Monday, April 4, 2011

Welcome back, Shiloh!

Shiloh portrait
Shiloh Skunked out for Halloween
For those of you who have never met Shiloh, I am sorry.  Shiloh is the nicest big Beagle I have ever known.  He is also very much a free spirit which is why he has "failed" two adoption attempts.  During the first one, in Webster Groves, he perfected his technique of climbing and jumping fences.  His neighborhood had multiple fences in their backyards.  Shi would start in his and keep going.  Of course, being loose in a busy suburb is not a healthy thing for a dog nor for his human and her anxiety over his safety.   Back to Silverwalk he came for another two years.  I need to say, before he was first adopted, he had not been jumping the fence here - when he came back, hoo, boy, no holding him in.  Luckily, he is a very friendly fellow who does not bother trash or neighbors....he makes his rounds, says "hello," gets a pet and is on his way.  He has made himself known at Cape Country Club trying to golf and swim; has visited Sunday School at Hobbes Chapel and later tried to attend a funeral.  My priest happened to be officiating, knew Shiloh, told him to "go home!" which he did.  One year, Dr. Seabaugh was out doing a vet inspection of how I kept my dogs to offer suggestions and to fulfill a licensing requirement.  I had put Shiloh in the 6 ft. pen on the cement patio in the backyard.  As Ann and I came around the front, she said "There's a dog on the roof."  Who else?  Shiloh.  Ann got him down and I put him in the house.  Sigh.

A wonderful family trained him through classes and the test for his Canine Good Citizenship.  They thought of adopting him but the situation was not right - but they ask after him frequently as he did well, earning his CGC title :).   What a dog!

Then came a family with a person at home most of the day and a 6 ft. vinyl privacy fence.  The son was really wanting a dog of his own.  Dad had grown up with Beagles and understood they
puppy Justus
yearling Justus
are the best of breeds (who, me, biased?  please - HA).   The choice was Shiloh or puppy Justus.  They took Shiloh - and after a week, I had an email saying it already seemed like a month.  What I saw and shared was a family expecting a family dog and adopting a free spirit who needed time to adjust.  He got time....and more time... and now, 7 months later, after being rescued 4 times from heading for the four lane highway by their home and learning to dig under the pave stones lining the fence, they, for Shiloh's safety, had to bring him back.  They are the most gracious and kind family - I really want to help them find the perfect dog for them.   When they dropped him off, they wanted to see Justus - just to see him.  He, of course, has GROWN.  Mom was astonished and said, "Oh, too big, too big but beautiful! Why has no one adopted him?"  I then had to confess that I had adopted him :).  We all had a good laugh while Dad took photos of Jane and Sally, the puppies who are well started, very social and ready for homes after being spayed.   When they had been here before, Justus was the only puppy I had; Jane or Sally would make excellent choices but Son needs to come and choose his dog.   

Shiloh - portrait by Rochelle Steffen
Thus, Shiloh has returned to Silverwalk.  I will not be surprised if he simply doesn't just stay.  He fell into his old routine immediately; in fact, as the day went on,  he reminded me of what he had done - make his rounds, come to the front door for supper, sleep in an open crate (Cyrano's, which had been Shiloh's; Cy was not happy - oy, vey), eat in the kitchen behind a baby gate because, unlike most Beagles, Shiloh eats slowly and carefully, and then sleep on a couch for the night.  I am well aware that allowing Shiloh to roam as he does puts him in danger of cars or more; keeping him penned up so tightly to keep him physically alive would break his spirit so I have chosen to let him out to go with God on earth. 

Shiloh's story is a proof that even the very nicest of dogs can be difficult to re-home.  At least,  Silverwalk is better than eating from the dumpsters in Higgensville, MO, where he was found a stray and brought to Silverwalk.  I don't yet have recent photos but he really has not changed - he looks great,  a wee bit portly - we will take care of that.  Welcome home, Shiloh. 


click HERE to see our adoptable dogs
Safe Harbor @ Silverwalk is a small division of Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary, Inc. in Jackson, MO, a licensed, 501c3 tax exempt sanctuary mostly for cats with some dogs and now Silverwalk. Silverwalk is in Cape Girardeau County, MO, specializing in Beagles, other hounds and senior dogs. There are always dogs needing adoption and sponsorship. Please see Safe Harbor @ Silverwalk for more information about Silverwalk and Safe Harbor, our dogs and "adorable adoptable" cats needing very good homes.


royalcoonhounds said...

Welcome back Shiloh!

My childhood beagle would love to roam when he had the chance. He also had a sixth sense about the second the leash was accidentally dropped and off he'd go.

Justus is such a handsome fellow!