365 Days To Freedom ~ Hobbes
Hobbes was found as a stray in Star Valley 2 years ago, at 2 years of age. He was adopted from the Animal Adoption Center but was brought back some months later, as he developed a sensitivity to being around other dogs. He was back at the Center for some months, getting lots of love from the staff at the AAC.
Enter the summer of 2018, when my 15 year old and I were having lunch close by, and saw a dog being walked with the “Adopt Me” vest. We have never had a dog (but have 3 grown kids) and she had always loved dogs. That said, my wife and I had no intention of getting a dog at this stage of our lives. We went on a field trip to the Animal Adoption Center and I told her we can foster a dog for a night, which helps bring a shelter dog some time in a home and she can see if she wants a dog when she is 18. Well, the first dog she reached in to pet was Hobbes and he lay his head into her hand, and she was hooked. We took him home and he was so well behaved in the house and so sweet with us. We brought him back the next day and we exclaimed “Why doesn’t this dog have a home?” The staff told us it is more challenging to have a dog in this area if they do not like being around other dogs, which is understandable. When the rest of the family came to Jackson, we fostered him two more times, and bonded with him. When he enthusiastically greeted the 5 of us for the first time, my wife started to cry and a connection was formed.
Due to allergy issues one of us was having, we could not make the decision to adopt right away until we figured out a solution. When we contacted the AAC to advise we were ready to start the process, he was being fostered at a family considering to adopt him, and our hearts sank. We were deeply disappointed but were happy that he could be finding a home after such a long ordeal. Thankfully he was not a good fit with that family’s lifestyle and we were told he would be ours. We took him home after the summer (we live full time in Canada) and had lots of assistance and help getting him here from the whole staff. We even had a long conversation with Eva, the trainer who works with the dogs at the AAC, and she gave us lots of his history and how she was currently working with him.
Hobbes is now loving life in Toronto, and we are loving him. It took a few months for him to be 100% himself, but he was at ease right from the start. We had a few mishaps at the beginning, like finding out he ate 13 Oatmeal raisin cookies overnight, which bought him a trip to the vet, and a missing pizza placed too low for his reach. He walks in our neighborhood but we try to keep him from other dogs and he plays for hours in the fenced backyard chasing tennis balls. He is super calm when around dozens of people and gentle with toddlers. He will run up and nuzzle into any extended family member walking through the door, but when my mother in law comes in with her walker, he sits next to her and waits patiently for a pet and then he gently nuzzles her. She has never been around dogs and was afraid of them, but as she says, she can’t stop thinking about Hobbes when she is not here.
The first few months were a learning experience for all of us, and it wasn’t easy. Making accommodations so he is not around other dogs takes a little planning and he may miss out going to certain places, but we are sure he is so happy to be with us. He is so good, so sweet intuitive and is such a warm and loving part of our family that we can’t imagine life without him now. He has had a tough life, getting left by one family and given up by another, yet he is so loving and trusting. We are fortunate my daughter chose him and that he chose us. Hobbes was in the AAC program for exactly 365 days when he got in a car to travel to his new home in Canada. Thank you Jenna, Amanda,Virginia, Carrie and Eva!