RYE RESCUES: Week of Nov 21, 2014

Vera Siefert shares her heartwarming story of finding the perfect rescue dog for her family. Enjoy Cody’s happy tale and be sure to send your own rescue story to RyeRescues@gmail.com.

RYE-RESCUESth
Published November 21, 2014 5:00 AM
4 min read

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RYE-RESCUESthVera Siefert shares her heartwarming story of finding the perfect rescue dog for her family. Enjoy Cody’s happy tale and be sure to send your own rescue story to RyeRescues@gmail.com.

RYE-RESCUESVera Siefert shares her heartwarming story of finding the perfect rescue dog for her family. Enjoy Cody’s happy tale and be sure to send your own rescue story to RyeRescues@gmail.com.

 

For at least two years, we’d been looking for a dog. We did a lot of research, looking at what might be the best breed, the right size and personality for us. It was our first dog, and with three girls and a husband who was, well, let’s just say lukewarm on the idea, the fit with our family was important.

My youngest daughter Emma had been on a play date with a friend who had a cocker spaniel and came home saying what a sweet dog it was. It was a good size, and the research showed cockers are great family dogs.

I really liked the idea of adopting a shelter dog instead of buying from a breeder, so we started our search with petfinder.com. You can narrow your search by all sorts of criteria, including age, breed, and location.

We went online and saw a cute photo of “Wendal,” a cocker spaniel, at the New Rochelle Humane Society, and called to schedule a visit.

Emma and I loved Wendal right away. We knew pretty darn quickly that he was what we were looking for in a pet. He was 8 months old with papers and microchip.

This is what the shelter was able to piece together of Wendal’s life story. He was originally sold by a pet store in Long Island, and later found abandoned on a street in the Bronx. When they found him, he was covered in mange. The shelter, of course, completely treated him for this before they put him up for adoption.

At the New Rochelle shelter, we got down on the floor and played with Wendal for a long time. We took the toys out of his mouth to see how he would react. I was ready for housebreaking and other typical puppy things, but didn’t want a dog that was aggressive or possessive of his toys. Wendal was willing to let Emma be the boss.

You could tell right away that he was completely obsessed with playing fetch. Since I had a basement full of lacrosse balls, a physically active daughter, and a big backyard, it was a perfect fit. We returned to the shelter so that my husband and other daughter could meet Wendal (a shelter requirement).

Having never had a dog, we were nervous to get our first dog from a shelter. It turned out they were worried about that, too. Wendal had already been returned once to the shelter. A family with children adopted him and brought him back after a week, saying he was too excitable. The shelter director thought he was a “project” dog who should go to a family with more experience. She showed us other dogs that might be better suited. They tried to interest us in Spike, a puggle, who was very docile. But in our minds, Wendal was already “our” dog.

Thankfully, they let us adopt him. The shelter gave him his shots, had him groomed, bathed, and neutered. A few days later, I went back to pick him up. They sent us home with a care package that included a certificate for a free hour of one-on-one with a dog trainer.  

The first thing we did was change his name (to Cody), something almost all adoptive families do. Next, we headed to the backyard to play fetch! As for my less-than-enthusiastic husband, by the weekend he and Cody were best friends.

A month later, the Humane Society called to follow up. I told them Cody was great and had adjusted so well to our family that I couldn’t even think of a reason to call the trainer. The director was floored. She wanted to use him as a feature in their newsletter since it was such a success story.

It’s been five years since we adopted Cody. During that time we’ve changed houses, sent two daughters to college, one to boarding school, and become part-time empty nesters. Through it all, Cody has enriched our family as only a dog can.

 

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