Muskie was found as a stray in South Carolina during late winter and was put in a shelter there. He was sent to a shelter in North Carolina after a while, where they neutered him and gave him shots etc. At that point, he was 59 lbs and it was March 12. Since then, he's been bounced around in shelters, until he finally arrived at a shelter in Salem Ma on July 5, through the efforts of volunteers who bring dogs from the South, where there are far too many abandoned dogs, to the North, where there are more homes waiting for them. He was down to 45 lbs, and was covered in ticks and had an ear infection and was suffering from "shelter shock," which, in his case, meant that he had withdrawn into himself and gone into huddled silence, trying to hide from the din and the chaos.
They cleaned him up, and then a week ago Tuesday, angels in the form of volunteers from Schultz's Guest House descended upon the shelter he was in and took him to their amazing rescue facility in Dedham, where they keep the dogs in beautiful fields and kennels with copious amounts of love and walks until they get adopted, no matter how long it takes. They keep only 10 dogs at a time, so every dog gets the love and care it deserves.
On Thursday, my daughter and I met Muskie and fell instantly in love with this incredibly sweet, trusting and affectionate dog who somehow, despite all he'd been through, was overflowing with love and wanted nothing more than to sit in our laps and snuggle.
We took him home for a test overnight on Saturday, and he got to go to Grandma's house for a family birthday party, where he was welcomed into the extended family.
We knew this boy was the one who was meant to be in our hearts, so on Sunday, before we'd even signed the papers, we went to Petco and bought him everything he needed for his forever home. This dog was never going back to any shelter again! He was so full of love and affection, and was so happy to finally have a home to snuggle in, and people to love.
On Wednesday, we took him back to Schultz for the official signing of the papers, and now, this lovely, amazing boy has a forever home.
It is such a joy to see Muskie already coming out of his shell and getting all wiggly and excited the way a one year old lab-mix should be doing. He's eating well again, he's sleeping on beds, and he's riding in cars, and, most importantly, he sprints to greet us when we get home, because he knows that he finally has his family.
Schutlz's Guest House is an amazing organization. If you're interested in adopting, check them out on Facebook, or if you just want to donate, visit their charity, Pee Happy, and purchase some tee shirts or hats, the proceeds of which go to support this amazing rescue dog organization.
And in case you were wondering where the name Muskie came from, it's short for Musketeer, from my daughter's favorite movie, Barbie & the Three Muskeeters, in which Barbie and her friends want to be Musketeers, but they are told they can't because they are girls. Barbie and her friends train in private and become awesomely talented, but still aren't allowed to join. When they uncover a plot to kill the prince, they are ignored by the Muskeeters, so Barbie and her friends save the prince anyway...and their reward is that they are finally recognized for their talents and get to become official Muskeeters. After watching the movie, my daughter announced that it was a movie about believing in yourself and following your dreams, no matter what people say and even if people try to stop you.
I can't think of a more fitting tribute to a dog who survived the streets and tick-infested shelters for six months so he could find his way into his forever home.
We love you, Muskie! Welcome home!