Grady (now Matisse)

black Labrador Retriever MixIt’s been nearly a month since our adoption of our handsome new family member, Matisse, was finalized and this good boy continues to impress!

We really weren’t sure if we were ready to welcome a new dog into our lives, so soon after losing our 13-ish year old Chocolate, Nelly in February, but things worked out, as Brookline was in need of Foster Families and we thought this was a great way to help the organization that had given us so much by bringing Nell into our lives. After completing applications and meeting with Sue and Lisa for our virtual interview and home visit, we learned that a Lab mix had been rescued from a shelter in Mississippi and needed a home. His foster Mom in Mississippi saved his life, and though she couldn’t keep another dog at her home, it worked out perfectly and we stepped forward to be his foster family once he made his journey North.

It was cloudy and chilly on April 11, but we excitedly drove to Cherry Hill to meet the transport. There were several folks waiting and we learned that there were many dogs on the transport team. This being our first meeting of a transport, I’m not sure what we were expecting, but were overwhelmed to see a large truck filled floor to ceiling with dog crates stacked strategically to allow access. When asked who we were there to pick up…we said Grady, and the one of the young women reached into an uppermost crate to lift down a big, beautiful, Black Lab/German Shepherd who had braved the odds and made it all the way here!

black Labrador Retriever MixWe were thrilled! Despite what must have been quite a journey, he came to us immediately, with pleasant, calm sniffs and licks, stretched out and walked politely and calmly around the lot, wagging his fluffy tail all the while. Once paperwork was completed, off we went for the ride back to Doylestown.

Our Boy was great that day and he continues to be great today, nearly two and a half months after bringing him home. We weren’t expecting to fall completely in love with our first Foster Pup, but alas…he is darn near perfect and we are so grateful that we’re able to give him a Forever Home after all he’d been through.

Though Grady was a very cute name, we knew that wasn’t actually his name and since there was no way of knowing what his owner had originally named him, we decided to make him a true Philadelphian and renamed him, Matisse (‘Tisse) – yes after the Philadelphia 76ers defensive powerhouse, Matisse Thybulle (who in fact was named for Henri Matisse, the French impressionist). It seems to fit him, as he is a handsome, smart, polite, athletic young man, with a taste for the finer things like art and photography. Visit our Matisse on Instagram at @theycallmetissetoo. 😊

Matisse has spent time with our family and friends of all ages. He and our sweet rescue Girl, Kawhi have become close friends in the short time he’s been here, though the little 9 pound Kitty is definitely in charge. He’s met many of the neighborhood dogs, and has a new best friend Frankie, a 7-year-old Huskie/Border Collie rescue who was Nell’s best friend. They are looking forward to many playdates.

Grady SuccessHis house manners are perfect, except for his tendency to want to sleep on every piece of furniture that DOESN’T have one of his blankets covering it, but he also enjoys his Big Barker dog beds and his outdoor cot on the deck. No begging, no aggressive protection of his own food/treats, no counter-surfing, and other than a little time needed to get him used to being left alone, (he was really good, except for chewing up some magazines and cardboard boxes) he is now doing very well on his own in the house, for up to four hours. Since we both work at home permanently, and socializing is still minimal as restrictions from COVID are eased, we’ve not had many reasons to leave him, nor do we want to!

Matisse walks well on a leash, knows come, sit, shake, down, rollover, off and go lay down. He enjoys two hearty meals a day, and some treats here and there as he needed to put on a bit more weight after his solo time out on the road. He loves the Dog Park, plays nicely with all dogs big and small, and has joined a weekly Pack Walk to get him acclimated with the trainer we’ll be with this Fall, as he begins working toward his Therapy Dog certification, following in his late Sister’s pawprints as a Roxy Therapy Dog. We think the kids in the Central Bucks schools are going to love him!

He loves to run, as we see at the dog park, so we’ve decided to move ahead with long-delayed plans to fence our back yard so he can safely enjoy the open space and we’ll be ready to welcome more Brookline Fosters when our Goodest Boy settles in!

Thanks to the entire Brookline Team for your wonderful work!