Quinn’s story

Howdy, I’m the Mighty Quinn, a 2.5 yr old black lab, probably mixed with a little Golden or Flat Coat to get this longer coat. Yep, if you’ve read Happy Tails in the past, you may have read my story there. So, what in the world am I doing back with LRR? I’m as confused as you are, and I really miss my little girl.

I started my life in New Jersey, but by the time I was 10 months old, this 99 pound boy had become “too unruly” for my family. (Of course, they never tried obedience training or a crate or anything.) They dumped me at this really crowded shelter, and for the next 4.5 months, I was stuck with three other dogs in a small run, hoping someone would notice my happy-go-lucky handsome self. Of course, it is hard to stand out in a place that had over 300 dogs for folks to look at. And, after so many months, I was kinda stinky and matted, so I hoped my personality would win them over. I just knew someone would come and get me.

It took a long while, but finally these LRR people stopped in front of my run and holding their noses as much as possible, they tried to decide whether to take me. You see, they get so many calls from shelters and owners for pure bred labs, that it is really tough for them to take mixes. But, they were so impressed with my friendly personality, that they decided I should have a chance at a new life. So off to Maryland I went to live. Lots of baths later, much of the dead fur and “aroma” were washed away, and I emerged a furry, squishy guy, full of life and energy after being cooped up for so long. Yep, I was still a little unruly and clueless about being so big, but I really wanted to please, so LRR foster homes began to teach me some manners and looked for a home that would continue my training and give me the love and attention that I craved.

A young couple with a little girl applied to LRR and became approved. Mom and daughter were more excited than Dad to adopt a dog, but everyone seemed prepared. They came to look at dogs, and I was so happy when they said they wanted me. Being a big lug, I was afraid they would think I would be too rough with a toddler, but Mom and girl said I was a just the teddy bear they were looking for. Since Dad seemed a little hesitant about adopting a bigger dog, LRR said they had to do a temporary adoption to be absolutely sure that all of them could live with me for the next dozen years or so. Mom wanted to adopt me right away and said that she took commitment very seriously. Just like they wouldn’t give their daughter away if she misbehaved, they would never think of me as an expendable family member. LRR, who was a little nervous about Dad’s hesitancy, was won over by Mom’s strong commitment. Still, I was their temporary dog for awhile just to be sure. Finally, Dad said I could stay forever, and my adoption became permanent. Or so I thought….

For 14 months I was a part of this family, when one day, Dad called LRR and said he wanted to return me. LRR was flabbergasted. What happened? He said that there was just not room for me anymore. You see, not only did I have my little girl to watch, but another baby as well. I was so happy having a bigger family, that sometimes I would get a little too rambunctious. Having a little English lab in me, sometimes I like to grab the clothes of a family member in my front teeth and lead them to where I want them to be. Most folks think it is kinda cute, but not Dad, and especially not Dad’s Mom. You see, Grandma would come over to babysit, and she didn’t like dogs, particularly big, furry dogs. She thought I made the house too dirty with my fur and was sure I would hurt the little ones. I would never dream of doing such a thing, but when I would start to be ignored, I would revert back to my unruly ways of trying to get attention. But, it only seemed to get me in more trouble with Grandma and Dad. They did take me for some basic training, but it is something that needs to be practiced. I guess with the new baby, there just wasn’t time for my training or me anymore.

Finally, Dad listened to Grandma more than Mom, and the next thing I knew he was dumping me off to a house that looked familiar. He made some excuses to the lady there about why my family didn’t want me anymore. LRR was disappointed to see that my family hadn’t even taken me to the vet to update me on my shots, even though they had told LRR that they were current on everything. So much happened after that–I went to the vet and then on to another home that I remembered from before. They told me I had been one of their favorite fosters and were sad to hear that my family really didn’t mean it when they said they would love and care for me for forever. While I was happy for all the attention and to have other dogs to play with, I spent most of the next week panting and pacing and looking for my family. I had a job to do, especially with taking care of my little girl. She would be lost without me, and I was certainly lost without her. I was so upset that I threw up my dinner twice that first week. I would often look out the window and just whimper. How could this happen? I’m such a nice, sensitive, 90’s kind of guy!

I’ve finally realized that sometimes a growing family means the dog is the odd family member out. Now I worry that if this couple has another baby, that my little girl will think that she has to go! She has certainly learned that Mom and Dad don’t keep their promises. I hope she realizes that I didn’t mean to abandon her. She and I would play and play and Mom would often catch her telling me her special secrets. I liked to walk next to her stroller so she could hold on to my leash when we all went for evening walks. Yep, I hope that LRR can find me another family with kids I can take care of.

I like to play in my foster home’s kiddy pool a little, and it is really fun to wrestle with some of the other LRR foster pups. LRR is trying to help me lose a little weight and get the exercise I seemed to be missing. I am OK with cats. In fact, one day at my foster home, none of the other dogs were in the mood to play, so I did a play bow to the cat (who thought I was nuts). He just laid there and looked at me, so I put my snout under him and lifted him up a little to tell him to come play. He didn’t think it was very funny, but my foster folks did. Right now, they call me velcro dog because I am a little insecure. I want them to always be near, and I especially love to sleep in their bed if I am real tired. I am still crate trained, but can probably be weaned from it, and am housebroken. I like to play, but have settled down quite a bit since my original stay with LRR.

I sure hope I am lucky enough to get a new family–one who REALLY means it this time when they say they will love me forever. I may not be a pure bred, but you would have a hard time finding a nicer, more affectionate guy than me. Whadd’ya say? Third time’s the charm?