Posted May 5, 2012 - Adopting a pet is quite an involved process, and for good reason. The good people who run (true) rescue organizations want to be sure the best match is made so the adoptable dogs and cats go to secure, forever homes. How do I know this? We recently adopted a dog!
Shortly after our golden retriever Hickory passed away, I realized that our then 6 year-old pup Ellie May was feeling the loss just as much as we were. It became clear that she missed the companionship that Hickory provided. I began researching rescue organizations, and we started thinking about qualities we wanted our next dog to possess. I wanted our next dog to be easy going and friendly with other pups. In an attempt to push off the inevitable loss that comes with having a pet, I also wanted our next dog to be young; no more than a year or two old.
I love all kinds of dogs, but I've always had a special place in my heart for golden retrievers...it's my weakness! With that said, I realized that adopting an easy going, young golden retriever might be a tall order. I also understood that in order to find the best fit, we needed to be open to both mixed and pure-breed dogs (especially since we were hoping to adopt a dog who would be well behaved at our store, too).
Eventually, I submitted an application to Sunshine Golden Retriever Rescue after seeing a cute young dog (Cash) who was not a golden, but had those fluffy golden retriever "feathers" that I love. Unfortunately, I didn't hear back and gave up on rescuing from a breed-specific rescue organization. I applied at many places, and the local animal shelter became a regular stop on my way home from work. Ellie always gave me a thorough sniff-down when I returned home from the shelter!
On a whim about 4 or 6 weeks after my initial (long and detailed) application to SGRR, I sent an email inquiring about Cash, and was surprised to receive a prompt reply. Apparently my application was overlooked, and they thanked me for my interest, apologizing for the mix-up. I learned that most of the dogs from Sunshine Golden Retriever Rescue came from the south, and the rescue was actually based in Alabama. Most SGRR adopters don't meet their dog before adoption.
I have to admit that I was nervous about adopting a dog who I had never met. I was assured by the friendly phone-interviewer and SGRR volunteer, Jeff, that Sunshine was very experienced at matching people with their dogs. He had adopted 2 goldens through Sunshine and only had positive things to say about the organization. After talking with Jeff for about an hour, I knew that Sunshine would likely be the rescue for us! Soon a home visit was scheduled. (yes, a home visit!)
Although some might bawk at this level of detail, I found it to be a sign that these folks truly cared about the dogs they 're-homed'. In total, I imagine it was only a month or so before we adopted our (now-named) Chester, but it felt like a lifetime! There were a couple other possible dogs that did not pan out, then rather suddenly a 7-8 month male was available. Nervous but ready, we committed, and prepared for our new buddy.
The process was really interesting. I got a call from the transport coordinator, Susan. She explained that Chester would be traveling from Alabama on a temperature-controlled, huge transport vehicle with many other adopted pets. There were multiple 'drop-off's' as they traveled up the East Coast, ending with Kittery, Maine! I was emailed a link for regular updates of where Chester was on his journey and was given an estimated arrival time.
Before I knew it, the time had come to pick up Chester! Several adopting families waited along with Paul and I at the park and ride. The massive transport vehicle pulled in, and each new cat or dog was led down the ramp to their new people. Chester shot off that transport like lightning! You could tell he was ready to be home. Such a special day, and we were so excited to take him home! Check out my next post about Chester and Ellie's adventures as they get to know one another. Thanks for reading!
The Making of Green Dog Market
Posted May 3, 2012 - Life certainly can be unpredictable sometimes. Only a year ago our lives were quite different. Paul was still working in MA driving 3 hours a day round trip to reach the office, and Hickory Rose was alive and well (or so I thought).
Although some wish to know what the future holds, I like my story revealed to me as it happens. I am way too much of a worry-wort to be able to handle knowing what happens next! That said, our fall and winter allowed us time to heal and prepare for the opening of Green Dog Market.
We found the spot for our store this winter, realizing it was the space we had admired on our way to the Christmas tree farm a month or so prior. Busy street, cute building, and not too far from home…all good ingredients for our eco-friendly, all-natural dog and cat supply!
The unit we ended up renting was previously a pink-walled, frilly retail store…no doubt there’d be renovations in our future! The perfect shade of grass green, earthy beige and deep blue VOC-free paint were selected in addition to some cute, earth-friendly cork flooring. Next came the fixtures, followed by products! Before my eyes, the pink room was transformed into a modern, warm retail space. Paul and I had plenty of decisions to make about what our new store would be. One big, and defining decision we made was to partner with Mark Poveromo, an extremely talented and knowledgeable animal nutritionist, and owner of Thomaston feed . He has helped us choose some wonderful products including a great selection of high quality pet food. His vast knowledge of pet nutrition has not only been a valuable education, but has been an inspiration of what we can offer our clients. I could not be more proud of our new store, or more excited to promote sustainable, healthy living for people and the furry friends they adore.