By Lori Hazen
Jake and Zoe, a Bonded Pair of Chessies
Jake and Zoe lost their beloved owner when he died recently. They also lost his wife, when she died less than a year ago. When the owner’s health was failing quickly, his sister reached out to us, the Midwest Region, to find a home for Jake and Zoe. But the owner was not ready to give them up. Then, recently, when he died, the sister reached out to us again, for help. Jake and Zoe were placed in the custody of Berrien County Animal Shelter, in Benton Harbor, Michigan, before the sister arrived from North Carolina, to take care of her brother’s affairs. A few of the extended family had communicated with us and from that, we came to a few conclusions. First, we needed to get Jake and Zoe into a home environment as soon as possible. Secondly, we felt it would help create some closure, by finding a home for Jake and Zoe before the sister returned home to North Carolina. Lastly, we also learned a couple of important things about the owners and we wanted to honor them by finding a home that had a connection to their lives with Jake and Zoe. We learned that being on or near the water was a big part of their lives. And we sensed the deep love that existed within the family. We set out to search for a home that we felt would provide Jake and Zoe with similar conditions.
Of all the responders to our adoption post, Nancy and Mark stood out. It was apparent to us they, too, have a close-knit family. And their son, who lives nearby, has a Chessie. Not only did they have an in-ground swimming pool, there was a lake within eyesight from the back yard patio, that they have access to. After careful vetting, we chose Nancy and Mark. We sent some photos of Nancy and Mark’s home and of their family to the owner’s sister and extended family. They all approved of the selection of Nancy and Mark. We then needed to figure out how to get Jake and Zoe from the Animal Shelter in SW Michigan to Nancy and Mark’s home, in SW Illinois. Berrien County Animal Shelter Kennel Supervisor, Ashley Herr, offered to help with the transport. She drove half of the 5.5-hour trip (each way), to meet Nancy. It was a tremendous help! We were able to get Jake and Zoe in their new home, in the time frame we had hoped for.
Nancy recently reported the dogs are doing quite well. They’re included in the frequent family barbeques and are spending lots of time swimming in the pool or nearby lake.
It was the unified efforts of the Berrien County Animal Shelter, CBRR&R and the two families, that made this very sad circumstance have a positive ending. Our thanks to Kennel Supervisor, Ashley Herr, for her help. To the owner’s family, we are grateful for the honor of helping find a loving home for Jake and Zoe. To Nancy and Mark, thank you for opening your home and your hearts to this bonded pair in need of a new beginning.
Adopter Nancy (left) and Berrien County Animal Shelter Kennel Supervisor, Ashley Herr (right)
Basket: New toys!
The backside of Jake and Zoe by the pool. Nancy said they raced directly to the pool when they first got home.
“Scout”, the lighter Chessie, William’s dog.