Adoption Updates

As we head towards the latter end of the year, it’s a great time to look back and see some of our successes for the year.¬† Here’s some updates on recent adoptions that show the impact of all of the hard work of our staff and volunteers on the lives of some great dogs and cats!

 

Gatsby
We got word from Gatsby’s family that he’s doing great! They took Gatsby to our Canine College classes and loved them so much that they’re actually going to take his sister, Allie, to the classes too! As you may remember, Gatsby had a history of getting too overexcited which led to some naughty behavior. Thanks to the amazing effort of the Enrichment Team during his stay with us, Gatsby is a star student! He’s done so well in his new home and enjoys playing with his sister!
Hermes
“Hermes is doing just fine thank you!
We play a lot every day and he’s still such a sweetheart.
He’s making himself quite at home. The picture is of him and his favorite toy. A tunnel that he can run through and play in.”
Ganache
“Making herself at home!! ūüíē¬†No hiding from her at all!¬†¬†She wants to explore.¬†¬†She is hard to keep in the room.¬†¬†I actually think she is pretty occupied right now.¬†¬†I‚Äôm waiting for her to start relaxing more before I would take any steps forward.
We loved our entire experience with you!¬†¬†Thank you for trusting us!!¬†“

 

Our lovely shepherd sisters, Lacey and Zoey, are cooling off this summer by taking a dip in the water! Their family tells us that Lacey loves swimming while Zoey enjoys just wading in the water. We’re so incredibly happy for this dynamic duo!
“Farnsworth¬†is still doing great!¬†He’s my best buddy!¬†He is so sweet!¬†I’m so glad he’s in my life! He’s amazing!¬†I feel so blessed!”
Remember a while ago I had mentioned that¬†Penelope’s new family had made a cute video about how much they love her? I had wanted to send it out but the attachment was too big. But it looks like they uploaded it to YouTube so now you can see how great she is doing in her new home!¬†Click here¬†to watch Penelope’s update.
Lucy and Hobbes (aka Robin and Finch) snuggle up for this adorable family portrait.

Daisy
“She and Zoey are the best of friends. They follow each other everywhere and play constantly! They wake us up what feels like 100 times a night chasing each other all around the house playing.
Daisy freely roams the house now, she’s having a great time exploring and playing with EVERYTHING. She has a kitten bone for sure. She’s very smart, very happy, very talkative, and very mischievous! We’re so happy to have her in our home.”

 

As you can see, the work the staff and volunteers do here goes far beyond our walls, and shines out into so many homes and lives.

Hot Fun in the Summer Sun

Hi Everyone,

We’re hitting peak summer here at the sanctuary. The long, hot days and warm nights make for an exciting time of year. As you know, we do our best here to give the cats and dogs in our care the most normal and enjoyable life we can as they wait for their forever home. During this season, that means getting them the kind of the adventures and experiences they would get in the most loving homes. Here’s a little snapshot of the dogs and cats enjoying the best of what summer has to offer.

The world is full of exciting adventures in summer for the dogs at the sanctuary. It’s a cornerstone of our mission to give the dogs as much enrichment as possible during their stays. We of course have our two and a half miles of hiking trails here at the sanctuary that, at this time of year, are filled with active wildlife, from bunnies and deer to snakes and turtles. And then there’s our two play yards for lots of fun with fetch and with training exercises. But beyond what’s at the sanctuary, our volunteers will often take the dogs out to local state parks or other trips for a day’s excitement. This summer even included a boat ride for Atlas. These adventures are more than just simple fun. They’re an opportunity for the dogs to burn off the stress of daily life, and to experience new stimulus and learn new skills. All of this helps us to get to know the dogs as well as we can, in order to match them to just the right home, as well as work with their training needs to make sure they are the best dogs they can be for their new families.

Roxi takes a cool drink out of one of the doggie pools around the dog cottages.
Aggie enjoys nothing better than to take a field trip to one of the local wildlife areas and enjoy the peace and serenity they offer.
Meeka isn’t one for summer laziness. She’s out to learn some new tricks and show off what she can do.
Tripp enjoys taking trips to local state parks for an adventure with our volunteers.
Estie knows all the best ways to cool off in the summer. Nothing beats digging in the sandbox for chilling out (and getting good and dirty!)
Amber pulls off her best “Wish You Were Here” postcard pose by our very own sanctuary pond.

Of course, the dogs don’t get all of the summer fun to themselves. Our cats all have access to outdoor “catios” that provide them endless entertainment. The cats get so much enjoyment watching the birds, bugs, and butterflies. And what cat can resist bathing in the sunlight on a warm day? But it’s not all just about napping. Some of the cats, like Barnaby, are afforded the opportunity to put on a leash and harness and go for a stroll themselves.

Josie loves spend her days in a cat tree on her catio. It’s a great, low stress way to watch the world.
Hermes and Leela are enjoying some rays of sunshine on the front porch of Jane’s Place.
Carl has found a warm snuggly spot and just wants us to put down the camera and come enjoy it with him.

So now on to the comings and goings for the month of June.

The dog team at the sanctuary had no arrivals or departures during the month of June. This was not unexpected, given the wave of dogs adopted in April and the steady pace of new arrivals in May. But many of the canine crew have made great progress and are up for adoption and ready to go home. We’ll just be looking forward to that late summer bump in adoption activity we get most years.

      Daisy
Amaretto and Praline
Finch, Chickadee, Hawk, and Robin
In the world of Our Companions cats, Daisy went home for good this month, as did Amaretto and Praline. And our new arrivals, as everyone has been so excited about, are the litter of kittens: Finch, Chickadee, Hawk, and Robin. As so often happens, this foursome arrived and were right back out the door to their forever home this month.
So once again, thank you all for all that you do for these dogs and cats in need. We couldn’t do it without you!

Mini-dog Mayhem!

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We don’t often get many little dogs staying with us here the sanctuary.¬† So, it has been quite the experience having three pint sized pooches here at once!¬† But don’t let their miniature size fool you.¬† They pack just as much trouble as the biggest lab or pit bull!¬† So let’s meet our tiny terrors.

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Cody is a 5 year old chihuahua mix who has been with us for a few months.  He likes to play ball and spend time around other dogs.  However, there may be a chance that he thinks he is a cat, since he most certainly does not like people paying him too much attention and cannot deal with changes to his routine.

 

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Lulu is Cody’s 10 year old partner in crime.¬† If Cody might think he’s a cat, then Lulu surely thinks she’s a lion.¬† While she’s always ready for some quiet snuggling from humans, if you get her around other dogs, be ready to hear her roar!

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And rounding out our pack of pint sized pooches is Mitch.¬† Whether it’s jumping up on you, tugging on the leash or your sleeve, trying to untie your shoes, or stealing any towel in sight, it’s all part of a day’s fun for him.¬† Just watch your fingers when it’s time to put his harness on.

Now, lest you think we’re ones to let these cuties get away with whatever they want, all three have been attending Canine College classes with our dedicated (and brave) volunteers, and are showing great improvement.¬† In no time, we’ll have these diminutive delinquents on the straight and narrow and behaving as the happy doggy citizens we know they can be.

It’s all part of the work we do here at the Our Companions Animal Rescue Sanctuary.

Lab Work

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As Our Companions decides which dogs to bring in to our sanctuary, the question always arises of how much and what kind of work will be necessary to get the dog to the point of being adoptable. ¬†Sometimes it’s medical work, sometimes it’s behavioral work, and sometimes it’s both. ¬†Sometimes we know going in that a dog will need lots of work, and sometimes the dog won’t need much work at all. ¬†Bentley was a dog we knew would be challenging, but he was still full of surprises.

 

Bentley was a young lab mix with an cruciate ligament tear who, needed some training and some TLC.   We handle these kinds of things all the time.  But as he spent some time hear, we realized that things were worse than we knew.  In addition to the cruciate ligament tear, he had luxating patellas in both knees, and some wear on his hips and back as a result of those bad knees.  He also had a high level of frustration, as a puppy in too much pain to play, and, once he became comfortable with people, was prone to lots of nipping and mouthiness, and other inappropriate interactions.  He was going to be much more work than we originally thought.

But the sanctuary staff and volunteers were up to the task! ¬†We put in place strict handling instructions that gave him the consistency and control to learn a better way interact with people. ¬†We enrolled him in Canine College classes that worked his mind and gave him the skills and confidence to be the good dog he wanted to be. ¬†We set up for a canine massage therapist to work with him on a weekly basis and brought him to canine physical rehabilitation. ¬†And when all that didn’t quite do the trick, we made arrangements for a much needed knee surgery to get him moving better. ¬†The whole team came together, and Bentley blossomed into a sweet, happy boy.

 

 

And, as always, fate smiled on our hard work. ¬†His rehab therapist fell in love with the good boy under all the bad behavior, and decided his home should be with her. ¬†He is now recovering with the best of care, under the watchful eye of his new mom and two canine “sisters.” ¬†Bentley was more work than anyone imagined, but well worth the effort.

Rosie’s Recovery

Rosie 011417a

You would think that anyone who saw this face would fall instantly in love with Rosie, but there was a time when she was treated with very little love.

Rosie came to us from the Manchester Animal Control.  She had been brought to Bolton Vet neglected and malnourished.  She weighed only 17 pounds and was unresponsive.  They worked hard to keep her alive, though it was not always assured that they would succeed.  But she made it through and, once she was stable, needed a place to complete her recovery.  So, she came to the Our Companions Sanctuary, where we could slowly help her build back her weight and her strength, and assess any behavioral problems her ordeal may have caused.

 

 

It’s a testament to a dog’s resilience and capacity for love, however, that Rosie’s emotional scars were few. ¬†She was a resource guarder, and couldn’t live with another dog or cat, but with people, she was nothing but affectionate. ¬†She loved attention, love to hug and kiss, and made quick friends with everyone. ¬†And she surprised us all by being one of the few dogs we’ve had here who was happy and well mannered with all ages of children.

As Rosie’s body recovered and grew up to an appropriate 45 pounds, we nurtured her mind and spirit as well. ¬†She went to training classes and out on field trips to local state parks. ¬†And she worked with at-risk youth as part of our Buddy Project. ¬†She became a volunteer favorite, at least when she wasn’t untying your shoelaces or trying to sneak a treat from you.

And, as often happens here, it was just a matter of time before the perfect family for Rosie walked through our doors. ¬†They had no other pets, which worked great for Rosie. ¬†However, they did have two toddlers, which would have usually meant that we would not have a dog for them. ¬†But Rosie’s love of little kids made her a perfect match for them.

Rosie now lives in a loving home with a family who will make sure she never knows the kind of hardship she previously experienced again. ¬†And in return, she’ll give them no end of fun, laughter, and adorable, soft-eyed head tilts.

Congratulations, Rosie!

Rosie 050517b

Thank You Fall 2016 Interns

Interns are an amazing integration to making the Sanctuary work to its full capacity and we enthusiastically welcome their help and expertise! We’ve recently had to say goodbye to¬†our Fall UCONN interns and we want to thank them all for their great work this semester! Not only were they a huge help with the day to day chores but they also played a big role in the progress that many of our dogs have made over the past few months. This progress has ultimately lead to the adoption of a handful of our dogs! They did many field trips with¬†our dogs (who doesn’t like going off and having fun!)¬†and assisted in¬†executing behavioral and training plans. For example, they worked very hard on Gordie‚Äôs and Aspen‚Äôs training and even took Gordie, Aspen, and Brody to class some weeks. This was a very dedicated group!

We wish them all the luck in the world for their futures in animal care.

Thank you Brittany, Carolyn, Natalia, and Tiffany!!

natalia-and-aspen

tiffany-and-gordiecarolyn-and-bonniebrittany-and-lucy

 

 

Unemployed No More

jessie-090216bWhat, more than anything in the world, makes for a happy German Shepherd?  A job, of course!  And our Jessie was no exception.  Jessie came to us from a local animal control office, where she had been found stray.  She was not spayed, had a touch of frostbite, and worst of all, had a heart worm infection.  We took her in at the sanctuary, knowing that our staff and our volunteers made us well equipped to guide her through the arduous recovery process.

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Once Jessie arrived, she quickly won everyone’s hearts with her endless¬†affection and lighthearted demeanor.¬† And boy, did she love to work.¬† Like any good herder, she always kept a close eye on her flock, namely the staff and volunteers.¬† She loved meeting and¬†jessie-041916aworking with the other dogs and made some great friends.¬† Her most valuable job for us was as Henree House hostess, since she could always be counted on to graciously greet any visitor, even small children, and put on a little show.¬† She also excelled as a Buddy Project dog, helping at risk teens learn dog training skills.¬† But I think her favorite job could best be described as “tennis ball herder.”

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While Jessie loved all of these jobs, she was definitely missing the one job every dog aspires to:  life long companion to a person of her own.  That person finally came along this summer.  Tim had a traumatic brain injury that had damaged his short term memory.  He was moving into a new home and, while he had great human caretakers, thjessie-071216aere was one vacancy he needed to fill:  a dog to help him through the rough spots and make his life complete.  And we had just the girl for the job.  Jessie and Tim bonded immediately and after a few visits with her, we knew it was the perfect match.  Jessie is now permanently employed, giving her guy unlimited love and support, and of course, chasing down every tennis ball she can.

 

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Black Beauty

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Jessie is the picture of canine grace.¬† And she has an inner beauty to match.¬† Attentive and affectionate, she never saw a face that she didn’t want to kiss, and her belly is always available for some rubs.

Jessie 2-19-16b

 

Jessie came to us from a local animal control office.  She was sighted running loose in the town in winter and, though it took some time and several attempts, they were able to catch her and bring her in.  Once they had her safe and indoors, they saw what a joyful teddy bear she was.

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Unfortunately, she had a few health care concerns that needed addressing.  She needed to be spayed, her skin and coat were in poor condition, and, worst of all, she had a heartworm infection.  We took her in to the Our Companions Sanctuary and, with a little TLC, she quickly blossomed.

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Now, Jessie is a volunteer and visitor favorite.¬† With her health concerns behind her, she tears around the play yard fetching tennis balls, and has a great time with her doggie friends, Hera and Brody.¬† She’s well on the way to her fairy tale ending.

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Piper Update

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We’ve gotten our first report back from Piper’s new home! ¬†She’s doing great and settling in to a much deserved life of love and care after her rough beginning. ¬†Read her whole story here: ¬†https://ourcompanionsblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/02/piper-the-indestructible/

“Our family is so happy to welcome this little girl into our family. We have re-named her Abby and already she responds to her new name! She joins our cat, Sophie, who really wants nothing to do with her, and two goats, Firefly and Paprika, who are both very curious about her.

She has adapted well to our routine. She has learned to “give paw” and we are working on “stay” with some success. She will soon be going to school to learn even more. In keeping with her recovery from surgery, we take short walks, which are always an adventure since she would love to chase every bird, chipmunk and squirrel she sees.”