Our Oakley became sort of a boomerang dog. Over a year ago, Oakley's owner died, and he was put into rescue by the bereaved family. At five years old, Oakley had amassed quite a few quirks. Oh, well, that's what makes him an Eskie!

I first met Oakley at a New Jersey Pet Fair that Diane Gonzalez and I were participating in at the local college. Our Long Island volunteer, Audra Eckes delivered Oakley to us and he was one scared, emaciated pup. When he reached Diane's, Oakley camped out at her front door like a war refugee. After about four days, Diane finally broke the ice and then Oakley glued himself to her.

After about a month, we found a home for Oakley in Massachusetts, but unfortunately, the situation did not work out. Oakley kept picking fights with the hubby...he was under the assumption that it was his job to protect the womenfolk. And so, Oakley made his way back to Diane's. I have never seen a dog so glad to see somebody in my life. Diane and Oakley were soul mates.

In the meantime, Diane had picked up another boomerang boy, Alfie from the Glouscester County Shelter in New Jersey. Alfie was a big, big doofus whom nobody had taken the time to train. He was big and clumsy and loved to jump up and knock the breath right out of you. Despite the shelter's attempt to adopt out Alfie, his family returned him rather than dig in their heels and do the obedience work.

And so, Alfie was at Diane's when Oakley arrived for the second time. They were fast friends and since they were the same size, the play was rather raucous. The sight of Diane walking these two unruly boys was a laugh riot. At 4:00 am Diane could be seen in the midst of two jumping, wrestling Eskies, wrapped in their leashes like a maypole as they tried to bite each other's heads. The refrain, "Alfie!! Oakley!! -- STOP IT!!!" rang out as a predawn anthem. I had the last laugh though, when I had to walk them.

Diane worked slavishly on training these boys, and it paid off. The boot camp approach produced some amazing results, and it wasn't long before we got a call from Diane Eckoff, who was interested in adopting both boys. Alfie lives with Diane and Oakley lives with Diane's parents nearby in Long Island. The boys see each other all the time and are settling in nicely. This is truly one of our best outcomes. Here is Diane Eckoff's first report:

Hi Denise,

Please forward to Diane Gonzales, too.
Time has gone by so fast since Alfie and Oakley have come to their final homes on Long Island. The a little unsure of himself but felt safe with Alfie at his side (even though he was busy getting sick). The policeman who pulled us over in Staten Island to inquire what we were doing soon went his merry way when I shared with him that my mother and I had just adopted the two Eskies in the car and that one of them was busy christening my six month old jeep.

When we finally arrived at my mother's the dogs were very happy to get out of the jeep and take their first walk together around the circle that my mother lives on. Off we went and came back to Oakley pulling to go up the driveway. Into the house they both came as they investigated the whole downstairs being quite interested. Oakley was introduced to his new father, Norman (my Dad) and didn't seem too interested. He basically stayed at my side (I think he thought I had adopted him) and looked at my mother.


I left with my father and Alfie and went home (1 mile away) to bring Alfie to his final home. Mom and Oakley had time together to bond. Dad assembled Alfie's new crate and went home. Alfie's two sisters and brother were locked in the laundry room while he entered his house and looked around. They were let free and Alfie dashed at poor Whiskey (his brother) and I never saw Whiskey move so fast in his life. I thought Alfie was going to eat Whiskey. You see Alfie's sisters and brother are all indoor cats who have never seen a dog. I am glad to report that the cats finally figured out that if they do not run Alfie does not chase them. They are all starting to tolerate each other being in the same room at the same time. Princess and Boots (the girls) will come out with him loose and Whiskey (who previously was being quite aggressive with the girls and peeing in the house) has been cured of his bad habits.

The kids Kelly (age 8 who prayed for a dog for her birthday) just loves Alfie and Tyler (age 15 wasn't crazy about getting him because he has to share in the responsibility of taking care of him) has a new best buddy to run and play with. He has totally disrupted our house bringing fun and love back into our somewhat boring habitat (a thing of the past now).

As for Oakley, he loves his new home. He has adapted extremely well to being the only pet (King) in the house, loves all of the grandchildren, loves his mom, following her all around and has learned to love and trust his dad who gives him his special massage daily. As for the boys seeing each other, they visit at each other's houses (both are glad to go home after the visit) weekly and are always thrilled to see each other. Oakley continues to be the boss, putting Alfie in his place (Alfie's definitely full of energy - just a big puppy). I just want to say that the boys didn't get adopted by the same person but they are only a mile away and see each other weekly. They will be together for life through their hearts and visits.

Denise, you and Diane have made this all possible through your generous efforts. I know many other people must feel the same way - You have not only rescued these dogs but you have rescued the hearts of all who adopt one because the love they have to offer is unconditional and for life. Thanks to both of you, our family (and the dogs) are all very greatful. Keep up the good work and I have enclosed some pictures of Alfie with Kelly, Alfie in the yard and Alfie's sisters and brother (Whiskey is the black cat). I'll keep you posted in the future.


Diane Eckhoff