Image by Mark D McKinley
(November 19, 2015) - After weeks without Alf we decided we needed another dog in our household. I began searching shelters and rescue organizations one evening for another dog. There were hundreds of dogs available for adoption ... one of them grabbed my attention after reading his bio.
Gus was a mini Australian Shepherd currently living at a Labrador Rescue shelter in a nearby town. My wife and I decided we wanted to meet Gus. I submitted the online adoption application at 9:44PM on a Saturday night. The adoption process and application was extremely thorough.
I received an e-mail from the rescue shelter at 8:45AM Sunday morning explaining that she would call our vet and asked questions about us and our previous pets. The shelter also requested other personbal references by first thing Monday morning. I emailed a reply and mentioned that our vet was open from 10AM - 5PM on Sundays.
She replied immediately and said she would call our vet in a couple of hours. I received an email from the shelter two hours later stating that our application had been sent to the shelter director- the person that actually handles rescue placement. After her conversation with our vet she felt we were a suitable consideration to adopt Gus.
The rescue shelter owner called me the next morning at work and informed me that we qualified for adoption and we could meet Gus at our convenience. We scheduled a meet and greet for Thursday evening.
Gus is a bona fide rescued dog- I'll spare you the details. When we arrived at the shelter a different dog was running around in their outdoor greeting area ... potentially meeting its new owner. My wife and I obsevered two other dogs that were brought into the area before we met Gus. The other dogs were clean, appeared healthy and seemed happy and full of energy.
It became obvious the shelter owner knew her dogs well and potential adoption clients were scrutinized by her through observation, listening, and conversation. She also paid attention to their body language. The potential client that arrived before us ... left the shelter without a dog. The shelter director/owner then brought Gus outside to meet us. It was obvious that Gus had already began to bond with the shelter director. His behavior and mannerisms suggested a dog that was hanging out with his best pal.
We spent an hour and half observing Gus. We called his name a few times along with simple commands to see how he reacted to us. We conversed with the shelter owner as we observed the little Aussie and got to know the shelter director better. Watching her interaction with the dogs was impressive and the outdoor areas of the facility were clean and orderly. Our moment of decision arrived and I signed the papers and paid the adoption fee- Gus rode home with us in the back seat of the car.
Gus has been a little gentleman from the onset and he's adapted to life with us well. We took it slow and easy, allowing Gus to just hang out and find his own place in our home. He eats well and drinks plenty of water. Gus also enjoys running laps in our fenced backyard. He's a natural while walking on a leash through the neighborhood. Gus seemed to feel completely comfortable around us after one week and we're starting to get the impression Gus thinks he lives here!
Gus is a purebred and had a loving personality. He has a typical Aussie coat coloration- listed as red and white- more accurately, his head and back is dark chocolate and blends to cinnamon toward his hind legs. His forehead, muzzle, and chest are predominately white along with the lower portion of his legs. He has dark brown eyes with a little blue fleck in the lower part of his right iris. Gus moves through the house quietly and his demeanor is calm and gentle. He's an affectionate little guy with a winning smile and loves his human pack. Gus kicks it up a notch when he's outdoors and can shift into high gear- running laps around his fenced yard. Gus enjoys having an audience when he runs.
- Mark McKinley
Visit Alfie's memorial website. Alf will never be replaced. He was truly a one of a kind pet. Alf's passing left a hole in our hearts. Alf was also a shelter dog. Knowing there are other dogs that need love, too - there's room in our hearts for another four legged pal. Our new friend arrived in the form of a five year old rescue named Gus.