A Tail of Healing | Gail’s Adoption Story
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For this Tail of Hope, we had the chance to speak with Gail’s mom, Jenny, to learn about her life with Gail and how she’s grown from a timid and reactive dog into a happy, playful, and loyal pup.
Uncertain Beginnings In the South
Gail is a hound/mountain cur mix and hails from Kentucky, where she was in a kill shelter. She had been pregnant at some point, and a few of her teeth were in disrepair. Fortunately, Hopeful Tails stepped in to transport Gail and several other dogs up north to help them start their new, brighter beginnings.
Our rescue team soon learned that Gail was very reserved and reactive to men and children. It was clear that her early life contained unfortunate experiences. Gail would need a very special family to help her feel safe, grow, and heal from her tumultuous past.
Searching for the Perfect Companion Dog
In early 2019, Jenny was actively searching for the perfect companion for her dog, Lennie. Only a few months into having Lennie, Jenny realized he would love a furry companion.
Her daughter happened to see Gail listed on our website, and Jenny immediately saw a resemblance to Lennie. She sensed she would be an excellent companion and scheduled an appointment to visit Gail at our rescue.
As luck would have it, Gail checked the necessary boxes for the type of dog Jenny was looking for – less than 50 pounds, able to roam in a yard without threat from hawks or owls, and friendly with Lennie.
Jenny knew, though, that Gail would require work, not only medically but also behaviorally. She was ready for the commitment, especially seeing how well Lennie and Gail got along.
The Road to Healing
When Gail stepped into her new home, she was initially nervous about many things. Her favorite thing was to be outside with her new sibling, Lennie. And Jenny could tell he was just as happy to have her companionship.
At the top of Jenny’s list was helping build up Gail’s confidence. They attended private training sessions and worked on basic obedience and leash skills. She was also taught to heel next to Jenny if she felt nervous.
They worked their way up from independent walks to visits to the dog park, the farmer’s market, and finally, busy events like Fourth of July parades, the Doggy Dip, and a fire station open house. This intentionally gradual exposure plan allowed Gail to blossom into her new, confident self.
Several months after her adoption, Jenny took Gail to the veterinarian to remove her cracked teeth. “Gail became much more comfortable and affectionate with me,” Jenny recalls.
Enjoying Life In the Lap of Luxury
Lennie is still enamored with Gail today, and the feeling is mutual. “Gail uses him as her emotional support pup,” Jenny shares. “She lets him meet new people and try new things and then follows if they look okay.” They spend their days going on walks and playing, wrestling, and cuddling together at home.
Jenny’s favorite qualities about Gail are that she’s her shadow around the house – sleeping under her desk while she works and beside her in bed. She continuously checks to make sure she’s safe and is very eager to please.
Gail loves to ride in her mom’s convertible with the top down, climb trees at the dog park to try to capture squirrels, and be the neighborhood watch. “She makes sure to express her displeasure about scooters, bikes, skateboards, delivery trucks, and school buses anywhere near her house,” says Jenny.
When it’s time to rest, Gail isn’t lacking options – she’s spoiled with several dog beds throughout her house, two couches, and plenty of blankets and pillows. “She loves luxury and can be found nestled in a pile of pillows whenever possible,” Jenny shares.
Lessons from Gail
Adopting Gail and welcoming her into her life has taught Jenny a lot. But most of all, she’s taught her about love and resiliency of spirit.
For families considering adopting a dog, Jenny recommends conducting thorough research about the type of dog that would best fit their lifestyle. “Gail would not have been the right dog for many people, but she has been perfect for me and Lennie.”