Friday, November 8, 2013

Oh Cooper, this is all your fault...

There are times in your life when you look back and reflect on how you got here. Today is one of those days for me.

In January of 2012, John and I made our way to an ABC adoption event. This event, I found out later, was a result of having too many adopters for the 5 dogs that ABC rescued from TX. I had seen the article in the news about the TX dogs and thought "we should try to adopt one of these bassets". I've always loved the basset hound and after showing John the cutest basset puppy pictures I could find...he was convinced. We made the arrangements to get our adoption application approved and took the time to head to the event.

We had picked out several of the dogs that we liked before we even left the house. It was a "first come, first serve" type of event and we wanted to be prepared in advance. We had picked several dogs to put on our list before Cooper even came into the mix. What we didn't realize when we got to the event is that Cooper would pick us.

We entered the Camp Bow Wow in Tonawanda and there were adopters and volunteers and dogs and a lot of organized chaos. Well, there were a couple kids walking Cooper around the big room when we walked to the center of the room. We were all waiting on the start time for all the volunteers to bring out the bassets for everyone to meet. I loved the looks of Cooper and I went right up to him as the kids were pulling him around on his leash. I bent down and petted his head. He instantly sat down on my foot. Then as John walked by Cooper started to follow him. I gave John "the look", the smile and the head shaking to confirm that he was the one. I think we were both sold.

Now, the kids that were walking Cooper around wanted to adopt him. Their mother wasn't all that fond of the idea. John talked with her and realized that she wanted one of the other bassets up for adoption that day. <whoosh> When the event started, John found the adoption coordinator and asked if Cooper was spoken for. He was not and before any of the volunteers even had paperwork ready, we were adopting Cooper. He was the first dog to leave the event with a forever home.

We got him home and there was definately an adjustment period there. Neither John nor I had a dog in the house in a long time. I laugh now because I tried to explain to John that "you don't really train a basset, a basset trains you". He didn't understand it at the time, but now knows the true meaning of that statement. Both John and I were so impressed by ABC and how they ran the event that when we received our invitation for the Breakfast for Bassets we knew we had to go. We took Cooper and met a lot of ABC volunteers and adopters.

Then in March, I got a phone call from Shelly asking if we could "babysit" a basset for two weeks and bring him to the basset blast. We agreed to take Claude into our home and call him our first foster. John fell in love with him, but he tried on several occasions to eat both of our cats (Chaz & Bleu). I couldn't deal with the stress of that, so we took him with us to the blast and when we walked in with him someone was waiting to adopt him. He left with his forever family after about 20 minutes.

I was considering volunteering for ABC before we got to the blast, but I was holding off to see how the event went before I committed. I watched how all the volunteers act and how the event ran so smoothly. After the event, I decided that I would start to volunteer and sent in my application. Shelly questioned why I had bothered since she had already considered me a volunteer even without the official document. John and I then considered to continue to foster for the group. After 9 foster bassets in one year, we are currently on hiatus from fostering.

A few months later, at an event I was volunteering for Shelly and Sommer offered me the position of volunteer coordinator.... which I accepted. During my time as volunteer coordinator I learned a lot about the rescue and how it works. I also continued to meet new great volunteers who give their time to help the hounds. I also started helping out in the Slobber Shoppe and took my first trip to the GABR waddle in IL. I learned a lot about basset products and met so many other great basset people.

John then got more involved in the group by becoming the Intake Coordinator. Soon after I took on a new challenge of Follow-up coordinator and worked on the marketing aspect for the group. At that point we were both totally in. We were helping more and more and getting more and more involved. We also adopted Charlie and foster failed on our Pumpkin some where amidst all of this commotion.

Through my year and a half working with the rescue I have learned so many things about life, love and the pure stupidity of people. There are days when I hate the world and lose all faith in the human race. There are days when I'm so angry at people for all kinds of different reasons. There are days when all I can do is shake my head. There are days when I am so full of joy that I just can't explain it. There are days when I say "Thank you" out loud because we made impossible things happen. There are days when the only thing that could possibly make me smile are "my kids" jumping up on the couch next to me. There are days where my heart is so full. I've lost sleep. I've seen people work so closely together to make something happen that the word "miracle" could be used. I've seen people disagree and fight amongst the group. I've seen all kinds of things that I never expected to see and witnessed things I never thought I would witness....good and bad. And I wouldn't change a thing!!!

ABC Basset Rescue is my "rescue family". I will continue to go through all of these things to help basset hounds with them. I believe in what they are doing. I'm a lifetime member and I will continue to blame Cooper for all of this every day!!

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