The more adoptions we do, the more I am puzzled by the vast differences in perspective between a dog's original owners and the adoptive owners. I have lost count of the number of Eskies who were reported to have behavior issues intolerable to the dog's original owners and, yet, perfectly manageable or nonexistent to the adoptive owners.

I have spent years trying to figure out why this is true....and to pinpoint this quality of perspective that is present in a top rate adopter...but I just can't put my finger on it. I have come to the conclusion that true Eskie lovers are just plain nuts...and this intrinsic nuttiness results in that "I would rather cut off my arm than give up my dog" level of commitment that I want to see in an adopter.

And so, this brings me round to our story of Miss Sandie. Sandie had been dumped into a Connecticut Eskie Rescue group a couple of years ago and spent a bit of time in foster care before she was adopted out to a lovely Connecticut family. Another couple of years went by and Sandie had pissed off her family and friends to the point where even the mailman had copped an attitude toward her. Well...never underestimate the power of a 22 pound alpha bitch. I knew I would love Sandie on the spot.

So, I arranged to pick up Sandie and together we made our way back to Massachusetts to meet the Angels From God. I was nervous about the introduction because Sandie had been reported to dislike other dogs. Well...any dog that opinionated gets a quick perspective adjustment at my house. Sandie fit in right away -- she did not even test the metal of the Angels From God. No sense in fighting battles you can't win, I say.

Sandie checks out the balcony in her foster home.

Before Sandie came into rescue, she had made the circuit of family friends' homes because her behavior had gotten so out of control. As a result of the chaos, her grooming was not the best that it could be. The first thing that I noticed about Sandie was that her tail was knotted into thick dreadlocks. I have known Rastamen in Jamaica whose dreadlocks are not as pronouced as were Miss Sandie's.

So, the brushing process began and fortunately many of them brushed out easily, but the tail hair was very stubborn. I almost thought that I should have her tail shaved...but, ARGH...what a horrible "Babe the Pig" look to put on such a pretty girl. I didn't want Sandie to fall into that "Aw...but, she has such a pretty face" category. So, Sandie kept her dreadlocked tail and I changed her diet to California Natural which always seems to improve coat texture. And little by little, the dreads loosened up. Now it was time to talk to adopters. After considering all of her reported flaws, I was stumped to figure out who would be the right owner for her. And, I was damned sure that this was going to be the last time she would have to be uprooted. I was leaning toward adopting her myself...but that is entirely confidential, because I don't want to hear any nonsense about it from Ann or Diane who seem to think that I don't need another dog.

I began talking to people about Sandie, and I was not quite sure what I was looking for in the way of an adopter for this leash aggressive, dog aggressive, man hating, mailman munching bitch... but, I figured I would recognize that Eskie nuttiness when I saw it. And, Bingo...I received an email from Chris Biscuiti of Long Island.

What stuck out about Chris's application is the fact that the family Eskie, Clyde, is a fourteen year old arthritic rescue Eskie who had been adopted by the Biscuiti family at age two. Now, that's a commitment! So, I made my way to Long Island with my Mapquest directions...which neglected to foresee the Throg's Neck Bridge DETOUR...which went right over my not being marked well enough for any normal driver to follow. And so, I found myself on the Whitestone Bridge, on the cell phone with Ann, who apparently stands by for emergency direction-giving when I am on road trips.

Thanks to Ann, I found the house, but arrived a bit ruffled. Sandie was a bit stand-offish at first, but after she inspected Clyde and the backyard, she settled down for a snuggle with Chris's mom...whom I was pleased to see sporting a Clay Aiken T-shirt. I love a woman who roots for the underdog. I was also pleased to see Clyde snarl and growl at me when I tried to pet him, because he was making Sandie look damn good.

After a delightful visit, it seemed that Sandie was home at last...for the last time. I felt a twinge of anxiety as I watched her little face stare at me leaving...I was second guessing myself..."Did I make the right decision for her?" "Should I take her with me?" but then, I heard Toot's voice in the back of my mind...doing her well-rehearsed impression of Cher in "Moonstruck: "SNAP OUT OF IT."

I am delighted with Sandie's adoption, and was glad to see Chris's first report.

March 20, 2004

Hey Denise:

Sandie had really adjusted wonderfully to her new home. She is as energetic and playful as ever, and I've noticed that since she's come here our other Eskie, Clyde, has been a little more energetic as well.

We also took Sandie to a professional groomer and her fur is so smooth these days! She loves the kids in the neighborhood, and any new person she meets she seems to adjust to them right away, after only a couple of minutes.

So Sandie is doing really well, and we all love her dearly.

Kind regards,

Chris Biscuiti

Update, November 5, 2007:

Hello Denise:

I just wanted to let you know that Sandie is doing absolutely fabulous. She is just about 10 years old, and the past three years have been just incredible. 

Sandie was there for all of us when Clyde died at the age of 17, and she continues to be an affectionate, energetic, and loving Eskie.
We are so happy and privileged to have Sandie around, and I just wanted to say thank you again from the bottom of my heart.
Chris Biscuiti