Monday, February 20, 2012

Frankly Amazing

Happy Monday!
Sorry to miss you all last week with an adoption update, but the good news is, we've got double the number of animals to report this week: 22 adoptions in total!

We had a small influx of kittens--perhaps the last little spurt before a spring inundation--and found homes for them all with the usual speed. Congrats to Chimi, Burrito, Waffle, Pancake, and Freddie!

One smallie went home: Yoda the guinea pig, who was the most personable pig we've seen in awhile.

I'm very happy to enumerate the long list of cats who may be watching early robins from their new window seats this very moment! Dee Dee, Clover, Bourbon, Emmy, Mickey, Shiloh, Zen and Donald didn't spend much time on the adoption floor at all. More good news: four seniors have finally gone home in the last two weeks! Yay for Lucky (here since October), Ruby, Peaches, and Dusty! What's more, Lucky's and Ruby's adoption fees were sponsored by two wonderful HSCC supporters who are invested in getting senior cats out of the shelter and into comfortable homes. Thanks to Terry Maxwell and her mother for making a difference in the lives of Lucky and Ruby!


Excellent, excellent news for the dogs, too. Senior Shiba Inu Nicki went home on his second day of availability. Energizer Aussie Kya is likely chasing shadows in her own backyard today. And Lexi--the white pittie with a brown mask who arrived here in September--found her perfect match at last.

But that's not all. Senior Dane mix Frank is our featured adoptee today. And we couldn't be more grateful that he's finally out of a lonely kennel and in the constant love of his new family. 


Frank has changed hands a few times--which is not easy for a young dog, let alone an older guy. At 10 years old, Frank came to us in good spirits but poor body condition. A lanky, slightly smaller version of a Great Dane, Frank was much too skinny upon intake. The man who relinquished him had rescued him from what he felt was a neglectful situation at a friend's house--but had no initial intention of keeping him. Frank proved so great a dog, however, that he tried for several months, and managed to put 10 pounds of much-needed weight on him! But Frank simply wasn't a good fit for his lifestyle.

So Frank came to the shelter in early January. We fell for him immediately. He's a super social guy who enjoys hanging out in the company of people, but he's not a party dog. He just likes to chill.

Thanks to his great attitude and pleasant manners, Frank became available for adoption very quickly--within a couple of weeks. But he wasn't snatched up right away, like we'd predicted. And we found that while he was quite upbeat when visiting our administrative area, he grew increasingly depressed in the solitude of his kennel. Frank starting demonstrating typical "sep angst" (separation anxiety) behavior: heavy salivating, pacing, panting … eventually he stopped eating. For an already underweight dog like Frank to skip meals was highly worrisome. So we brought him up to spend the day with staff as often as we could, where he would happily regain his appetite.

Really, though, Frank needed a permanent home with folks who could spend a lot of time with him. He needed help ... fast. So we posted his story on Facebook.

That did the trick! A couple of people expressed interest in Frank and called about him. One woman, Joanne Dalpe, came by to meet him. For her, it was an easy, instant match, and while the details of her application were sorted out, she came by several times to spend time with Frank. In fact, one afternoon, she had him out for nearly two hours!

While it seemed obvious that Frank and Joanne were made for each other, Joanne did have one looming reservation: she and her husband have three cats--and as many of us know, it's easy disrupt the delicate balance of a multiple-cat household. Joanne was particularly concerned about one of the cats, Raffa, who is notoriously reserved. 

Joanne found Raffa seven years ago here at HSCC, and had picked her out specifically because this elusive kitty had squirreled herself away atop one of the catwalks in a communal room. True to form, Raffa spent the next seven years atop the kitchen cupboards in the Dalpes' home. She never came down, except when Joanne's husband removed her to the basement to use the litter box.

Wouldn't such a shy kitty find society even less appealing with a new, large dog in the home?

As Joanne fell increasingly in love with Frank, she decided she had to try. Arrangements were made for a foster-to-adopt situation: Frank would get a one-week trial run in the Dalpe household.

Last Saturday was decision day for the Dalpes, and we eagerly awaited an update on the situation. Turned out … things had worked out even better than anyone could have hoped for!

I just spoke with Joanne this afternoon, and when I asked about Frank's relationship with the cats, she told me about a truly amazing thing that's happening. First of all, Frank hasn't chased the cats at all--not once. He just ignores them. "There's been almost no hissing, even," Joanne said. But get this: Raffa--the timid, reclusive kitchen cupboard cat--has been coming down from her kitchen perch voluntarily. And going upstairs. To the Dalpes' bedroom. Where she spends the night sleeping with Joanne! Just the other morning, Joanne woke up to witness Raffa in the middle of the floor--circling Frank's bed and sniffing his toes! Joanne said, "The next thing we're going to see is Raffa cuddling up with Frank on his bed!"

Frank has somehow accomplished what neither person nor fellow cat could do: he's given Raffa a new sense of comfort within her own home. Perhaps it's Frank's infectious, laid-back attitude that Raffa can't resist. The dog who could not be alone is irresistibly intriguing to the cat who preferred solitude. Proof that opposites attract in the animal kingdom, too!

Joanne also shared that Frank is a frequent ferry commuter, journeying with her to work in Plattsburgh four days a week. The other days he spends with her husband at home. Frank also enjoys long walks in the company of dog and human friends. "You couldn't have found a better dog," the Dalpes' friends tell them.

Frank on the ferry

Seems like everybody got what he needed in this situation: Frank, the Dalpes, Raffa--all are finding gratifying, life-transforming companionship. This is the stuff adoption dreams are made of!

That's the good news this week, everyone.

Take care,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great story. I'm so happy for Frank and his new family. He is such a sweet guy. :)