Why would a woman drive 18 hours across several states to meet a little vagabond puppy of unknown origins?

Why would a woman drive 18 hours across several states to meet a little vagabond puppy of unknown origins?

This puppy was one of five rescued along with her siblings at a rural mobile home rental. These five puppies were variations on a red-coated theme, quite handsome and somewhat unique. After some research and communication with people who know the breed, we determined that these puppies closely resembled Rhodesian Ridgebacks. When we posted their cute little faces on our Internet and social media websites we were a bit surprised at the immediate interest they prompted.   

One of the first applications we received was from a young woman in Alpine, Ariz. I shook my head thinking this would never work because of the distance involved, but the application looked great. Janess sent pictures of her home, her yard and her neighborhood. We visited by phone and I sent her several pictures and video of the puppies playing, especially those starring the puppy she was most interested in.

After viewing the videos, Janess called to say she was on her way! She had enlisted a friend to help her with the driving. They were going to drive straight through from Arizona, arriving Friday morning.  She is a government employee for the national parks services. She just happened to be on furlough right now because of the shut-down, so she had a little time in which to make a fast trip to Missouri. I was extremely impressed with her comments about the level of commitment and scope of the decision she was making to take responsibility for a vulnerable, totally dependent puppy. She acknowledged that she was making a decision that would dramatically affect her life for many years to come, as she welcomed this new family member. She was entering a relationship that would possibly last 15 or more years and would carve a special place in her heart for the rest of her life.

Janess had been searching in recent months, admittedly almost obsessively for a new dog, after allowing time to grieve the loss of her previous dog. She perused literally 1,000 furry faces on the Internet. She stated she was willing to make this long, expensive trip, accepting the risk that this might not be the puppy she was looking for and she’d return home empty handed, but there was something about Blossom’s eyes that drew her in.

Janess and her friend arrived about 10 a.m. Friday morning. It was a beautiful morning and perfect for an outdoor play time with the puppies. For over two hours she interacted, observed and played with the puppies, paying especially close attention to Blossom. That wasn’t difficult since Blossom was doing quite a bit of campaigning on her own. She was the first one to run back to Janess when she called or whistled. She was the first one to land in her lap when she sat down. Petra, Blossom’s sister, worked Janess pretty hard too, but she finally decided that Blossom possessed the qualities and intelligence she was hoping for in her next companion. A contract was signed, medical records and folder presented, hugs were exchanged and Blossom was officially hers. Things were readied inside SUV for their long ride back to Arizona. I watched and waved as they drove out of the driveway with Blossom’s little feet perched on the console. In a matter of hours this puppy would be romping the forests of Alpine, Ariz., with her new “mom.” 

I’ve received several updates and pictures since they arrived safely back to Janess’ home. Blossom’s new name is “Jayda.” Janess wrote, “Jayda is an alteration to Jade. Her birthstone is Peridot and since both are green, I thought it fitting.”           

Yes, it is fitting that she be given a name for a precious stone or jewel. For that is what she has become in the eyes of the one who has very carefully chosen her for her own, out of all the thousands of puppies on the internet for adoption from across the nation. I remain flabbergasted but love being part of the bridge that brought these two together! Oh how I wish that everyone would approach pet adoptions with such care, consideration and commitment. We’d have much less need for organizations like Faithful Friends.

Leanne Williams is president of Faithful Friends Animal Advocates.