The best thing happened to my wife and I in 2013 is our adaption of Georgie Boy from a local animal shelter. We feel we are so blessed that we were able not only to save his life, but he made our lives more fulfilled. Today, we cannot image life without our precious Georgie Boy!
After a FB friend posted a desperate help to save a Pit-bull from being killed at a nearby animal shelter, my wife and I knew we want to do our part to save a life. Yes, we want to do what we can; even just save one life. Our first criteria in selecting a dog are that he/she will be friendly to Brandy, our 14-year old Golden Retriever.
In April, 2013, we were informed that 2.5-year old Georgie Boy has been in this kill-shelter for 4 months and had developed kennel stress and deemed unadoptable. The staff at the shelter was going to euphonize him in a few days in order to make room for others.
We arranged a “Meet and Greet” session for Brandy with Georgie Boy and two other candidates. Georgie Boy was the first we met. Georgie Boy being a Pit-bull and due to the sensationalized media coverage on Pit-bulls, we were a bit apprehensive. However, he was friendly to Brandy and displayed no aggression whatsoever, but a sweet and sad demeanor. After about 30 seconds of sniff around (photo 1), instead playing with Brandy, to our surprise as my heart ached when I saw Georgie Boy laid down at the corner by himself (photo 2). He was very much alone in this world and has gotten used to feel no one really loved him. This is the moment I told my wife that I would like to save Georgie Boy. My wife also adored Georgie Boy but asked if we should delayed the decision until we saw the other two dogs. Somehow, deep in my heart, I knew Georgie Boy was the one we wanted to save. We went ahead with the process to adapt.
After lots of paperwork, Georgie Boy was ready to go home with us. I remember vividly, that he was so scared, even on a leash, he belly-crawled the entire length of the parking lot in order to get to our parked car. He was shaking and terrified. My wife and I knew it would take some time in order for him feel loved and special.
For the first few days, he was scared and unsure of his new home. My wife and I just left him alone without any demand. Georgie Boy mostly watched and followed Brandy everywhere. He learned his name (it was given to him by the shelter) and went to bathroom in the backyard the very first day. Few days later, the uncontrollable shaking has subsided but he still jumped when touched. Those eyes were wide-open and always on guard. Since Georgie Boy was picked up from the streets, therefore the shelter had no history. My wife and I wondered what kind of abuse he had endured that negatively impacted this beautiful dog so deeply?
Miraculously, just after about one week, Georgie Boy begins to relax. He began to respond to commands such as “come” and “sit”. He began to play fetch with a ball in the backyard. He began to trust and feel loved.
Just about that time, I took Georgie Boy to a local park after a short walk. We stopped at a gazebo where I took off my backpack, which is tethered to Georgie Boy’s 25’ lead. As I set my backpack on the picnic table upright, not paying attention to the exact balance of the pack, I attended to Georgie Boy’s water bowl. Unexpectedly, few seconds later, that pack shifted its weight and fallen off the table and hit the floor. Next thing, I knew that Georgie Boy, scared by the unexpected noise, had broken the tether and bolted without looking back or respond to my voice. Within seconds, I lost sight of him. My last view of him was running toward interior part of the park. Luckily, he did not run toward the street where there were many cars and there were no other people or dogs in the park. Georgie Boy did not understand why there was a sudden, loud scary noise and that had triggered his primal response to run away.
I left my backpack on the floor and ran after him. I thought to myself, this little dog sure run fast (although Georgie Boy is about 60-lbs, we were used to 80-90 lbs. Golden Retrievers). Thoughts of calling the shelter and reporting that I lost the dog I just adapted few days ago is not going to be well received. After ¼ of mile frantically searching and yelling his name, I saw this little scared dog near the trees about 50-yard away staring at me; it was Georgie Boy and he had stopped running. He watched me carefully as I approached, debating whether to let me get close or not. At this time, Georgie Boy still has the 25’ rope attached to his collar and he allowed me to get closer and grabbed the rope. I apologized for scaring him and reassured him everything is OK. I was relived that I found him. Lesson learned to be very careful and deliberate around a skittish dog.
Fast forward eight months later today, Georgie Boy is an obedient, affectionate, rambunctious and playful dog at home. In every respect, he is “normal” in his home. However, he begins to shake when we do our nearly daily hike. Georgie Boy is my hiking buddy; we hiked up to 50-mile per week (photo 3 & 4). I suspect he does not like getting into the car. I also noticed that he was shaking uncontrollable during a recent hike with many other hikers. Apparently, the proximity with so many strangers also scared him. However, Georgie Boy seemed be OK once we are on the trail.
During the evenings, Brandy, Georgie Boy and I do our daily walks around the neighborhood. Gradually, I noticed that Georgie Boy get excited around 4 PM for our walk. Frequently, we met Maddi, our neighbor’s Lynnae Claeys and Jimmy’s adorable little girl, on the walk. Maddi, loves Georgie Boy and Georgie Boy loves Maddi (photo 5 & 6).
My wife and I knew in order to help Georgie Boy with his fear, it will take a long time. Someone even told us it is “imprinted” and he will never get over it. In either event, we will be there for our little Georgie Boy. We love him unconditionally and so grateful that he is part of our lives (photo 7 & 8). BTW, Brandy Girl demands equal time, so here are photo 9 & 10 of Brandy.