On July 7th, 2013, my now husband and I had just gotten back from traveling and set an appointment to meet with a different dog from a different rescue. Sadly it didn't work out as the pup was not good with cats, which had been originally stated. At the time, we had our kitty Tux and his needs trumped all else. Disappointed, Willy and I headed to dinner in Culver City to try to cheer ourselves up. Before we'd left for our trip, we had stopped by Adopt & Shop in Culver and Willy suggested peaking in before dinner.
I begrudgingly agreed. We perused the large dog section which was odd because I was looking for a small to medium dog to accommodate our apartment life. Willy pointed out Snow, formerly Bambi, a dog we'd seen prior to our trip. She looked up at us and quickly curled back into a forfeited nap. It became clear she'd lost all hope and had settled into a life of disappointment. I've always had a soft spot for German Shepherds, although honestly her white coat and scrawny figure was a far cry from the majestic creatures I so admired since my childhood. Nonetheless, her look was enough to talk me into meeting her.
This photo was taken the day we met!
After 5 minutes with her, we agreed to take her. To say that we bonded instantly would be a flat out lie. She was nice. Needed a home. Needed love. Needed hope. So we decided we'd give her all those things. We scrambled to get all of the necessities before the rescue closed and took her home that night. By the way, never got that dinner I was promised but I guess I did end up with a daughter so it wasn't a complete loss.
Our first few days were the roughest. She was terrified. She refused food & treats and wouldn't pee or poop! Willy thought we'd landed the only non pooping dog and was thrilled. I took a few days off work to stay with her and take her out every 2 hours praying she'd relieve herself. I remember snapping a photo of her first poop and sending it to Willy. We also quickly realized that the 55lb dog we'd been promised would soon outgrow her crate. She has now blossomed into a 90lb majestic creature - 60lbs more dog than I was looking for that day. Really getting bang for my buck I suppose. Willy and I were thrilled to have her but as new parents we struggled with pretty much everything. She came to us as a blank slate. She didn't know any obedience training, wasn't potty trained, and certainly wasn't leash trained. She flew me down a flight of stairs and that led to us buying a pinch collar and a package of training classes. Also, the lifestyle change was rough on us. Our lives revolved, and still do, around her meals and potty breaks. It was a tough transition at first and we had a moment of weakness where we honestly thought we were in over our heads. Snow certainly recognized our frustration and probably read our minds and saw we strongly contemplated returning her - one month in. Her mood changed drastically the next day and was deeply depressed. The pup that was starting to come out of her shell reverted back to the Snow we met on day one. We snapped out of it and told ourselves you don't give up on family. About a year after she joined our family, I finally read her shelter paperwork. She had been adopted out as an 8 wk old puppy. I can only imagine the marshmallow of a pup she was. She was then returned at 6 months. Adopted out again, returned a week later. Finally picked up by Adopt & Shop after a few months in the shelter. Then the rest is history. This broke my heart and reinforced every decision we ever made. Every sleepless night. Every sacrificed outing. Literally everything. Fast forward to today, Snow is almost 4! A year after Snow, we adopted Sam for my parents and the two were a match made in heaven from day one. Sam visits us every Sunday for family dinner.
Snow had spent the first few years with us alongside our kitty Tux. Tux had been fighting cancer for half his 12 year old life. He lost that battle July 2016. Snow was morbidly depressed. Her best friend was no longer around. She refused food and treats and was in a constant somber state. August of 2016, we made the decision to adopt Sparta. Once again, we doubted our decision when a 10wk old pup gave us a run for our money. Mind you, we were slated to get married September of 2016. Happy to report that we did get married and Sparta is still in our lives. Snow spent a great deal of time bullying him and still does. But she adores him and is very protective of him. And now we're a happy family of 3 total family pups!
You can follow Snow and Sparta! @snowtheshepherd