What a survivor this boy is. He was neglected and cast away like yesterday's trash by a heartlless owner. Then known as Shy, he was observed by Lisa, his owner's next door neighbor, day after day, tied up alone in the yard, never given food, water or shelter.

Lisa was finally able to convince the owner to let her take Shy into her home at night, where she fed him and cared for him. Finally, Lisa asked the owner to give Shy up to rescue, and the owner tried to shake her down for $200. Eventually Shy's owner surrendered him to Lisa, who contacted our Rhode Island Foster Mom, Jeanne. When I picked up Shy from Jeanne a few weeks ago, I was flabbergasted at the sweetness of this boy -- and amazed at how his spirit survived this abusive situation.

With great speed, I drove Shy up to his new foster home, with Cindy in Maine, and chortled myself silly as I watched Cindy cope with puppyness. Shy really blossomed in foster care, but Cindy's boy Ollie seemed to get sick and tired of repeating himself during Shy's overzealous play sessions. After about a week, Cindy brought Shy back to me, because, I just do not have enough dogs. Cindy was a weary foster mom, but happy to have participated in Shy's progress.

Shy needed extra attention and love after spending so much of his puppy-hood alone in the yard.

Eskies too "hyper"??

We had many, many people interested in Shy, yet his adoption came as a complete surprise to me. I had begun speaking with Laurel Chiten, who was in the early stages of her dog search. Laurel had previously lost her Sheltie/Eskie mix to old age related illnesses and was now ready to open her heart to another dog. She was doing her research on Eskies, and upon visiting with one particular seven month old female pup, at the Save-A-Dog facility, her impression was that the breed may be too "hyper" for her personality. She felt that she wanted to explore the breed further, and seemed interested, but hesitant about adopting.

Well, I always say, "jump in first, and think later," so I suggested that "Eskie immersion" was the way to go for Laurel. I invited her over to meet the Angels From God. If she lived through it, she was an Eskie person....and we would know soon enough in the visit.

As luck would have it, I had two foster dogs in residence on the day of her visit....Shy, and Wylie Coyote ....who were alternately fighting and spraying diarrhea. I have been in rescue a long time, and yet, until now, I had not witnessed the perpendicular force with which diarrhea could be expelled from a dog's behind. Thankfully, I could offer Laurel every level of Eskie hysteria and dysfunction so that she could get the full picture of Eskie ownership.

Wylie had his own special talents to display.

Toot is always willing to introduce a newcomer to Eskie-ness.

And then, as this woman entered my apartment and sat down on the deliberately unvacuumed floor (this is often a deterrent to hesitant adopters), I watched with amazement as the Angels from God proceeded to charm her. Even Toot seemed to like her, and Toot is quite particular about strangers. Nikita saved a special treat for Laurel, as he proceeded to blow his entire coat on her dark purple sweater.

But, Shy was the real surprise. Aside from his foster mom, Cindy, Shy had not really warmed up to strangers quickly, and yet, he crawled right into Laurel's lap and snuggled as if he had known her all his life. And, Laurel was absolutely bewitched. Shy, it seems is a most un-Eskie-like Eskie, since she used the words calm and quiet to describe him. I thought that maybe Toot had slipped him a valium. But no, it is true, we actually have documented proof that the American Eskimo Dog breed has at least one member who has common sense.

There was no arguing with this chemistry -- Laurel had been looking at dogs for over a month, and this just seemed to be the perfect match. And so, she returned the next day, with her friends, and collected her new boy. So far so good, Shy is behaving himself and is winning friends by the legions. He is already in obedience class....and Laurel is sure he will get it soon.

Here is Laurel's first report--before Shy's name became Shadow:

Hi Denise -- Just thought I would let you know how our little boy is doing.

I brought him to my office yesterday and everyone fell in love with him. There is another dog there and the two of them became fast friends. He was
even allowed to share in the other dogs bones and toys.

He is beginning to assert his Eskie willful nature. When I ask him to come he runs in the opposite direction while smiling and wagging his tail (if not asked he will follow me around like velcro!) We look like a comedy show and everyone laughs at his antics -- at my expense (smile)

He is quickly learning how not to pee in the house, made it through two nights on my bed with no accidents. He still will pee suddenly and slightly, in the
middle of the hall, for instance, even though he was just taken outside.

He still has diarrhea and my vet suggested I feed him boiled chicken and rice, which I have done. He gets free range chicken and
basmati rice and I get frozen pizza.

All and all, he seems to be a very happy, energetic, playful, yet still
slightly mellow and quiet, little dog. If only we could settle on a name!

Tonight we go to doggie school.

Thanks again. He is a real angel.


July 2003 Update

Shadow just attended a friend's birthday party...and ended up with a new outfit!