In the winter of 2009, I found myself ready, willing and wanting to bring a dog into my home. I didn’t have a preference for any particular breed or whether it was male or female. All I did was simply start my search.
At the time I was admittedly naïve to the realities of dog rescue and I didn’t realize just how many dogs were spending their days in shelters, foster homes and on the streets. I soon discovered endless websites devoted to canine rescue with profile after profile after profile of dogs that needed a warm, loving home to call their own.
I was initially drawn to smaller breeds because, at the time, I was living in apartment. Soon after I started combing through adoption profiles, I found one for an almost-three-year-old, rusty-coloured Pomeranian cross named Jordy. Alarm bells went off in my head when I saw that his profile came with a warning that he was a dog with high anxiety and would require a lot of care. Though barely three, in Jordy’s short life he had already been re-homed six times including his foster home. Before he was in foster care, Jordy lived with a man who was unkind to him and hurt him a great deal – both physically and emotionally.
Not up for the challenge, I kept clicking and moved on.
However, something about the sad, frightened eyes in Jordy’s profile photo kept drawing me back. I found myself clicking over to his profile at various times throughout my work day, re-reading his profile so many times I practically had it memorized. After a little bit of deliberation and the notion that there must be some reason why I keep coming back to him, I decided to submit an adoption application. The rescue group, Furever After Small Dog Rescue, immediately responded to tell me that Jordy already had several pending applications but that it wasn’t on a first-come, first-served basis; whoever was the best match for Jordy would be bringing him home.
Undeterred, I filled out the mammoth-sized application, dove through the numerous hoops of a home visit, telephone interviews and reference checks before I was even invited to meet Jordy. To most it would seem like too many hoops to jump through, but I knew that the rescue organization wanted to make sure that whoever would be Jordy’s guardian needed to have a lot of moxie and a little bit of fortitude.
After about a month, I visited Jordy at his foster home on nearby Vancouver Island. He lived there with a handful of other small dogs – all of whom were very well taken care of – but it was clear from the start that Jordy was different from the others. While his foster brothers and sister played in a large heap in the family room, Jordy was the “sad little orphan” hiding in corners and shadows, out of sight. He seemed completely disinterested in interacting with me and was clearly attached to his foster mom. We decided to take Jordy and one of the other foster dogs for a walk in the nearby woods with me holding Jordy’s leash. After 10 or 15 minutes, Jordy’s foster mom told me that I could drop Jordy’s leash and he would not run away. I told her that I was pretty sure he’d run ahead and walk with her rather than with me, but I dropped his leash anyway. To my surprise, Jordy didn’t run ahead. He continued to trot right alongside of me. After about a minute he stopped walking, turned and placed his front paws on my shins. I stooped down to pick Jordy up and hold him in my arms. To my astonishment, he started to lick my face! I looked over at his foster mom and saw her jaw quite nearly on the ground. “In the six months he’s been with me, he’s never done that to anyone,” she exclaimed. We both laughed a little as Jordy continued to lick my face before she said “Well, sometimes they just choose you…”
How right she was! I was certain then as I was a month before that I wanted to adopt Jordy. His foster mom informed me that all the requirements had been met and that the rescue group was comfortable with the idea of me adopting him. She told me that if I wanted Jordy, he was mine.
A week later, after returning home to prepare my apartment for Jordy’s arrival, adoption day arrived. A car ride and a ferry sailing back to Vancouver later, Jordy was finally home. Really, truly home.
I still remember that day, over four years ago now, how he leapt up onto my couch upon entering my apartment and made himself quite at home. I remember how he’d circle around me on our walks in Jordy’s new neighbourhood. I remember how every single day I would return from work to find that he’d peed somewhere in the apartment, allowing his fears to materialize as he staked his claim. I remember how he’d crawl into bed with me in the evening, kiss my face goodnight with his little pink tongue and continue to pant in his sleep throughout the night. The first few months were filled with a lot of struggle as Jordy learned to adapt to his new home and routine and as he learned to trust his new and forever circumstances. It was challenging for both of us but my love and commitment wouldn’t let me fail him.
It’s been more than four years and to say that Jordy is a different dog today would be an overwhelming understatement. Jordy is bright, affectionate, cuddly, quirky and downright hilarious. He has more nicknames than furry hairs on his head. If Jordy has it his way, he’d be outside in nature with us all the time – going for walks and camping trips are his favorite!
Jordy is such a central part of our lives. My fiancé and I can’t imagine what each of our days would be like without his happy smile greeting us when we arrive home. Lazy Sunday afternoons would feel incomplete without his furry body stretched out on the couch next to us. While my love of dogs includes all breeds, it’s no surprise that Pomeranians have taken a special place in my heart – all thanks to this furry little monkey who has given us so much more than we have given him.