Please allow me to cordially announce that, after patiently waiting over 13-months, our foster dog Roxette has been adopted!
I wanted to take this moment to properly tell Roxette’s rescue and adoption story because I think it’s an important story to tell. I hope that by giving voice to Roxette’s experience, it will inspire others to get involved in the animal rescue movement, whether by adopting, fostering, volunteering, donating, networking, providing transport, and/or becoming spay and neuter advocates. It all matters. It all has meaningful impact on the lives of these animals.
I hope, too, that this little “tail” of a dog getting a second chance at life will shine light on how many people were involved in the effort. Only by coming together can we make great impact!
Back in December of 2015, Roxette found herself in a high-kill shelter in Texas at the age of 9-years-old. Scared and alone, she wasn’t doing well in the shelter environment. That, coupled with her age, ensured her a spot on the shelter’s euthanasia list.
As there was already a rescue transport arranged from Texas to Seattle, WA, the shelter reached out to Motley Zoo Animal Rescue and asked if they would take Roxette into their care. Of course, Motley Zoo could not say no! It took many people working together to make it happen, but Roxette arrived in Seattle, WA on December 13, 2015 and she was placed into a loving foster home.
During her time in foster care, Roxette received very little interest from potential adopters. She had a few “strikes” against her. She was a senior. She was a tan Chihuahua, of which there are many in rescue. And she needed a patient, experienced home.
At one point over the summer of 2016, Roxette was adopted by a well-meaning couple. But, it didn’t last long. Roxette — who isn’t great with change — was very scared by the experience and had a hard time adjusting. She was returned within a 48-hour period as a result. After that point, Roxette’s fears seemed to escalate.
In December of 2016, when our home was finally ready for a new foster after the passing of our late hospice foster Nikki the Care Bear Pony Princess, Roxette was moved into our care here at Ottis to the Rescue. She was moved into our care so that we could start helping her overcome her fear issues.
Earning her trust was like peeling back the petals of a rose to find a pearl inside. Slowly but surely, her true personality polished into a shimmering gem. From the first day where she could not be touched, to a dog who loves belly rubs, Roxette made quite the transformation during her time with us. At that point, she was ready to be adopted, and we were determined to make that happen!
Given that she had attracted very little interest from potential adopters in the past year, we knew we needed to take things to the next level to help her find the forever home she deserved. This again is where it took many people coming together, for the sake of a little dog in need.
I reached out to our dear friends at Pawsitive Alliance to get Roxette featured by their #WhyNotMePets campaign. The #WhyNotMePets campaign is a collaborative marketing campaign that gives homeless cats and dogs who need more care and attention a better chance to find a home.
In marketing the homeless pets in their campaign, Pawsitive Alliance works closely with our local Pet Connection Magazine — an online and print publication that works to illuminate the thriving Pacific Northwest animal-loving community.
Motley Zoo Animal Rescue, Pawsitive Alliance, the #WhyNotMePet campaign, and everyone at Pet Connection Magazine worked as a team to get the word out about Roxette. Soon enough, potential adopters looking to give this special girl a home started to trickle in, after almost a year of radio silence. It was all coming together.
Her First Party
While Motley Zoo Animal Rescue shuffled through the various potential adopters for Roxette, we realized she had turned 10-years-old while in our care.
It made me wonder… has this little Chihuahua-Dachshund mix ever had a birthday party? Had someone ever taken a day to celebrate everything that was wonderful about her?
That was when we decided to declare Sunday, January 22nd, as Roxette’s officially unofficial birthday. We planned a virtual party where she would celebrate with her friends Ottis and Boppy, while streaming the party shenanigans live on Facebook for all her fans to enjoy.
Over the next couple of weeks prior to her party, Roxette had a few meetings with potential adopters. All the adopters were wonderful people and great homes, but nothing was quite the right fit for this shy girl.
Enter the Conway family. They saw Roxette’s photos and her adorable adoption video on PetFinder.com — an online, searchable database of animals in need of homes — and fell instantly in love with her. They were looking for a little dog that would love to be lazy around the house with them and their senior dog, Happy. Homebodies themselves, they felt that Roxette’s passion for food and cozy beds would fit perfectly into their lifestyle.
In trying to schedule a time for the Conway Family to meet Roxette, it just so happened that the only day everyone was free was on Roxette’s officially unofficial birthday. Fate has a special magic, doesn’t it?
The Conway Family came to meet with Roxette just before her birthday party. Their meeting with her lasted well over 1.5hrs. During the meeting, Roxette ate from their hands and checked everyone out. She was introduced to Happy the dog and was quick to give him a little sass. She wanted to establish the order of things right away, so that there were no misunderstandings later. You can’t blame a girl for knowing what she wants in life, right?
The pivotal moment might have been when she kissed Sean’s hand, now her dad. She even let him give her a neck scratch. I almost burst into tears right then. I know first hand how hard it is for her to trust and watching her slowly lean into his touch with pleasure — a touch from someone who was a complete stranger to her moments before — was a beautiful thing.
Interestingly enough, their adopted dog Happy had an eerily similar background. He came from a high-kill shelter in California and was transported up to a rescue in Washington, the same way Roxette had been transported from a high-kill shelter in Texas. Happy also lingered in foster care for over a year, the same way Roxette had. He was a scared little dog at the time and it took them years to transform him into the social old man he is now.
The meeting went well, but Roxette was a special case and so she required special consideration. I sent them home to have a family meeting. I asked them to let me know if after some discussion they might be ready to move forward with adopting Roxette.
We proceeded to have Roxette’s birthday party where she received a beautiful red bed that she settled right into for a mid-birthday party nap. Because hey, it was her party and she can nap if she wants to! Roxette also got a yummy birthday cookie that she made very clear she was not going to share with Boppy or Ottis! You can actually watch her birthday party replay here!
The best gift that Roxette received, though, was a beautiful handmade blanket made by Melissa Tischler with Wrapped in Love. Wrapped in Love is a group of volunteers dedicated to crafting handmade blankets that they donate to various shelter and rescues groups, to provide comfort to homeless animals.
Almost immediately after her party, I got the much-anticipated text from the Conway Family. They had talked everything over and it was unanimous. They were very excited to provide Roxette with a warm and safe forever home. I dropped everything and drove her right over to their house to help her get settled. But, not before I rubbed her new Wrapped in Love blanket with the scent of me and my dog, so that Roxette would be able to wrap herself in her favorite blanket and our familiarity if she got a little nervous about the upcoming changes.
With practiced patience and lots of love, the Conway Family were dedicated to helping Roxette transition into her new home. While Roxette may never transform into a social butterfly like Happy had, and quite frankly she probably wouldn’t, they accept her for who she is now, regardless. I couldn’t ask anything more for her!
When we arrived at their house, Roxette inspected her new surroundings and tested out all the dog beds. I brought her new red bed and put it in front of the fireplace, which they had roaring for her by the time we got there. Roxette laid there for a bit, but then she found a big bed next to her new mom’s work desk. She decided that was her favorite bed for the moment. That is the bed you see her laying on in the picture of her with her new family.
I said my goodbyes to Roxette and waited until she fell asleep on her new bed in her new home before I sneaked out the door. I made it about five steps before I burst into the happiest of tears. She received the ultimate birthday gift of all… a family of her very own. She no longer had to be shuffled around. She was home.There are so many people who are responsible for this happy ending and I want to make sure to thank each of them. Thank you to the shelter workers who believed in Roxette and secured her a spot on the transport to Washington. Thank you to everyone who organized and executed the transport. We know it was a long and treacherous journey in the snow. Thank you to everyone at Motley Zoo Animal Rescue for taking Roxette into your care. Thank you to all the foster parents she had along the way.
Thank you to Pawsitive Alliance, the #WhyNotMePets campaign, and Pet Connections Magazine for getting the word out about her. Thank you to Melissa Tischler with Wrapped in Love for providing the beautifully made blanket that will go a long way in helping Roxette transition into her new home. And most of all, I need to give a big thanks to her adoptive family for giving Roxette a second chance at life, despite her age and her fear issues. It took a village to save Roxette’s life, but she is worth all the effort and more!
Roxette: I am so happy for you and for your new family. I love you so much and always will. Earning your trust was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Be a good girl and remember to keep your heart open. Let your new family shower you with all their love. You are safe now, wee one. Enjoy it 🙂
Oh, and Roxette? Remember to share your new fireplace with your brother sometimes too. He is a good dog, and he will be a good friend to you.
I love you always and forever,
PS: Ottis loves you forever too! He will never forget your snuggle time in front of the fire.