I realize that my being stunned by human stupidity is redundant after eleven years in rescue, but the surrender of Taddy last month in New Jersey was a stunner.  It was a drizzly, gray day at the Vince Lombardi rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike, where I was scheduled to pick up Taddy from her owners.  Taddy had been purchased by a young man as a gift for his pregnant girlfriend, from a litter of puppies produced by a backyard breeder in the neighborhood.  Little Taddy lasted through the first pregnancy, but, by the second pregnancy, she had worn out her welcome.  At the age of three, she was losing her home.

And so, I anxiously waited to meet this sweet, shy Eskie girl, and was relieved to see her owners show up on time.  As the car door opened, I couldn't believe my eyes.  Taddy jumped out of the car, off leash, in the middle of the busy rest stop and began to wander in the direction of a moving SUV.  My heart was in my mouth as I prepared to tackle her.  The owner looked at me strangely, wondering what the big deal was. 

Well, here's the thing....off leash training is a rather sophisticated maneuver, and really, one shouldn't expect an untrained dog...skittish and fearful of strangers, to behave as well off leash as one who has been properly trained....particularly in a busy parking lot.  Taddy's owner told me that she had never needed to put a collar or leash on Taddy in her entire life...and I wondered how this dog had lived so long in light of this unrealistic understanding of dog behavior.  So, we put a collar and leash on Taddy, and with great relief, put her in the travel crate for the trip home.

Taddy was a big hit in her overnight visit to Ann, our webmaster, where we spent the night with our other foster dogs, Bella and Lucky.  An overnight in Manhattan is always a treat, replete with good wine and good friends, and great dogs.  We passed an amiable evening, and Taddy made great friends with Ann, who was key in leash training her on the busy side streets of Manhattan.

Taddi settled into foster care nicely, and it wasn't long before we had a fantastic home for her. David and Mindy had put in an outstanding application, and Taddy seemed like the right fit. In fact, she never made it to our website. For years I have been saying that "in rescue, we, don't live in a Disney movie," to describe the disconnect between romanticized movie star dogs and the reprobates in our reality show. However, in the case of Taddys adoption....I'll be damned if I didn't walk right into a Disney movie. I can't remember the last time I spent time in such a beautiful, magical environment.

It was like a walk back through time...a lovely vintage home on a pond, complete with ducks, a tire swing, and large, steel sculptures...just for the art of it.  And horses!  The setting was idyllic, and David, Mindy and the kids were amazing.  There were two other rescue dogs, Pumpkin and Pepper, who had been adopted and rehabilitated in the last couple of years, and their progress was outstanding,  Taddy fit right in, and I left feeling like this adoption was a real home run....in the field of dreams!

I only hope that these folks are willing to foster in the near future!

Here are their first reports on Taddy:

April 22, 2009

I was just thinking I should send you a note to let you know how things are going. I have to say everyone seems to be settling in really well.

We have "officially" changed Tatti's name to Taddy, as in Samual Adams Taddy Porter beer (my husband loves a good beer). She's been nicknamed Taddy Bear and Taddy Cake. To me she is "my little girl".

All three dogs have been consistent with their behavior to each other - very much the same as you experienced while you were here. Taddy has not been too far behind me when I move about; which is the same behavior Pepper has - so I have two tag alongs now. Taddy had a couple accidents in the house on Sunday, but there's been no evidence of any since. She's gotten pretty good about letting me know when she needs to go out, and takes advantage of anytime we are outside. Today she spent some alone time on the front stoop. I stuck the leash in the shut door and she seemed quite happy to lay on the stoop, watch the yard and enjoy the cool bricks.

Everyone is taking time to socialize with her. She still a little shy around my husband, but he keeps finding ways to make sure she knows his a cool guy.

Last night she played peek-a-boo in my son's comforter when I was trying to tuck him in. We were having so much fun. Every now and then she comes over to me, stands up on my leg to be picked up - very much like a little kid; too cute.

Thank you very much for letting us make her a part of our family. We are enjoying her thoroughly. We will keep you posted with fun updates - I'll let you know if she jumps into the pond when she gets too hot!

Hope you get a chance to enjoy the upcoming warm weather.


April 23, 2009

David here, just wanted to let you know that Taddy has been watching me play with the other dogs, and watching how we interact with other, and I'm really pleased to say that when I came home from work today she greeted me with kisses on the nose.  She took to Mindy right away, but she wanted a little more time to make sure that I was going to be OK.

She's a real cutie!


Eskies Online is a private breed rescue group that has served unwanted American Eskimo Dogs for the past decade.  Our group of private foster homes spans the North East, and our adoption territory  extends from Maine to eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, and parts of northern Maryland.  Once an adopter is approved, we arrange transportation..  We do not adopt dogs beyond our territory.  Please visit our website, www.eskiesonline.com for more information about our group and our adoption procedures.