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"She is so beautiful and so sweet, she melted our hearts"

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your pet?


I’m Karen originally from New Jersey, USA but I’ve been living in Waterville since 2008 where I live with my husband Dennis and two children Jack, 10, and Mary, 8. We also have two indoor Bunnies Oreo and Blueberry. Our Sandy is approximately 5 years old. She’s a tricoloured collie possibly mixed with springer. She is the sweetest girl but has been through so much. Her background story goes like this. She had puppies earlier this year. A neighbour persuaded the owner to surrender one of them. Catherine fostered him, the cutest little pup Fergal. In the end her owner surrendered Sandy too. I was told she was very timid when she went to Gerri. She literally had to sit with her for hours to gain her trust. She was with her a while since the adopter delayed coming back from England. She was adopted and brought to Galway. They formed a good bond. She was adopted for 8 weeks and then returned since the adopter had a job offer in London. Her daughter was devastated but...


Why did you decide to adopt?


In November 2020 we had to put our beloved Dougal to sleep. We adopted him when he was 13 from KLAWS after his owner (our neighbour) had passed away. He crossed the rainbow bridge when he was 17. He was the best and loved the kids more then we can express. As a family we were just talking about the possibility of adopting again, but the kids expressed the want of a puppy. We were open to adopting a younger dog this time since his passing was so hard on them (all of us really).


How did you see the pet you adopted?


Sandy was an unexpected adoption but she chose us just as much as we chose her.

It’s a funny story how we came about finding Sandy. A while ago I volunteered to take pictures for KLAWS. And out of the blue Catherine messaged me asking to take pics of their latest rescue. We agreed to a time and my family joined me because we were going school shopping after. When we first saw her she was so scared and timid but the kids took to her right away, and honestly she is so beautiful and so sweet, she melted our hearts. As the photo shoot (in the pouring rain) went on, she started warming up. As nervous as she was she allowed Jack to walk her ,and Mary to pet her. And I got that “when you know you know” feeling and things rolled on from there. We made plans to take her out for the day. In the car she put her head on the centre console ,and her sad brown eyes did the rest. We took her to the beach, and she refused to go back in the car for over a half an hour, because she was so scared she was going to be returned. We brought her home and she ran in like she’d been there for 100 years!! We knew, and I was a mess at the thought of us returning her. So a unanimous decision was made ,and Sandy came home with us, bed ,food (thanks to KLAWS) and all. Her first few days were rough. She refused to go to the bathroom and was hiding.


Why did you choose KLAWS?


We chose KLAWS because we had previously adopted through them and are big fans of supporting local rescues. I also follow all of the rescues in Kerry, in the hopes of finding the right dog for us. It was a simple process of filling out the adoption form & home check. Catherine dropped over to complete the adoption and we reregistered her Microchip to make her officially ours.

Did your expectations differ compared to the reality of adopting?


The reality of rescuing Sandy is that she hasn’t hit the 3-month mark with us yet. We are still in recovery mode. The beginning was ROUGH! She was (is) traumatized. It’s been stressful, and even had me doubting the ability of helping her settle in. She is very timid of strangers, petrified of balls, someone must have used her as target practice, or was cruel in some way with them to her. Sandy is anxious, extremely protective, a bit hard on the leash, but overall a doll. All these are things that can be worked on over time. As a family we’ve had to make some major adjustments. The kids have had to stop playing ball outside, or bringing one in the house, since it sends her hiding and climbing up shelves. She needs time, lots of time. Every day gets a little easier. She is constantly reminded that she is safe, loved and NO ONE is going to hurt her. She loves her bread, walks, snuggling on the couch, giving hugs, going to the Beach she gives the best paw, and almost has the high 5’s down. She even likes the bunnies.

Do you have any advice for people currently adopting or thinking about adopting a pet?


My advice is: do your research, make sure you can dedicate time to making it work for you and your family. A dog (pet) is for life. They are your family, and not just some lower being that you can mistreat, lock outside, or worse. Open your heart and the love of a dog will fill it endlessly.

We couldn’t be happier with Sandy, she brings us so much happiness, but will require continued patience, training, and unconditional love, but in the long run it will all pay off!!

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