is calling him Napoleon.  I think he's mad because I am taller than he is (and 20 pounds heavier).

Day 3:  I eat my food fast or Dudley will eat it for me.  I make sure that if he gets to my bowl it is already empty.

Day 4:  Running around outside makes me tired and I like napping in my new bed and yes, I am a toy-hoarder.

Day 5:  I love all my new toys.  That is a good thing because Dudley ripped the head off of the bear I brought with me from Missouri.

Day 6:  Togetherness happens slowly when you come into the castle of a prince. 

Day 7:  Patience has paid off.  Today he let me help guard the back yard.

Day 8:  I am moving up in the world!  Now I get to help patrol the perimeter; squirrels and rabbits beware!

Day 9:  I love going on walks even though I am faster than Dudley.  I have learned to sit before crossing the street.

Day 10:  I sort of got in trouble because I unmade the bed and buried myself in Mom's covers and I had dirty feet.

Day 11:  Dudley and I really played for the first time.  We tumbled all over the house and growled and sounded fierce but nobody got hurt. 

Day 12:  Squirrels hide in the strangest places and I know I have seen them in the bird feeder.

Day 13:  Dudley has been hogging my bed whenever he can.  I learned to just crawl in with him.  The blanket came from Melinda and Wahab but I let him use it.

Day 14:  Pulling while I am on the leash is not allowed so I have to wear this collar that pinches me if I try to yank Mom's arm off when I see a SQUIRREL!  



  1. Beautiful Story...:-)

  2. How sweet..sounds like everyone is adjusting. I got Maddy from For the Love of Labs 2 yrs ago and she is currently sitting at my feet near the heating vent..both of us are getting warm :)

  3. thanks for making me realize that there really are good people in this world...those two pups are so very lucky to have found you...


  4. Can't wait to meet Mia. Great chronology Katherine! Warms my heart. (LK) :-)

  5. What a wonderful story. Sounds like this is working out well for everyone. I love happy endings!

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