By Greg Boester
As the old saying goes, ‘…some things are meant to be…’
In the spring of 2015 my family began the process of adopting a new Lab following the heartbreaking passing the previous summer of Banner, at age 16.
Rather than work with a breeder, we decided to pursue a rescue dog. We were introduced to an organization called Labs4Rescue. Through friends, we had learned of the amazing work the many volunteers of the organization do daily to race against the clock rescuing abandoned and neglected dogs from shelters in the southern United States and attempting to find an appropriate family and place them in their “forever-home.” The organization works very hard to match families committed to providing appropriate and carefully selected environments with each dog’s personality, temperament, and needs. The process was trying and emotional to say the least.
After several unsuccessful attempts to match, we received a notice that had, uncharacteristically, just one picture, grainy and a bit out of focus, of a 6- month-old Black Lab looking intently at the camera over her left shoulder. Something about her drew us in and my wife Marian, said, “This is the one.”
We scrambled to respond but then heard nothing for several days, which then became weeks. We eventually departed to join a family reunion in Scotland, and while on the Isle of Skye, we received an unexpected call that we had a match! There was much rejoicing! It took about two seconds for our family to agree that Skyler would be her new name, given our location. She arrived two months later and, upon inspection of the medical documents, we learned that she and Marian share the same birthday. As I said, some things are meant to be.
Skyler (aka Skyler B. Wiggles) is so amazingly attached to our family, so desirous of personal contact and affection, and so willing to be the always-on-call playmate that we can’t imagine life without her. She quickly became playmates with our two small Abyssinian cats, Minx and Cabot (each maybe 10 percent Skyler’s weight), and they often stage rigorous chases and boxing matches throughout the house. The cats seem to always win for some reason.
While Skyler has proven that no stick is too challenging to shred and leave in pieces on the family room floor, she also has an interesting habit of removing and replacing toys in her toy box at times. In characteristic Lab fashion, she is a swimming fool and will spend hours in and out of the water. In the summer, she prefers to swim long distances following a paddleboard rather than hitch a free ride. One gets the sense that she appreciates finding her forever home as we do our amazing luck.
<If you have a rescue story to share, email RyeRescues@gmail.com. A sincere thanks to Geoff Tischman for donating his time and photographic skills for this column.>