Since first seeing Luna and her story, the connection just felt strong and I knew she needed to be with us. I reached out to Brookline and completed all of the paperwork, etc…The screening process that Brookline does is just remarkable. I was able to first meet Sue, who I can’t say enough great things about. She had the best interest of Luna at heart and wanted to make sure this would be a good fit for all of us. Sue I can’t thank you enough for your passion, professionalism and heart doing what you do.
I never thought I would be a dog Mom, never mind “that” Lab Mom….Luna is almost 10 year old and she has a sister who is also almost 10. Her name is Pearl and she is a silver lab. We met Luna, her foster mom Katie, foster grandma and Sue met on July 17, 2022. Luna was timid but overall seemed ok. Luna and Pearl liked each other but also were independent and each did their own thing. Katie was just so reassuring and gave me some background and tips, especially that Luna has a sweet tooth…rice krispy treats and also marshmallows…which all hold true still today, except X 2, Pearl now has the same sweet tooth! Luna walked with me and we were able to get her into the truck. Katie said to expect that Luna will lay on the floor of the back seat, while Pearl hangs out the window.
We got Luna home and she was definitely scared but also a little inquisitive. She ate and took treats, went outside in yard and found her spot to sleep and be in her comfort zone.
Every day, we have seemed to have progress with Luna. In the past Luna was not good with men, teenagers or anyone who wore hoodies. The only thing that seems to be still an issue is when someone is in a hoody. She barks. So, the men thing, well she likes her Dad more than me, I can’t deny it but it is totally true. She goes to him, gives him kisses, etc. She does like her Mommy as she always has to be in sight of me, but not always sure of me. Sometimes will walk with me in the harness, other times will want nothing to do with me. Luna is definitely her own person. Luna loves to be where Pearl is, doesn’t matter if it is in the office when Mom is working or outside on deck at shore just hanging out.
As far as the rides in the truck, well, now we have 2 labs that hang out the window and sit on each side of the truck. It is so darn cute and she looks like she is just enjoying every minute of it.
Luna is now a dog who likes the shore, actually goes in the water a bit, which foster mom Katie said was a big step forward. Luna loves getting a bath on the deck at the shore house in Wildwood or the front porch at home. If Pearl does it first, Luna waits for her turn.
Luna wasn’t fond of steps, well that isn’t true anymore! She does steps, lays on the landing while Mom works, she even has slept upstairs. We did get her in bed a couple times and she stayed the entire night! She jumped down in the morning!
Her personality is quirky, she is still skittish but seems to be settled when in her home environment. Luna loves to be with one of us and if Mom leaves, sits by the window or door looking for her, until she comes home. Luna has had some accidents here and there and an ear infection, which she allowed us to do the drops, with no problems. Her new special treat that she loves is Dog Ice Cream! Luna even picks it up and has started using her paws to hold.
It’s only been a little over 90 days that we all became a family. In those 90 days, Luna has not only grew and changed, but so have all of us. We are definitely the lucky ones and it has opened me up to rescue. My first pet was Pearl, so having Luna as my first rescue and an older dog, just shows that even newer pet parents can do it. Thank you Brookline for giving us an opportunity but also giving us a blessing in having Luna as part of our family!
Tracey, Bob, Pearl and Luna
We (retired Anita and David) are approaching three months of Rosie integrated as part of our family. The match is proving a delight for us – and even Ginny the cat would have to admit it is going better than she would have predicted.
For any family considering adopting a Lab through Brookline, we’d urge you to trust the process. It certainly worked for us.
Autumn, our Brookline volunteer, made clear that she is primarily an advocate for the dog; but has a gift for really listening to and understanding the needs, wants and capabilities of the adoptive family.
Rosie had been a breeder dog for six years, craved close connection to a family, but had little experience of how to achieve that. David and Anita had been without a dog for over 15 years (so felt like dog novices), needed a dog that would get along with resident cat Ginny; David was seeking a companion for long walks who would also be content to hang out as he worked at his desk.
The Brookline foster blogs were a great resource for understanding the range of dogs moving through the rescue pipeline. But it was Autumn’s experience and instincts that suggested a potential match for Rosie. That experience and consistent affirmation and encouragement steered us through Brookline’s “pre-adoptive period” – the two-week trial placement of dog with family.
It is hard to remember now how much anxiety we were feeling the first week Rosie was with us. She went days showing little interest in her meals. Did her years of kennel life mean that walks always would be limited, plodding affairs? Could she feel confident that we’d only leave her alone in the crate for short periods? Could we feel confident that a slow introduction of Rosie and Ginny would lead to a comfortably integrated family (or would we forever be moving through gates between Rosie Zone and Ginny Zone)?
The pre-adoptive period was long enough for us to see substantial progress in all these areas and for us to become thoroughly smitten with Rosie.
Rosie is a gentle, affectionate dog who wants to be with David 24-7, but looks forward to greeting Anita when she (Rosie!) emerges from her crate each morning (and she rushes into her crate when signaled to do so).
She loves her long walks through the woods and fields surrounding our home and is making progress in learning short leash walking through public areas.
Ginny is learning to cope (a hiss and a swat when needed) with when she feels Rosie is becoming overly intrusive and Ginny is mastering how to move safely through spaces where Rosie is present; Rosie is accepting with regret and deference that Ginny is not eager to play, but is a regular part of her world at home. We may soon invite Rosie into some of Ginny’s “safe spaces.”
Drawing on our basic obedience training strategies, David is gradually increasing the number of public meetings and places where we can take Rosie. Her gentleness, placid disposition, and delight in receiving affection from those she meets – more than our skill at training — have been the keys to her successfully entering those spaces.
Rosie is the perfect dog for us. She brings laughter and joy into our lives daily.
This is Emily Ryan, today is Olli’s Gotcha Day! I don’t remember if we sent in a success story so I am updating you guys now.
To start off it has been a wonderful year having Olli a part of the family! He has grown so much since joining the family. When we got him a big concern was his separation anxiety but trying some things out with him we realized that he didn’t really have the separation anxiety that we were told about. He certainly didn’t want us to leave and he gets into things from time to time if we haven’t secured everything, but that happened with our other dog, Milo. We can now leave the house for up to 4 hours (someone is always at the house so he isn’t alone for more than that) and come back to a dog happy to see us.
Olli still gets really excited when someone comes to the door so, we have to put him in the crate so he doesn’t charge the door. And speaking of the crate, we put him in it for training in the beginning and now he goes into the crate and can stay in there for a while without problems. Although he really only goes in the crate if he is wet or someone is coming over or we have someone coming to do some work.
Another thing about Olli, when he came to us we noticed if you stood over him while he was groggy or deeply asleep he would start growling. That was concerning at first but we realized that he just didn’t like being disturbed when in those states. He never does anything, just growls and comes to you like he is sorry he is growling. So, we have learned to either wake him up with loud noises or come down to his level and he is ok. And now he only does a little growling like that from time to time.
Also, when Olli came to us he was crazy about food and a little territorial when it came to someone getting close to him when he was eating. But since we found the right food, we found that his overall mood has changed and he doesn’t act so crazy around food. He now waits without constantly drooling when we give him food and he doesn’t growl when we are near him while he eating.
One of the greatest things that we had to get used to again when Olli came, was having a dog with a lot of energy. So, we have taken him out a lot to the dog park and on lots of hikes. This year alone he has gotten 1 or 2 hikes a week and going to the dog park, besides the usual morning walk he gets around the neighborhood. And around 7 months I took Olli on a hike and tried letting him run free. I was a little apprehensive but even though Olli took off running he came back after two calls and if he got far ahead and couldn’t see me he would come back. When we run into people he always stops and is a little unsure but will come after the two calls. So, now when we go on hikes we always let him run free and we also know the trails that are less hiked.
Oh and we have this one set of trails that go around a huge lake and Olli loves going in a little bit for a swim. He is always so excited to go on these hikes now and whether we hike for 1-3 hours, Olli comes home exhausted, and then the next day he is still so tired. We say it’s his recovery day because runs so much on the hikes.
One thing we think that helped Olli with his transition into our home was our other dog, Milo. Olli fit right in with him and they became buddies right away. After a while, Dad would joke and say “Milo must think Olli is his child”. This was because he would bark for us to come if Olli was outside and wanted to come in, if Olli was distressed because he couldn’t get at his ball, and if Olli heard something outside. Milo being an old dog and having bad back legs, we feel having Olli kept him going.
Sadly, though we lost Milo on New Year’s Day. He was a valiant dog all the way to the end—strong, brave, happy. When we lost Milo we weren’t sure what Olli would do. He didn’t seem all that upset that Milo was gone but he did go right to Milo’s bed to sleep on. We thought Olli might be upset that first night but he slept like a log. And when we left him alone for the first time since Milo was gone, we were surprised to come home to a dog that was just waking up from a long nap. He didn’t go crazy! Well, he didn’t do anything to the house.
When we first had Olli he would always get after my dad in the morning when he would wake up (my dad gets up around 6 or 6:30 every morning). Olli would need to go outside and then come in and want food right away and then would follow dad around the kitchen and bring him toys to play with. Now Olli is so comfortable that when my dad wakes up he will look at him and stay in bed until he hears the door open to go outside or food being made in the kitchen. Especially if he went on a hike the day before. And because of this, sometimes he even eats breakfast late. My dad says his mornings are more relaxed now. But he loves taking Olli out on his morning walk.
We, love having Olli a part of the family even if he is a bit stubborn and won’t listen to us all the time when we tell him to go away hahaha. It is so nice having another companion again to go on hikes with! We can’t wait to take him on bigger hikes up north on a vacation or to the beach! But we are waiting for him to be even more comfortable being left alone in a new place because we don’t want him destroying an AirBnB we would rent.
We are so happy that we found Brookline and chose Olli! He has overcome a lot in this first year with us and now can’t see a life without him!