Yes, we have a new member of the family!
Last week DogDad and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary on the beautiful island of Providenciales in the Turks & Caicos islands of British West Indies. In preparation for our trip I decided to Google about the homeless dog situation in T&C. (I know. It's not the usual type of research when planning a vacation!) In my search, I came across a really cool organization called Potcake Place. Run solely by dedicated volunteers, the purpose of the organization is to reduce the number of homeless Potcakes on the islands. A Potcake is the name for the local mixed-breed dogs that roam the Turks & Caicos and the Bahamas. They are smart, loyal and loving with an average weight of about 45 lbs. Potcakes tend to have a shepherd look, often with long faces and cocked ears. Many are thought to be descendants of terriers, labs and shepherds. Their mixture varies throughout the islands. Our little girl definitely looks like she is of lab and shepherd heritage. (For more information about Potcakes, click here and here.)
On our first day in Provo we rented a car and drove straight to Potcake Place to check it out. (Yes, we headed for the local dog rescue before even hitting the beach!) We had no intentions of adopting a Potcake. (Really, truly!) We just wanted to make a donation and cuddle some cute island dogs. There were many puppies needing love and forever homes, and although we were tempted, we knew not to worry as they would get homes fast. They were simply that adorable. We hung around for over an hour and spoke with the staff and other potential adopters from the U.S. It was a heartwarming experience. So uplifting to see the love that humans from around the world will pour out to animals in need.
The next morning DogDad and I were walking along Grace Bay Beach when we came across a sweet little 12-week old pup named Hope. A nice family from Pittsburgh, PA, had volunteered to walk her on the beach and provide her with some socialization. We learned that Hope had been found at about five weeks of age, abandoned in a remote shopping center parking lot. She was almost completely hairless from mange, had a glazed eye and was starving. The volunteers didn't think she had much of a chance of surviving, so they named her Hope. When we met her on the beach she was quiet, timid, yet wanting to give and receive love. We could tell she was extra special. Needless to say, we fell in love with this angel of a puppy.
Friends and family members have heard DogDad and me state many times that the plan was for us to stick with just two dogs from now on. It's easier, we said. It's a manageable number, we said. We can travel with two dogs, we said. We sure sounded like we meant it! Such logical thinking. We honestly thought we had closed the chapter of being DogDad and DogMom to numerous dogs. Together over the years we raised seven loving, sweet and funny dogs: Lindsey, Bogey, Annie, Gus, Buster, Hobbit and Huck (and now Abby Grace and Doc) and we loved every happy, sad, joyous, trying, hilarious moment of it.
As we all know, life doesn't always go as planned. A new chapter of the same story was soon to begin for us. A couple of days after meeting Hope on the beach we found ourselves still thinking about her. It was our last morning in Provo and we had just finished packing our suitcases when DogDad suggested we call Potcake Place and inquire about adopting Hope. (I love how we always seem to end up on the same page!) I was thrilled at the possibility of getting her, yet nervous that we would be told "no" because our flight was due to depart soon.
Even though we had a short amount of time to complete the adoption process and get to the airport, it was clear that Hope was meant to be ours. Jane, the director of Potcake Place said a volunteer offered to take Hope out for a walk that very morning, but for some reason Jane thought it would be best to keep her at the facility instead. Five minutes after that decision DogDad called. If Hope had been out on that walk, she wouldn't have been able to go home with us. When we arrived at Potcake Place to pick up our little puppy we were smiling from ear to ear with tears of joy in our eyes that Hope would be ours.
Yesterday marked one week since Hope has been a part of our family. Doc and she became instant playmates. He loves having a shadow as he shows her around the yard. They play with toys together and chase and wrestle one another. And although Abby prefers humans over dogs, she has accepted Hope with no problem. She's just happy that Doc is too busy playing with Hope to bother her!
Hope fits in like the last piece of a puzzle. Like she was meant to be here all along. Welcome home, Hope!
DogDad telling Hope she is going with us to her forever home!
In a comfy little carrier at our feet,
Hope slept like a baby the entire plane ride home.
Exploring her new yard.
Hope has some long legs to grow into!
Look at that sweet face. I see a beautiful Potcake smile!
The official announcement :-)