Magnolia: The Rescue

We adopted the sweetest 8 month old puppy yesterday! Magnolia is believed to be a mix of Great Pyrenees and Australian Shepherd and she is smart, obedient, and fits right in here.

Many of you may remember the loss of our puppy Harmony in June. Harmony was a planned and purchased pet. She was specifically chosen for her breed’s characteristics, and we had a vision for her to become an assistive therapy dog for my counseling practice.

But parvo.

Following Harmony’s loss, we continued to take her sister, Willow, to training which they had started together. Since Jonah, my 10 year old, is Willow’s trainer. I spent my time waiting for them walking through Petsmart and it’s rescue shelter.

I wasn’t necessarily looking to fill Harmony’s spot. I was just curious, but quickly overwhelmed by all of the little faces in cages. Following a difficult puppy-free exit, I began googling and reading more about animal adoption and rescues.

Turns out, Harmony’s breed, Goldendoodle, has a rescue center filled with puppies to seniors, who need homes. The more I looked, I discovered rescues across North Texas and beyond whose sole reason for existing is to identify specific breeds in shelters, rehabilitate them, teach them love and good manners, and then conduct a strict process for rehoming these sweet abandoned pups.

I had no idea.

I will spare you the hundreds of horror stories I encountered, but if you are curious, simply google pet rescues or click on some of the links in this post. There is a rescue for most any breed of dog you can think of and they don’t stop there. Cats, bunnies, donkeys

You name it.

I was heavily convicted about our failure as a human race to properly care for the animals with whom we share this planet. I won’t get preachy and have no right at all to judge, but I can tell you, I’m not the same regarding the way I see animal ownership any longer.

From this divinely designed experience, I realized Harmony never really belonged to us, but rather we had the privilege of caring for her and all of the joys, and yes sorrows, that came with that.

We had a hole in our family and in our hearts from the loss of Harmony. Although she can’t be replaced, the truth was we had room for one of these sweet abandoned animals. We have love, hope, and healing that could easily flow out to another little spirit.

Back to Magnolia.

When Magnolia was just a few months old she was found wandering a roadside with broken hip. Thankfully, SPIN rescue organization took her in, paid for the surgery she needed, and nursed her back to health.

Her full story is here.

We spotted Ziggy, now Magnolia, on the SPIN website and inquired. After a long application, home visit, reference and vet checks, we were approved to meet her. Ziggy/Magnolia’s foster mom/rescue/hero brought her to us to ensure our current dog and home was a good fit for her.

Ziggy/Magnolia ran right in the house and found the one toy Harmony had left behind. She won our hearts and said goodbye to her foster mom.

Magnolia is home and we are so grateful.

She was not planned, we have no experience with this breed, and the timing is not logical with school starting tomorrow. Still, I am confident she was meant for our family. She rescued us!

Side note:

Interestingly, today is Clear the Shelters day in North Texas. This means adoption fees are waived and many pets will be adopted. Knowing what I do now about the return and discard rate following these types of events, my prayer is that the right furever families show up for these animals today.

If you are looking for a pet, I would love to share what I’ve learned about adopting a rescue. Magnolia is house trained, slept through the night, is incredibly loving, and has been a perfect addition to our family. She has a bit of recovery left on her hip but we’ve already ordered YL Sulfurzyme and Animalscents Mendwell to help support that process!

Here are some other rescues we worked with to find our furever pup:

Allie’s Haven

Doodle Rock Rescue

Doodle Dandy Rescue

Harmony Doodle

You may have seen there is a new furry member of Wander in Harmony Inc.

Harmony was 11 weeks old on Wednesday. She is an F1 Goldendoodle. Which means her mom is a Golden Retriever and her dad a standard poodle.

Harmony has been under consideration for many months now.

See, we lost our 12-year-old poodle a year ago last October. This left a hole in our hearts and made Willow, our black lab, an only dog.

Willow has actually become the best-dog-ever after several years of trying our patience and growing out of puppyhood. So, adding a new puppy to a very stable and entirely potty-trained family was a huge decision.

Here’s the thing. I grew up with eight dogs. Five were German Shepards and the other three poodles. I was an only child until I was six, so these pups were not just pets, they were my pack.

As a toddler, I learned a lot about love from my animals. They were fiercely loyal, kind, and always interested in me. I could get them to do just about anything for a Cheeto. As I grew, they let me dress them up, and they were the best students when we played school. Protection was a natural instinct for them, and several of the older humans learned quickly not to reach for me or try to pick me up in the presence of the pack without careful warning. They were easily the best part of my childhood.

Back to Harmony.

As a therapist-in-training, I am fascinated by alternative therapies that help people heal. This is why oils and yoga will always have a place in my practice. As designed, while interning with an advocacy agency for children, I met a therapy dog. Watching the dog naturally and instinctively work with and love on these children was powerful. To watch the children, respond with smiles, touch, and trust, impactful.

Harmony has a long way to go, but we hope she will have a heart and disposition to tend to the hurting. Willow has a beautiful disposition, but some bad manners and is now eight-years-old. Still, Harmony and Willow began training last Saturday. As I said, we have lots of work ahead of us, but I hope to have two new furry therapists in our office in the near future.

I believe the love and protection of dog has the power to grow and heal hearts.

On a personal note, our family is smitten over our new puppy, Willow has a playmate, and everyone has an abundance of love and sloppy kisses.

Follow Harmonyโ€™s training on Instagram @harmonydoodle