**UPDATE: Brinley received an adoption application early this morning. I’m so happy, I cried when I got the email. I promise, if her new family will allow updates, I will post them for you all to see. Thank you so much, friends for reading her story and sharing her. You’ve given her the best gift. A forever. If you’re still looking for a companion, and had your heart set on Brinley, might I direct you to meet Mickie- a gorgeous itty bitty pittie, with two different colored eyes.
Over the weekend, at the Orange County Animal Services “Hot Dogs, Cool Cats” event—140 pets got adoption applications. Can you believe that!? Amazing.
Happy Graduation, Sydney!
While a few of us were at a graduation party, celebrating one of our very own volunteers—we discussed how we were surprised by some of the dogs that didn’t get applications, and surprised at some that did. We were so encouraged by the numbers, and by willingness of our community to come together when the animals needed us the most, and adopt!
Today, while we were photographing the remaining 21 dogs that hadn’t been adopted, we were all excited. All of them will make such amazing pets, and because so many of the dogs are already adopted at the shelter right now, we knew these special 21 would have a great chance at finding their forever.
And then I met Brinley. She was shaking at her kennel when we went to get her. She cowered in fear though she wasn’t labeled fearful, or shy. She’s just sad, but mostly scared of her surroundings.
When she got to the play yard, much in the typical way we handle most dogs, (i.e. we let them run, and chase a tennis ball, go to the bathroom, or just give them a little bit of freedom) we let her loose. It took a minute, but then… she clambered around the play yard in true puppy fashion. She chased a tennis ball; she tried to get the attention of the ducks outside the fence; she put her nose through the fence to politely greet another dog then play bowed, hoping that dog would play with her (not understanding the fence would prevent that); and then, she trotted over to me, and with a huge sigh, climbed into my lap.
Which is where she stayed for the next hour.
A couple people came up to the fence where she and I were snuggling, and told me how beautiful she was… information that I already knew. A little secret about me- I’ve always wanted a blue bully-mix. It’s a running joke at the shelter, every time we photograph one, the other volunteers look at me with wide eyes, wondering if “this is the one” I’d take home. Luckily (or unluckily?) our house is full-up with 12 fur-feet trotting around (that’s three dogs, folks)—so the threat is never imminent.
But today.. it became real.
Today….this amazing girl, in kennel WD32—Stole. My. Heart.
Courtney, one of the other volunteers, kept exclaiming, “she is the PERFECT dog!” It’s true. She is the perfect. dog. She’s young, and eager to please; she’s a cuddler, and is learning how to play fetch. She’s trusting and sweet. She’s gentle when taking treats (even though she’s a little picky about WHICH treats she takes).
Knowing there was no chance I could sweet talk my husband into another fur-kid (even though I tried, by sending him 18 million pictures of her), I was so excited that so many people showed interest in her when we were just sitting in the yard. I knew by the end of the day, she’d have “I’ve been adopted!” slapped on her kennel intake card.
As I was leaving, the shelter was opening, I peaked around the corner to see who was waiting in line to see her, and my heart broke when every single person walked right past her. Why? When so many people told me how beautiful she was!?
Brinley has mange. It’s a skin infection that’s caused by skin mites.. it feeds off of yeast and sugar, and requires temporary medical baths, and antibiotics; there are even holistic approaches to handle it! It’s completely curable; it just looks scary. Perhaps too scary for some people to look past.
I went over to her kennel to say goodbye. She squeezed herself as close to me as she could through the door, pleading with me to hold her, rub her, love her. I stayed for a few minutes, with my fingers between the bars, rubbing the squishy skin between her eyes, telling her how much I loved her, and how lucky someone is going to be to have her in their lives. With tears in my eyes, I put my face next to hers, she licked my nose*. I said goodbye, and promised her I’d try. I would try to explain to people how easy and affordable this skin allergy is. I would try to explain that we can find sponsors if someone needs help. I would try to explain to people that she is going to be the MOST gorgeous dog to walk the Earth once she’s all fixed up. As I stood up to leave, the light in her eyes looked back at me, like she understood what I was saying.
When the shelter closed tonight I immediately got online, and looked at her page. No adoption requests. She didn’t get that bright shiny “I got adopted!” sticker on her intake form, so now it’s your turn. I need you to help me try.
*when visiting the shelter, please do not put your fingers, or noses in the dogs faces. (do as I say, not as I do)
If you have questions about Brinley, or about Mange—though I am no expert, I can certainly try to help with some information, and putting you in touch with someone who can direct you. If you meet Brinley, and fall in love with her as much as I did, and are willing to give her a forever home, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org—I’d love to help in any way that I can.
** thank you to Tricia Banks of Pawstive Shelter Photography for the awesome professional photos, and video.