A Tail of Perfect Timing | Gina’s Adoption Story
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For this Tail of Hope, we had the opportunity to speak with Gina’s parents, Victoria and Paul, to learn about their adoption journey and how their lives have changed for the better since welcoming Gina into their home!
Rough Beginnings in Kentucky
Picture this: A severely underweight one-year-old labrador mix is running loose near a sketchy property in rural Kentucky. Malnourished, she’s in no condition to feed the pups she just birthed. By her side is her sister, also malnourished and also a new mother. The scene is dire.
With the help of local police, Gina, her sister and their puppies were brought to the nearby Kentucky River Regional Animal Shelter. Shortly after, in late July 2022, Hopeful Tails learned about Gina and the situation, arranging a transport team to drive down to Hazard, Kentucky, to pick them up and bring them back to Illinois. Sadly, not everyone made it to Hopeful Tails – three puppies in the combined litter passed away.
Despite their hardships, Gina, her sister, Nina, and their remaining pups were fighters and would soon be on the road to recovery. Little did Gina know that her future family was just a few miles away in nearby Plainfield.
A Dog-Loving Couple
Victoria and Paul had moved to the area a couple of months before and were actively looking to foster a dog initially, hoping to adopt eventually. Self-proclaimed ‘dog people,’ both Victoria and Paul had grown up with dogs throughout their lives and thought of each one of them as family members.
The same month they moved to the area, Victoria lost her beloved cairnoodle of 16 years, Charlie, to cancer. The loss devastated her, but she had been feeling a strong pull to foster, missing the consistent presence and love of a dog.
On August 1, the couple decided to submit a foster application to Hopeful Tails. As Paul tells it, he knew immediately that they would be foster failures. Victoria, however, wasn’t so convinced.
Love at First Foster
Two days later, they visited Hopeful Tails to meet with a couple of dogs Stacy, the rescue’s foster coordinator, said needed foster homes. The very first dog brought out was Gina, running right up to Paul as if she had known him forever. Over the next twenty minutes, Gina got lots of hugs and pets. Victoria and Paul saw just how sweet Gina was, and their hearts melted.
After an out-of-town wedding the following week, they returned to Hopeful Tails, hoping and praying that Gina would still be available to foster. And she was!
August 14 was the day they brought Gina home. Over that following month, the couple fell in love with her, hard. Gina especially enjoyed cuddling and sleeping. “We could tell she knew she was finally safe and felt relaxed in our home. And she slept really well, often snoring! It was precious, and we’re sure she was catching up on some much-needed rest,” Victoria shared.
Slowly, another side of her personality began to emerge – Gina turned out to be super goofy! From whipping her rope toy around to rolling over on her back and making goofy faces to zoomies in the yard, Gina was undoubtedly coming into her own.
Gina’s New Life
Within a month and a half, between Hopeful Tails and her foster home, Gina transformed from a super skinny 34-pound dog who didn’t enjoy being touched to a much healthier 52-pound dog. On September 19, knowing for a while at that point that they would be foster failures (just as Paul had predicted), the couple officially adopted Gina into their family.
Fast forward to the present day, and Gina is coming up on her one-year anniversary of being in her forever home. “Our lives were changed for the better the day we officially adopted Gina,” Victoria shared. “She is one of the most affectionate and genuinely sweet dogs I’ve ever known. You could never guess how difficult her life was by the way she acts. Plus, she’s got personality for days, which we adore. She’s spunky, goofy and loves to ‘talk.’”
Victoria firmly believes that Gina came into their life at the perfect time, saying, “I think us finding and adopting Gina was meant to be. I call her my angel because I feel like Charlie sent her to us. His passing was devastating, and Gina has been such an incredible light in our lives.”
In July, Gina celebrated her second birthday with a cake, her favorite treats and some new toys to add to her already overflowing toy bin.
Some of her favorite things are going on long walks with her mom, taking naps, getting special treats, doing zoomies around her big yard, going on car rides to anywhere but the groomer and the veterinarian, and playing with her many dog cousins.
Gina loves her new life with her family and lives it to the fullest daily.