The Story of Two Best Friends

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There have been famous best friends all throughout history, Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn, Turner & Hooch, and Thelma & Louise just to name a few… but perhaps none matches the friendship of two homeless mutts, Rocky & Maggie.  Born thousands of miles apart, it’s obvious they were meant to be together.  This is their story.

In the fall of 2011, I became a dog foster with the Colorado Animal Welfare League (CAWL).  The role of a foster is an important one.  Fosters open their homes and hearts to dogs (and cats) providing them with food, shelter, and love; helping them transition to their forever home.

In December of 2011, I was asked to foster my 4th dog, Rocky.  Immediately, I said, “Yes!”  Much to my surprise this guy stole my heart, and 2 days later on my birthday, I adopted him.  You know that feeling you get when your intuition kicks in that you simply must do something?  That’s what happened just from seeing Rocky’s picture. He and I had some important rescue work ahead of us. 

Rocky has the greatest temperament.  He loves everyone he meets.  He has allowed me to continue fostering dogs of all sizes.  Big dogs, small dogs, confident dogs, and even super shy dogs.  His self-assigned job is to make every dog feel welcome and teach them how to simply be a dog.  With each dog that was adopted, bittersweet emotions emerged.  However, it’s incredibly rewarding to save a life, and that’s what kept me motivated to continue.  Also, I had my Rocky to help heal my heart. 

In the spring of 2012, CAWL helped organize the very first Annual “Potcake” Lift, bringing in over 60 dogs from the Grand Bahamas Humane Society, you can read more about that here.  The dog assigned to me was “Brownie Girl”, whom I eventually renamed, Maggie.

When we arrived at the airport, all the dogs were happily stretching their legs, wagging their tails, and meeting their new foster families.  But there was one little shy girl, cowering off to the side.  It was my foster dog with her tail between her legs.  Sweet little Maggie was afraid of her own shadow.  To be honest, I was very worried.  I wasn’t sure if anything could help her.

Maggie managed to crawl far under the transport van all the way to the end of her leash. She refused to even take one step, so I carefully lured her from beneath the vehicle, carried her to my car, and headed home.  For the first few days, I carried her everywhere. 

When we arrived home, I placed her down in the yard where she quickly darted to the large pine tree and got as close to the trunk as possible. Rocky just laid down nearby as if to say, “you take your time, when you’re ready to play, I’ll be here.” 

That night, she plastered herself against the wall and didn’t move; she just needed sleep.

The next morning, once again I carried her outside and she immediately darted back under the tree.  However, this time she didn’t go quite as far, in fact, she was barely below the branches.  Rocky went into play position and Maggie started to take a few steps toward him.  As I observed from a distance I noticed that Rocky, the ambassador, coaxed her into the middle of the yard where there were a couple of balls on the ground. 

She probably didn’t even know what they were, but eventually Maggie picked up a ball in her mouth.  This was likely the very first toy she’s ever had.  Rocky gently inched closer to her, and then it happened… Maggie wagged her tail 2 times!  I had to contain my excitement, because this was my sign that she would be okay.

During the weeks and months that followed, Maggie continued to come out of her shell.  I watched how she looked to Rocky to learn everything.  How to walk on leash, how to play, and even how to be adventurous.  We live in a mixed-use neighborhood with shops and restaurants, and Rocky and Maggie would jump up on the planters and walls, creating their own agility course. Doggie Parkour!

They couldn’t get close enough.  If Rocky was on the couch, Maggie would jump up beside him.  They snuggled on the bed (I even caught them spooning!).  This was simply a match like no other.  However, as a foster I know it’s my job to rehabilitate them and let them go.  While it was always emotional, saying goodbye to Maggie was the hardest. But, an adopter came forward and I had trust that she was getting an opportunity that she’d never have in the Bahamas.

Over the next few months I continued to foster, but my thoughts frequently returned to Maggie.  I kept in touch with the adopter and checked in to see how she was adjusting.  It was clear that Maggie was having a tough time without her best friend, Rocky, and after 10 long months, the adopter agreed to return her to the rescue.  Maggie was back with us, and initially I thought I had to find her a home where she’d have another confident dog to make her feel comfortable.  And then I realized, Rocky is that confident dog and this was her home.

I never thought I’d be a two-dog family, but these two are a match made in heaven, bookends, two-peas-in-a-pod, and the most wonderful example of two best friends.

Maggie is now so brave; she excitedly meets dogs and people of all ages, wags her tail with wild abandon, and still looks to Rocky for guidance.  They both love to hike, swim, and visit with friends. Most importantly, they will spend the rest of their lives with their BFF (best friend forever)!  Celebrate Best Friends Day June 8th!

 

 

Betsy is a volunteer with the Colorado Animal Welfare League, and has happily become the self-professed “doggie matchmaker”, and will help you find your perfect rescued pet.  She works as an Independent Marketing Consultant, and a Professional Photographer specializing in Pets, Newborns, Kids, & Family Portraiture.  Check out her new Facebook Page: Betsy V Photography.  For more information on how you can help homeless pets, please email her at: betsy@coloradoanimalwelfare.org