Ripley: healthy 3-year old Lab cross looking for her very own forever home
Ripley took perhaps the most circuitous route to make it back into IFAW hands.
Not that I think she did it on purpose.
Ripley was a cute yellow lab cross puppy when her original owners brought her into the Northern Dogs clinic in their community a few years ago to be spayed and vaccinated. There’s nothing wrong with being cute other than the fact that cute works on people’s emotions and not necessarily on their depth of commitment.
Cute puppies are guaranteed to grow into adult dogs and often times, people don’t find their adult dog cute anymore. As a result, many dogs find themselves unwanted and either in a shelter or left fending for themselves.
Resourceful when necessary, roaming dogs like Ripley either try to get by on what they can find (not a successful strategy) or they latch on to someone else who will hopefully take over the responsibility of meeting their needs.
Ripley must have thought she was lucky when she found herself in the care of a second family. From what I’ve heard, that went on sort of successfully for another year of her life but included mostly weekend care.
The rest of the time she was back on the street making the best living she could. Thankfully, she had been spayed so she never had the added burden of being chased about by a gang of overly zealous male suitors or pregnant during the harsh winter or left caring for litters of hungry puppies.
But Ripley really hit the jackpot when she found family number three which overlapped somewhat with family number two.
It was there that she found enough resources, and on a regular basis, to not just survive but to thrive – food, water, shelter AND lots of companionship.
For the next year, Ripley parked herself at her third family’s home where she became a loved member of the pack. No longer living outside, Ripley decided that in fact she did like to eat every day, she didn’t like the rain, she didn’t like the cold -- unless of course she was waiting outside the office for her people – and she really liked the companionship part that she had found.
But unbeknownst to Ripley, things were shifting again.
I was on vacation when I received an email via Rosie’s Animal Adoption in Montreal. The email wasn’t from Ripley’s family but from a friend of the family who explained that Ripley’s people needed to move but wanted to make sure that Ripley found her final and forever home before they did so.
From Canada’s north to Montreal to me, I responded that in fact IFAW worked in Ripley’s community, identified the green line of tattoo ink as proof that we had spayed her, and agreed to take her into our home in order to find her that final, committed home she’s been trying to find herself!
Ripley arrived at our house last night.
The cute yellow puppy from the Northern Dogs clinic three years ago has grown into a beautiful, loving lab cross who just kept finding ways to survive in between caregivers.
As she lies outside my office door, perking her ears every time I move in my chair to look at her, I know that Ripley will not be let down again nor will she have to go back out to fend for herself in the rain or the snow. While it might not have been the most direct route back to IFAW, and maybe not the route Ripley would have preferred, her next destination will be her last.
I have promised her.
Ripley is a healthy three year old cross who is looking for her very own committed forever home. She is great with other dogs and loves kids and off leash walks with her people.
Ripley lives in the moment, and for this moment she is happy to lie nearby, go for a swim or have another meal (she is a lab after all!).
Ripley is currently fostered in Caledon, and while she likes everyone, she is intent on meeting the person who will be her fourth and final home.