“from simple beginnings come great dogs”.
'Duval' (Rescued August 9, 2008; Re-homed Oct. 15, 2008)
"Duval" (formerly named 'Bear'), came to us via the Windsor/Essex Humane Society on August 9th. He was born on March 14, 2008 and so at the time of his rescue, he was still under 5 months of age.
Background: "Duval" (a dark blue/silver Malinois cross puppy) was picked up by the Windsor/Essex Humane Society after his human family split up. He was neglected but never physically abused and, had the great fortune (if one could call it that) to spend very little time in the shelter due to his tender young age and the foresight of the shelter staff and volunteers! He was quickly fostered out and was rescued directly from the foster home with little if any 'shelter rage' experience.
'Duval' spent a little over two months here at Spirit Ridge until he pulled at the heartstrings of a gentleman who resides in Toronto. Yes, as soon as Sam D. of Toronto took Duval out for his first walk, there were 'sparks of admiration' flying in the air. Duval strutted his puppy walk in a perfect heel and Sam was proud to show off his 'walking companion' at the time.
Here at Spirit Ridge, we believe in 'living together first, before getting married'! True to our beliefs, Sam and Duval had to first try each other out for a ten day period before coming to any conclusions. During this period, the relationship flourished and, Sam came back certain that he wanted to keep Duval. He had met all the family, children, countless other dogs during his long Toronto walks and had behaved like a 7 month old puppy going on 5 years of age. His incredible maturity for his age and his time here at Spirit Ridge being exposed to all sorts of clients and their dogs as well as obedience and puppy agility have indeed served him well.
We are very proud of Duval's accomplishments to date and know that he has a long and fun loving future with Sam, who has promised to come back for group obedience classes with Duval. Sam wants to hone his dog communications and obedience skills in order to gain the maximum from his relationship with Duval. Smart thinking, I'd say, on his part.
In addition to our work here at Spirit Ridge, there have been countless volunteers and friends that have helped bring Duval to the level he is currently at. For example, I would be remiss if I did not thank the volunteers and staff of the Essex/Windsor Humane Society who rightfully recognized Duval's potential and very young age and kept him in foster care away from the anxiety and stress that the shelter environment creates on dogs.
I also have to personally thank two women that I think are pretty much, angels in disguise, on this earth. What else would I call the advocates and protectors of the less fortunate and vulnerable? Lori C. of Windsor, opened her Irish-Wolfhound-laden home for this lil' guy and dealt with the challenges of huge height differentials and temperament differences of a puppy compared to the laid back and deliberate temperament of her gentle giants. She also took the time and made the effort to communicate with me and transport Duval from Windsor to our location just east of Guelph - a considerable distance. Carla C., Duval's second angel, took him in for ten days while we were away in Europe - thereby sparing him from going to a boarding kennel at his young puppy age. It was during this time and thanks to Carla's continuous work with 'von Duval dawg' that he met Sam at work. You see, Carla, being an experienced handler, wasn't going to crate Duval all day long when she was at work, but decided to parade him around showcasing his amazing assets. Carla, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. This is the second time you have contributed to a homeless dog being adopted. We could never do God's work if it weren't for people like you!
Many people have worked hard at helping Duval succeed in the future and we are all pulling for the lil' guy. All of us wish Sam and Duval continued successes and we look forward to seeing our 'alumnus' come back to us for group obedience classes ... where he can show off all his talents in class!
Prepared: October 17, 2008